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Organisational and Professional Development

FAQs

This page collects frequently asked questions about communities of practice.  If you have a question, please click on 'Ask a question' below.

What’s the difference between a network and a Community of Practice?

How are communities of practice different from more familiar structures like teams or task and finish groups?

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What’s the difference between a network and a Community of Practice?

All communities of practice are networks but not all networks are communities of practice. A communities of practice has to have that shared interest in a domain of “expertise” and this creates a sense of community. 


How are communities of practice different from more familiar structures like teams or task and finish groups?

A team, or task or finish group, is held together by a task. When the task is accomplished the team disperses. Team members are likely to learn something in the performance of that task, but this learning does not define the team. It is the task that keeps them together.

A community of practice is held together by the “learning value” members find in their interactions. They may perform tasks together, but these tasks do not define the community. It is the ongoing learning that sustains their mutual commitment.


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