Knowledge and Communities is the first book dedicated to a major new knowledge management topic. "Communities of Practice" are cross-organizational groups of people sharing knowledge, solving common problems, and exchanging insights and frustrations. Knowledge and Communities, a collection of authoritative articles, describes the dynamics of these groups and explains how they enable organizational knowledge to be creating, shared, and applied. The book teaches how organizations can empower both traditional and on-line communities and make them a cornerstone of a general knowledge management strategy. Readers will learn how communities can help unify an organization and its external stakeholders, such as customers and suppliers, and how they can critically support an e-commerce strategy. Knowledge and Communities will help readers understand a primary vehicle for building an organization's social capital and competitive advantage.