Interdependencies between organizations are constantly increasing. Hence, more companies and employees are engaged in inter-organizational Communities of Practice (CoP). This paper focuses on the life cycle of such communities, using the case example of a German innovation network. For this reason, a literature review was undertaken to derive a conceptual life cycle model. Based on our research we found that the CoP life cycle model can be applied and extended with an additional phase identified in the case. Moreover, our results show that externally founded, interorganizational CoP can be successful as well, which is a fact that is mostly neglected in the literature on CoP. Further (especially quantitative) research is recommended to strengthen the theoretical background of CoP.
Moderne Konzepte Des Organisationalen Marketing, 2014, p. 111-124