Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis

First Advisor

Dr. Gert-Jan de Vreede


Communities of Practice (CoP's) can preserve the knowledge of an organization by pooling together individuals who share the same goals and are determined to build their level of knowledge through 'innovative interaction'(Wenger, 1998). CoP's help organizations pool together their knowledge of value, keeping in mind the organization's business processes. This study was conducted in order to establish a CoP in the I/S department at Org X, by first identifying knowledge sharing barriers and the measures that could be taken to eliminate these barriers. This research is aimed at answering three primary questions: 1. What are the barriers that prevent employees from participating in the knowledge sharing process? 2. What measures can be taken to overcome these barriers? 3. Can a community of practice be established if these barriers are overcome? The main knowledge sharing barriers that were identified were: Lack of interest, Personal inhibitions, Lack of time, Lack of perceived knowledge value, Non-conducive company culture Several measures were put into place to encourage knowledge sharing. At the time of the study there was talk to put into place additional measures to encourage knowledge sharing. Since, these measures were not put into place at the time of this study, the effect that they would have on the knowledge sharing participation levels cannot be anticipated. In spite of having several knowledge sharing measures in place, the level of participation was observed to be very minimal. It was observed that this 'gap' in knowledge sharing can be attributed in large part to the corporate culture. Future research could focus on the identifying the specific impacts of corporate culture on the level of knowledge sharing. In addition, if a CoP were established at the I/S department at Org X, then the growth of the community should be closely monitored and documented to see if it was legitimized (recognized by the management/organization), supported (provided with resources), and institutionalized (given much importance in the I/S department's decision making process) as was inferred at the time of the study.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2005, Kasturi Golla