How do communities of practice transform their practices?

Guy Hefetz, Dani Ben-Zvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As the pace of change in our world increases, the ability of communities to transform their practices becomes more crucial. Previous research indicated that when a community faces a need to develop its practices, members do not invent improved practices from scratch. Rather, they create improved practices by combining relevant practices from other communities in which they have participated. This combination of practices is referred to as hybridization. Despite the importance of hybridization, we have not found in the literature a fine-grained analysis of an actual hybridization process. Our purpose is to advance the understanding of the transformation of community practices through such an analysis. We employ a case study approach to analyze the transformation of practices in a community of teacher educators (N = 5), based in a department of informal education in an Israeli teachers college. Results suggest that the transformation of practices occurs through a four-stage process: (1) members adopt needs and corresponding practices through participation in other communities; (2) individual members recognize needs which are unmet by existing community practices; (3) a shared recognition in the importance of these needs arises within the community's discourse; and (4) in response to this recognition, the community creates various conceptual alternatives to existing practices by hybridizing relevant practices from other communities in which members participated. The significance of this study is in its fine-grained description of this transformation.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number100410
JournalLearning, Culture and Social Interaction
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Brokering
  • Communities of practice
  • Hybridization
  • Learning
  • Practice
  • Transformation of practices

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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