A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Infrastructures, Processes, Capabilities, and Cultures   © SCUP 2003
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Value on Investment (VOI) — A New Benchmark (continued)



Chapter 5

Infrastructures, Processes, Capabilities, and Cultures

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  • Purchasing/acquisition communities of practice linking all those engaged in purchasing decisions, providing decision support and development, with linkages to cooperative buying and other resources not available at all enterprises.

However they accumulate knowledge, they become informally bound by the value they find in learning together. The value is not merely instrumental for their work. It also accrues in the personal satisfaction of knowing colleagues who understand each other’s perspectives and of belonging to an interesting group of people. Over time, they develop a unique perspective on their topic as well as a body of knowledge, practices, and approaches. They also develop personal relationships and established ways of interacting. They may even develop a common sense of identity. They become a community of practice.

Etienne Wenger, 2002

The list of communities of practice could go on and on. These communities will multiply the impact of the social and technical networks that will be an essential element of the new enterprise application infrastructure. These communities of practice and collaborative interactions will be a key element of both process reinvention and changing the knowledge ecology of the institution to enable new levels of knowledge sharing.

Increase Individual and
Organizational Competencies

Twenty-first century colleges and universities need to develop a wide range of new competencies, both as enterprises and for the individuals associated with them:

  • e-Learning. Tomorrow’s successful enterprise will need to be able blend physical and virtual learning resources and experiences, both on campus and to learners at a variety of settings, both physical and virtual. They will also need to fuse academic community and personal and administrative processes to support e-learners wherever they may be. The new generation of knowledge and content management applications will be essential to e-learning, enabling the introduction of just-in-time knowledge into learning.

e-Learning is the use of ICT to extend, enhance, and enrich every learning experience. Even the most traditional learning enterprise needs to develop the capabilities to support e-learning experiences.


  • Knowledge and content management. Digitized content supporting e-learning will include not just virtual versions of the current generation of textbooks, course packs, and supporting expert resources. Topical content and context will need to be digitized, meta-tagged, and stored in institutional repositories for easy access, combination, and repurposing. Repositories of learning content such as MERLOT and those adopting the content interoperability framework developed by the ADL will be combining content from different sources. Over time, “marketplaces” will provide content from institutions, publishers, learning content companies, and professional societies and trade associations.

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  Businesses have been slow to make use of the Internet’s community-building capabilities.

Arthur Armstrong and
John Hagel III