Virtual communities in the law enforcement environment : do these systems lead to enhanced organizational memory
Yavneh, Jonathan S.
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There is a large body of research on the topic of knowledge management and organizational memory, as well as on the topic of communities of practice and virtual communities of practice. This research looked at three law enforcement and intelligence related case studies and how the use of Virtual Communities of Practice (VCoP) in these law enforcement environments can mitigate the loss of organizational memory. This research looked at these VCoPs in an attempt to determine if explicit and tacit knowledge shared in these VCoP environments can be codified and ultimately reduce the loss of organizational memory. The research methodology used in this thesis project is the case study approach. A qualitative analysis of messages, postings, and conversations contained within the VCoP was used to identify the transfer of both explicit and tacit knowledge. Data collection and analysis was conducted based on three VCoP sites. The research conducted for this thesis suggested that a VCoP can mitigate the loss of organizational memory. Interview data, along with case site reviews, support the use of VCoP to mitigate the loss of organizational memory while providing a means for the transfer of explicit knowledge by those participating in the VCoP.
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