Unraveling power dynamics in communities of practice

M.B. Veenswijk, C.M. Chisalita

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter concentrates on the question how does power dynamics relate to the development of Communities of Practice within the organizational context of European public-private Megaprojects. The notion of power seems to be one of the underdeveloped fields in current CoP theory (Veenswijk & Chisalita, 2007). After a theoretical evaluation of the CoP concept, a Dutch Community of Practice case 'Partners in Business' is presented. In this community, actors of four leading Dutch construction firms and the Ministry of Public Works participate in an informal and unofficial setting. This community was established in 2005 and is still active as innovative platform in the infrastructural field. The researchers act as catalyst and project reflector during the different stages of community building. After presentation and analysis of the case, we discuss the results of the case study while reflecting back on the theory, and we illustrate the advantages of considering the blind spots relating to power dynamics in CoP theory. © 2011, IGI Global.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Communities of Practice for Organizational Management and Networking: Methodologies for Competitive Advantage
EditorsO.R. Hernáez, E.B. Campos
Place of PublicationHershey, Pennsylvania
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781605668024
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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