Translating strategy into practice: the role of communities of practice

Macpherson, A ORCID: 0000-0002-6172-3339 and Antonacopoulou, EP ORCID: 0000-0002-0872-7883
(2013) Translating strategy into practice: the role of communities of practice. Journal of Strategy and Management, 6 (3). pp. 265-285.

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Abstract Purpose – This empirical paper aims to show how communities of practice have been used as a tractable management tool to operationalize strategy in practice. The analysis shows how CoPs can be used in business to find traction in order to achieve strategic goals. Design/methodology/approach – A two-year longitudinal case study approach was adopted employing semi-structured interviews, participant observations and document analysis for data collection. The findings were verified with the participants in the study during feedback events organised for that purpose. Findings – The study provides in-depth insights into the challenges of translating strategy into practice in complex work settings. In this case, uneven outcomes were attributed to three critical contributing factors: the leadership and governance structures, the meaningful ways in which members can participate and interact with others; and their identity and sense of belonging. Research limitations/implications – Although a single case study only provides indications of potential generalisations, it does give access to issues that cannot be identified without an in-depth analysis. Practical implications – The authors encourage executives to consider concepts of identity, participation and governance as useful heuristics for the analysis of practices of communities. Potential inconsistencies in community practices could have implications for the way strategy is translated into action. Originality/value – Unlike most community of practice studies, which focus on the community aspect of the concept, this study analyses the practices of communities. In doing so, it adds value to our understanding of the forces that shape social interactions embedded in the implementation of strategy in practice. Keywords Communities of practice, Engagement, Identity, Leadership Paper type Research paper

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ## TULIP Type: Articles/Papers (Journal) ##
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Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2016 10:29
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 01:27