Identifying Functions of Online Community of Practice

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Assistant Prof. in Public Administration, Farabi Campus University of Tehran, Qom, Iran

2 Assistant Prof. in Human Resources Management, Farabi Campus University of Tehran, Qom, Iran

3 MS.c. in Public Administration, Farabi Campus University of Tehran, Qom, Iran


Nowadays, there is a growing trend in the constitution of community of practice (COP) through cell phone communication software. So, studies about COP and its functions seem necessary. In this research, the positive functions of COP have been identified through theme analysis, and then the identified functions have been categorized using exploratory factor analysis. This research has been done in two phases using mixed-method approach. In the qualitative phase, library resources and in the quantitative phase, researcher-made questionnaire were used. In addition, in the qualitative phase, the functions were identified through literature review. The statistical population of the quantitative phase includes employees of public organizations and private firms who are a member of any groups, consisting of their colleagues, on their cell phones using social communication software such as: Telegram, WhatsApp, and Viber. Purposive sampling was used to select the groups and the individuals. 446 individuals, within 19 groups, filled out the questionnaire. 38 main themes have been identified and divided into 6 categories of innovation and problem solving, information and knowledge exchange, collective identity, knowledge ability, continual development, gain and create value.


Main Subjects

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