Communities of practice as an enabler for improved performance of an engineering organization. A design science research approach
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This thesis seeks to use a design science approach to develop a solution to a managerial field problem with “lack of impact on organization” as experienced by the technical management-unit of the engineering company HMH. Diagnostic research was conducted in the form of a qualitative empirical study involving organizational processes and stakeholders to explore the causes and consequences of the field problem, with an aim to develop a deep understanding of root causes to the problem. Three major causes were identified, among these was the cause “inactive discipline network” selected as target problem-cause for development of a design proposition. The developed design proposition following the so-called “CIMO”-logic was grounded on academic and practitioner literature within fields of communities of practice, change management, implementation theory and organizational learning. This thesis’s contribution is a design proposition providing a set of interventions found to produce outcomes that will contribute to an active successful community of practice (CoP). The proposition aims to improve impact of the technical management-unit through active communities of practice contributing to increased knowledge sharing, increased organizational learning and improved adoption of common best-practices. The design proposition has due to time limitations, not been field tested as required for a valid design science solution. The thesis includes recommendations for implementation in the client organization and suggest areas for further design related to the same field problem.