Aprendizagem e compartilhamento de conhecimento em comunidades virtuais de prática: estudo de caso na comunidade virtual de desenvolvimento de software livre debian-br-cdd.




This dissertations primary objective is to analyze how learning and knowledge sharing processes take place in virtual communities of practice, identifying how individual knowledge turns into collective knowledge. Communities of practice exist since Antiquity, however, it was only recently that they started being researched by the academic community and stimulated by leading organizations. Such virtual communities are seen as a privileged locus of learning and, as a consequence, as sources of competitive advantage by organizations. More recently, with the advent of the Internet, emerged the virtual communities of practice, which are electronic networks where members, interested and engaged in a common practice, congregate voluntarily to exchange experiences and knowledge regarding a subject. These communities are distinguished from the traditional communities of practice by the absence of face-to-face communication in their interactions, which are, in this case, mediated by the computer. Although there has already been a reasonable volume of studies about the communities of practice, mainly abroad, the same doesnt occur with the virtual communities of practice. The data from the research carried out in the Free Software development community DEBIAN-BR-CDD a virtual community of practice was analyzed on the basis of qualitative and quantitative techniques and has corroborated, in general, results of previous research on learning of individuals in work situations and on processes associated with the transformation of the knowledge acquired into organizational or collective knowledge. Such data has indicated that, even in the virtual environment, individual learning does take place, by means of learning strategies used by its members, such as seeking information in technical material provided by the community, learning by doing and also by requesting help from the community. This knowledge acquired by the individuals, has been transformed into DEBIANBR-CDDs collective knowledge by means of codification and socialization processes. Throughout the processes of socialization, there has been emphasis on the interactions through asynchronous tools (especially the discussion list), the interactions through synchronous tools and the use of the control version tool, whereas the most used processes of codification have been the registering of problems in a bug database, the use of the control version tool, the elaboration of technical manuals and of the database of Frequently Asked Questions. There have been still found evidences that, while the technology is doubtlessly important to support the interactions in the context of the virtual communities of practice, aspects such as motivation and the level of knowledge of the participants, allied to trust and to identification with the community, are vital in facilitating the sharing of knowledge amongst the network participants, opening possibilities for learning to take place.


free software knowledge sharing virtual communities of practice administracao de setores especificos comunidades de prática software livre aprendizagem comunidades virtuais de prática communities of practice compartilhamento de conhecimento learning

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