Leadership Challenges in Communities of Practice: Supporting Facilitators Via Design and Technology

Halbana Tarmizi, Gert Jan de Vreede, Ilze Zigurs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Organizations have the potential to achieve advantage through communities of practice (COPs) initiatives. However, establishing and sustaining COPs is a challenging task. Facilitation is needed to help COPs overcome difficulties throughout their life stages. Facilitators take on leadership roles within these virtual communities, yet little is known about the challenges related to their roles. This paper contributes in helping to improve leadership in COP by highlighting challenges in facilitating COP and by providing potential solutions addressing those challenges. A recent survey of facilitators reveals challenges faced by facilitators in performing their tasks within COPs. The issue of participation was identified as the main concern in COP facilitation. Several design and technology initiatives are discussed for their potential to help facilitators in coping with the participation issue and providing essential leadership roles within communities of practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-39
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of e-Collaboration (IJeC)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • communication systems
  • communities of practice
  • electronic collaboration
  • facilitation
  • leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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