An Investigation of Air Force Communities of Practice: A Descriptive Study of Evolution through Assessment of People, Process, and Technology Capabilities
Date of Award
Master of Science
Department of Systems Engineering and Management
Summer E. Bartczak, PhD
A variety of theories state that communities of practice (CoPs) "evolve" or "mature" through various stages over time. Such theories posit that each stage is characterized by different people, process, and technology attributes/capabilities that ultimately necessitate differing strategies for achieving effectiveness (Gongla and Rizzuto, 2001). A primary goal of AFMC/DRW, AFMC Electronic Learning (eLearning) Knowledge Management Integrated Project Team, and the office of the Air Force Chief Information Officer is to increase CoP participation and effectiveness. This descriptive, cross-sectional research, surveyed all CoP managers of all CoPs "hosted" by AFMC/DRW with a quantitative/qualitative, 86 question, 5-point Likert, survey. This research suggested that, on average, AF/AFMC CoPs are in the very early stages of evolution, and the extent of implementation for stage-specific attributes/capabilities was found to be minimal. The implications of this finding show, given the relatively "undeveloped nature" of many of the CoPs, there are a wide range of actions that can be taken to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing CoPs. These actions include increasing leadership involvement and support, increasing membership education and training, defining more clearly the purpose/objectives of each CoP, and implementing easier technology tools for navigating the COP collaborative electronic workspace.
DTIC Accession Number
May, Jason R., "An Investigation of Air Force Communities of Practice: A Descriptive Study of Evolution through Assessment of People, Process, and Technology Capabilities" (2003). Theses and Dissertations. 4262.