Collective Knowledge and Social Innovation in Communities of Practice

The Case of the Slow Food Movement in Italy

Authored by: Luca Cacciolatti , Soo Hee Lee

The Routledge Companion to Knowledge Management

Print publication date:  May  2022
Online publication date:  May  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367631055
eBook ISBN: 9781003112150
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



This chapter presents a novel knowledge management model for communities of practice (CoPs) seeking to foster social innovation. CoPs can leverage collective knowledge by acquiring implicit knowledge from existing social resources and putting it into explicit utilisation to increase the production of artefacts and members’ participation. Thus, we investigate the mechanism that enables social innovation through CoP governance. We validate the conceptual model with a case study of the Slow Food Movement (SFM) in Italy. This unique case illustrates how the creation, consolidation, and dissemination of knowledge are made possible by the CoPs frame. In the case of the SFM, the typical decentralised governance of CoPs characterised by self-management and ownership of work is backed up by a charismatic leader. Such a leader displays a mix of solid values and strong collaboration and coordination capabilities. Our findings reveal that CoPs emerge from the evolutionary process of collective learning and knowledge management, serving as an effective engine for social innovation.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.