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Re: [cp] Re: Governance model for a CoP

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  • Jacqueline Saldana
    Hi Marco, It took me a long time returning to you! My apologies for that:). To answer your questions. First: Yes, these COPs are part of ISPE. Second: Also
    Message 1 of 18 , Sep 2, 2011
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      Hi Marco,

      It took me a long time returning to you! My apologies for that:).

      To answer your questions.

      First: Yes, these COPs are part of ISPE.

      Second: Also yes. CoPs evolve organically and, when these reach a level of maturity (let us say CoPs operating for several consecutive years) they develop inherent working methods that can evolve with time as the group of practitioners is continually negotiating practice. Interesting to study further on the road will be to measure the effect of disruptive technology to mature CoPs but the theory of CoPs is still incipient. The majority of the studies are of qualitative nature which is the way to generate theory. Quantitative efforts are necessary now to confirm these initial observations.



      --- On Sat, 8/13/11, Marco Bettoni <marco.bettoni@...> wrote:

      From: Marco Bettoni <marco.bettoni@...>
      Subject: [cp] Re: Governance model for a CoP
      To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Saturday, August 13, 2011, 9:17 AM


      Hi Jackie,

      your findings about governance structure look very interesting to me,
      thanks a lot.

      Were the 20 CoPs in the field of pharmaceutical engineering a part of
      the ISPE?

      You mention in your finding #1 that "the idea of an intentional
      structure is uncommon": in my experience with a few CoPs that I have
      been involved in (as designer and initial coordinator) this "uncommon"
      related to the new way of working (formal organisation of work) that a
      CoP requires; it is a different way than that required by the company (a
      hierarchical organisation) of which the CoP (a network organisation) is
      a part and to accept, to practice and to further develop this new way of
      working is not easy for CoP members.


      --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Jacqueline Saldana
      <jacquelineb.saldana@...> wrote:
      > Hello John,
      > I see that other colleagues have more
      > experience and strong opinions about the concept of CoPs. What I can
      share with
      > you about the governance structure of professional CoPs is the
      > I worked for three years as project manager for
      > 20 CoPs in the field of pharmaceutical engineering. Some of these CoPs
      > existed for 10 years or more, whereas others are younger and other
      > during my work with this organization. In this professional
      association the oldest
      > CoP is the Investigational Products CoP and is a community of clinical
      > scientists expanded today to North America, Europe, and Japan. The
      youngest one works with oral solid dosages. I decided to study
      > CoPs as part of my doctoral dissertation. To choose my study
      variables, I
      > conducted an in-depth preliminary research that included interviews
      with the
      > CoPs champions (e.g., sponsors, facilitators) and review of archival
      > documentation (e.g., meeting minutes, chat discussions, online
      postings). I
      > basically wrote the story and development of each of the 20 CoPs and
      believe me
      > you when I say these groups develop different “forms” of
      governance structures.
      > My work stays with these CoPs, as I provided them in gratitude with
      > reports used today for different purposes, from brochures to Website
      > The second part of my study encompassed a systematic
      > literature review of 186 scientific studies with the following
      criteria, (a)
      > professional CoPs, (b) studies conducted from 2000 to 2011, (c)
      studies that
      > manifested clearly a scientific design and results. These studies
      covered more
      > than 20 professional disciplines in more than 18 countries. I
      quantified CoP
      > social expressions, including governance structure characteristics.
      From my
      > observations, personal experience, recording of CoP chat rooms, and
      > from a scientific literature review, I can share with you the
      following findings
      > in regards to CoPs governance structure:
      > 1. A
      > great controversy surfaces regarding the topic of CoP governance
      > CoPs are a type of “invisible college,” in which people
      meet to solve problems
      > related to a common topic, field, or passion. The idea of an
      > structure is uncommon, although most professional CoPs end developing
      some type
      > of structure.
      > 2.
      > Professional CoPs are no different from civic or community groups of
      > practitioners trying to advance a field or philosophy. CoPs in
      churches, art
      > institutes, and multinational companies demonstrate similar challenges
      > social dynamics.
      > 3.
      > CoPs’ governance structures have different composition, from
      > committees to complex networks of subject matter experts. It all
      depends on the
      > evolution of these CoPs and inherent characteristics of the
      profession. For example,
      > some CoPs rely heavily in mentoring as succession planning mechanism.
      > have a big amount of professionals coming and going under the umbrella
      > expert committees in charge of developing projects. Is unpredictable
      to know
      > how a governance structure (loose or tight) will emerge from these
      groups. Is
      > not after they emerge than we can (maybe) suggest organizational and
      > patterns.
      > 4.
      > Most CoPs manifest that they struggle with the idea of establishing a
      > governance structure and sustaining “loose” groups of
      individuals creating
      > freely while maintaining organizational order. Most CoPs develop with
      > communication patterns that get embedded in the social structure of
      > specific CoP. CoPs can mature in time and develop intrinsic
      > although the moment when a CoP can disappear is unpredictable.
      > 5.
      > Passion for a discipline, common sense of purpose, and community
      > continue to be the “glue” that attaches and make CoPs
      prosper. Experts in the
      > field of CoP recommend adding “goals” to this mix,
      although this can be dangerous
      > because goals must come from within the interest of the CoP members. I
      have seen established CoPs rebel against goals and plans they believe
      are being imposed to the group with negative consequences for CoP
      sustainability. The only
      > way you can promote commitment and action from CoP participants in
      > membership has true loyalty to a cause. CoP
      > identity plays a fundamental role in developing CoPs culture and
      > efforts.
      > Although I began my doctoral dissertation
      > believing I would study governance structure and succession planning,
      > research has moved me to study communication expressions and the
      > of these dynamics with innovation. I am in the process now of
      conducting a
      > third phase of my research which is a quasi-experimental study
      comparing the
      > social expressions, structure, and dynamics of three different
      > stages CoP (i.e., beginner, intermediate, advanced) to measure
      > variables that I identified from the qualitative methods of
      observation and the
      > systematic literature review. As part of a meta-analysis, variables
      received a statistical
      > variance value; and now I am using these measurements to design a
      > analysis to prove previous findings.
      > I have also talked with CoP sponsors in civic groups
      > and private organizations to understand better this phenomenon. I am
      > beginning a CoP movement in my own place of meditation which is Silent
      Unity of
      > Tampa. I am still exploring alternatives but knowing my church
      involvement in
      > the past, the establishment of an expert panel will be a solid
      beginning. A
      > good deal of education will take part in this effort by knowing what
      moves a
      > group of people, element that we all know is always the best start.
      > My best advice is: You cannot
      > force a governance structure; this emerges throughout the development
      of the
      > CoP. This happens when you provide a good platform for collective work
      > (including IT), propitiate the opportunities for collaboration,
      identify strong
      > champions, propose a preliminary set of goals, and identify
      individuals who share
      > a passion for a topic/field/philosophy. The rest is the creative
      process for
      > which the CoP grows and evolves.
      > I hope these simple observations help you in your efforts, either by
      confirming intuition of adding to the body of knowledge.
      > Respectfully yours,
      > Jackie
      > --- On Tue, 8/9/11, John David Smith john.smith@... wrote:
      > From: John David Smith john.smith@...
      > Subject: RE: [cp] Re: Governance model for a CoP
      > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Tuesday, August 9, 2011, 7:58 PM
      > Jackie, It would be interesting to hear more about your
      dissertation and hear more about what the contexts for your observations
      were. John* John David Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype & Twitter:
      smithjd* Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net*

      Got ilk? From: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jacqueline Saldana

      > Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2011 12:51 AM
      > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: RE: [cp] Re: Governance model for a CoP Hello Guys, I have
      been seen your communication thread and could not avoid to provide you
      with some insights about CoPs’ governance models. I have worked
      and studied extensively CoPs as part of my doctoral dissertation.
      Reality is the concept of CoP is today a strategy organizations use
      intentionally to spread knowledge and innovation. In my experience
      managing CoPs, the best governance structure is the one that emerges
      from within the membership. It is important to remember that shared
      leadership is a main characteristic of the CoP culture. Be also ready to
      deal with the 20/80 rule. Only 10% to 20% of community members produce
      concrete outcomes whereas from 90% to 80% of the membership are
      “passive consumers.” Engaging peripheral groups is a
      continual challenge to the majority of established CoPs. Creating a
      committee of volunteers willing to “champion” the
      community is a good start but
      > the organization must let the CoP drive itself and this include
      building a network of collaborations that develop character,
      professional identify, and working methods. I have seen CoPs developed
      wonderful professional cultures, all different from each other in
      governance structure but all successful in performance because the
      working culture is based on inherent characteristics of a profession.
      Please, see the excerpt below which confirms findings from emergent CoP
      theory. I am not including the list references, but this list is
      available if your have further interest. Today CoPs’ structures
      vary ranging from voluntary informal networks to globally dispersed
      project teams (Li, Grimshaw, Nielsen, Judd, et al., 2009). Professional
      CoPs usually do not develop mechanisms and protocols. CoPs are not
      formal departments, operational teams, or business units. Although all
      these structures share some characteristics, the CoP is the only group
      in which
      > members are self-selected based on expertise or passion for a topic
      which evolves organically as long as members find value in their common
      interest. Some organizations take intentional steps to legitimize and
      support CoPs, which results in the institutionalization of communities
      forced to defend their jurisdictions and group identify (Ferlie,
      Fitzgerald, Wood, & Hawkins, 2005). Institutionalization (Wenger,
      McDermott, & Snyder, 2002) happens as result of organizations trying to
      align their objectives to the goals of groups of practitioners. The
      process of institutionalization is a delicate process structurally and
      culturally because requires the introduction of formal guidelines to
      legitimize CoPs and their roles as custodians of knowledge within
      informal associations. Koliba and Gajda (2009) identified
      degree of formalization as one research variable to consider as the
      theory of CoP evolves. Professional CoPs today manifest
      > different degrees of formalization relatively to their role and use
      within professional organizations. Wenger (et al.) explained that the
      focus of successful CoPs in professional organizations should be to
      institutionalize CoPs to integrate their overall function to the
      organization. Organizations should promote only guidelines to elicit
      genuine passion for knowledge sharing, enabling them to safeguard
      knowledge for both professional and organizational benefits. The
      organic, informal, and spontaneous nature of CoPs challenges
      organizations that want to nurture CoPs because these are resistant to
      supervision and managerial intervention (Wenger & Snyder, 2004).
      Respectfully, Jackie Saldana

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