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longitudinal case studies #case-studies


Matt Moore <innotecture@...>
 

Tom,

> And what about longitudinal studies that look across multiple cases over time?

These can be very powerful indeed. Have you come across any examples of this in the KM field?

Regards,

Matt


Murray Jennex
 

In a message dated 12/14/2009 12:47:07 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, innotecture@... writes:
Tom,

> And what about longitudinal studies that look across multiple cases over time?

These can be very powerful indeed. Have you come across any examples of this in the KM field?

Regards,

Matt

 
I published an 8 year longitudinal study of organizational memory/knowledge management in an engineering organization.  As far as I know it was the first one published and I've only seen a couple since, most not really longitudinal in that they look at a year or two. 
 
I've used the longitudinal study as the basis for the KM success model
 
thanks...murray


John David Smith <john.smith@...>
 

Matt,

 

I agree that the longitudinal view is very powerful – can make up for a lot defects or blind-spots on the part of the observer.  Some years ago it struck me that a lot of what consultants in the business (like me) had to say about communities of practice was based on a snapshot, after the fact, of a successful effort.  (Or they were based on a lot of theory.)   The ups and downs, complexities, and ambiguities of real life are missing.  So at CPsquare we organized a series called “Shadow the Leader” where we meet (on the phone) with a community leader once a month for a whole year.  The first experience was so rich we used the example in the first chapter of Digital Habitats (http://bit.ly/DigitalHabitats ).

 

So now we’re in our fourth year doing it.  Each year we’ve shadowed a different leader.  Here are some blog posts describing what we’ve done:

 

http://cpsquare.org/2009/09/shadowing-josien-kapma/

http://cpsquare.org/2009/07/shadow-the-leader/

http://cpsquare.org/2008/07/shadow-a-wikipedian-glimpsing-his-community/

http://cpsquare.org/2008/01/platforms-for-communities-of-practice/

http://cpsquare.org/2006/03/sustained-virtual-accompaniment-of-a-community-leader/

 

It does take some sustained effort to do this.  Some CPsquare members feel a bit intimidated if they haven’t participated continuously from the beginning of a year because they don’t have all the context.  But I think there’s an interesting phenomenon: the leader we shadow feels shadowed so they have the experience of explaining fully what they are doing with their community.

 

Bottom line: it’s clear that this is a very powerful practice if you are interested in communities of practice. Exactly what you learn in each case is much harder to summarize.   Among other things, I find that it makes me a bit less glib in talking about communities and more aware of the huge diversity of viable and productive communities that exist.

 

John

* John David Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype & Twitter: smithjd

* Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net

* The book: http://bit.ly/DigitalHabitats by Wenger, White, & Smith

* “One law for the lion and ox is oppression.” - William Blake