Leading and Managing Virtual Communities of Practice (VCoPs): A Contextual Understanding and Exploration
Increasing amount of work is performed today in geographically dispersed team settings that transcend the boundaries of time, space, culture, and territory. An in-depth comprehension of the complexities involved in leading and managing these communities of practice could not be greater. Any group of individuals meeting together for a common, well-defined purpose over a certain period of time, can be loosely defined as a “community of practice” (CoP); however, when the work is primarily carried out in cyberspace using computer mediated communication (CMC) and its attendant tools and accessories, we generally refer to such communities as “virtual communities of practice” (VCoPs). While the extant literature on networking technologies reveals a lot of research already conducted on the technographic profile, virtual experiences of community members, and the impact of technology on communication, it is relatively mute when it comes to an understanding of the emotional experiences of leading and managing VCoPs. This paper explores the various aspects of leading, facilitating, learning, and participating in virtual or asynchronous platforms with a special emphasis on the intersection of “virtuality” and “emotion."
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