The Odyssey of Ph.D. Students Becoming a Community of Practice
Business Communication Quarterly Volume 67, Number 2, ISSN 1080-5699
Wenger's theory of communities of practice (CoPs) helps explain how a group of Ph.D. students in the Department of Management Communication at the University of Waikato in New Zealand met a need for emotional and academic support and reduced isolation as they developed regular opportunities for face-to-face and virtual discussions on theory and technical and emotive issues. An analysis of this process makes three contributions to communities of practice scholarship: It documents "catalyzing" circumstances for CoP creation, places the Ph.D. quest in the context of existing CoP theory, and identifies a critical point that precedes CoP formation in the existing CoP model. Highlighting the shared experience of postgraduate students opens up opportunities for CoP formation that can help students emerge from isolation into a supportive peer community. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
Janson, A. & Howard, L. (2004). The Odyssey of Ph.D. Students Becoming a Community of Practice. Business Communication Quarterly, 67(2), 168-181.