In their striving to learn about information technology innovations, organizations draw on knowledge resources available in the diverse organizational communities that converge around those innovations. But even as such organizations learn about an innovation, so too does the larger community. Community learning takes place as its members reflect upon their learning and contribute their experiences, observations, and insights to the community’s on-going innovation discourse. Community learning and organizational learning thus build upon one another in a reciprocal process, or cycle, over time, as the stock of interpretations, adoption rationales, implementation strategies, and utilization patterns is expanded and refined. Relative to this overall cycle, we explore the neglected aspect that concerns how community learning draws on organizational learning. Analyzing the community discourse on enterprise resource planning (ERP) over the past 14 years, we found that different types of organizational actors played different roles, at different times, in contributing different types of knowledge to the discourse. Research analysts and technology vendors took leadership early on in articulating the know-what (conceptualization and interpretation) and know-why (justification) for ERP. Later on, adopters came to dominate the discourse through contributions of know-how (capacitation). We situate these observations in a larger model of the learning cycle, and outline a number of areas for future research on the crucial interactions between organizational and community learning in IT innovation.
Wang, Ping and Ramiller, Neil, "Community Learning in Information Technology Fashion" (2004). ICIS 2004 Proceedings. 4.