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Communities of practice are important social structures for creating and sharing knowledge and it has been suggested that organizations should develop and support communities of practice for effective knowledge management. As a result, there is growing interest in the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to enable and support geographically dispersed communities of practice. In this paper, we report on a vibrant and productive, geographically dispersed community of practice that has spontaneously emerged over the last decade. The members of this community are computer support technicians, working within a large Australian university. Our results indicate that ICT can support a community of practice and this involves knowledge sharing as well as socialization. We describe the community, the interactions between members, the way the community is organized and managed, and the way it is enabled by ICT.
Date of Conference: 27-29 Oct. 2012