Purpose - Most people participate in various groups and communities simultaneously. Many authors have pointed to the importance of multi-membership for knowledge sharing across communities and teams. The most important expected benefit is that knowledge that has been acquired in one community of practice (CoP) can be applied into another CoP or group. This paper seeks to discuss the consequences of multi-membership for knowledge sharing in a CoP. Design/methodology/approach - The concept of multiple inclusion is used to explain why and how multi-membership can hold up knowledge sharing between groups. Findings - This case study shows that knowledge transfer between CoPs and teams can be problematic when norm sets between these two groups conflict. Originality/value - This paper concludes that CoPs can sustain when the "practice" remains at a safe distance from the "real" project work in teams that are guided by managerial objectives.

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doi.org/10.1108/09534810710760090, hdl.handle.net/1765/63577
Journal of Organizational Change Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Bogenrieder, I.M, & van Baalen, P.J. (2007). Contested practice: Multiple inclusion in double-knit organizations. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 20(4), 579–595. doi:10.1108/09534810710760090