Midlife communities of practice; experiences and alignment

R.P. Kranendonk, P.H. Kersten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Several of the communities of practice (CoPs) managed by the authors have reached their midlife. Designed CoPs have come to life and have achieved alignment from which we can learn. The authors signal a growing interest in using CoPs as management instruments and in governance. Governments are seeking new ways in policy making and new steering instruments. Using the case of agrologistics, the authors describe how the Dutch government has used a CoP for complex planning and organizational problems. The social design, planning, and management of a new CoP have linked together a wide range of stakeholders to establish an operational CoP. Alignment is a key factor in this transition to self-steering; the value of belonging is very powerful. Masters play an important role in setting up and in steering a CoP. CoPs can be developed as new instruments of governance based on the theoretical concept of CoP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-957
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Alignment
  • Communities of practice
  • Conditional steering
  • Governance
  • Learning process


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