Integrating communities of practice in technology development projects

Karin Garrety*, Paul L. Robertson, Richard Badham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Development projects usually benefit when expertise is drawn from diverse sources, including potential users. Orchestrating the involvement of disparate groups requires finding a balance between differentiation, when teams work separately, and integration, when groups meet to exchange knowledge. This paper argues that a "community of practice" perspective can help project managers achieve this balance, by drawing attention to the assumptions, interests, skills, and formal and tacit knowledge of the different groups involved. Using a case study as illustration, we show that integration can be achieved by ensuring that the developing technology is comprehensible to all groups concerned, and that it satisfies their various interests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-358
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Communities of practice
  • Culture
  • Innovation
  • Managing projects
  • Teams
  • Technology


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