Facilitating Project Performance Improvement: A Practical Guide to Multi-Level Learning

By Jerry Julian | Go to book overview

APPENDIX B:

SITUATED LEARNING AND COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE

Previous research related to cross-project learning has been reviewed in order to understand what organizations have attempted to do to foster cross-project learning and to identify the barriers and enablers associated with these efforts. The cross-project learning literature has pointed to the need to adopt a situated learning approach that takes into account the socially embedded nature of knowledge and its development within communities of practice.

This section begins with a review of J. Lave and E. Wenger's (1991) original work on situated learning and legitimate peripheral participation. The review then turns to Wenger's (1998) subsequent work in further elaborating the role of “communities of practice” and how they shape learning among shared work practitioners in organizations.


SITUATED LEARNING AND
LEGITIMATE PERIPHERAL PARTICIPATION

Situated learning and communities of practice have been proposed as fertile ground for further empirical research on cross-project learning (Ayas & Zeniuk, 2001; Kotnour, 2000). Situated learning is founded on the assumption that learning is inherently social and that tools, social activities, and social context shape it (Hansman, 2001).

In Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation, Lave and Wenger (1991) argue against a view of learning that focuses on individuals' ac-

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