Wenger, Etienne C., Snyder, William M. (2000) Communities of practice: The Organizational Frontier, Harvard Business Review, January-February 2000, pp. 139-145

Communities of practice are defined as follows: “They’re groups of people informally bound together by shared expertise and passion for a joint enterprise”. People in these communities share their expertise and knowledge in free-flowing, creative ways that foster new approaches to problems. They solve problems quickly, since they know who and how to ask. Communities of practice can exist entirely within a business unit or stretch across divisional boundaries, or even across company boundaries. Since communities of practice are informal they organize themselves. They set their own agendas and establish leadership. Membership in a community of practice is self-selected.