Leadership in Communities of Practice

Written by Randolph Preisinger-Kleine on Tuesday, 29 April 2014. Posted in Discuss Topics

Leadership in Communities of Practice


Beverly and Etienne Wenger-Trayner in their recent blog post described distributed leadership as a key feature of Communities of Practice. Distributed leadership helps to expand the social learning capabilities of a Community of Practice, and push forward their overall learning process.

In order to implement the concept of distributed leadership, Wenger-Trayner propose to set up  leadership groups, each of which serves a specific learning need of the community.

  • Agenda activists: driving the learning forward
  • Community keepers: weaving the social fabric
  • Critical friends: reflecting on the process
  • Social reporters: creating a shared memory
  • External messengers: communicating with external audiences
  • Value detectives: making value-creation visible
  • Organizational brokers: connecting with organizational stakeholders

The authors in their blog post provide a detailed description of each of these group types, the formation process and their specific functioning in the wider context of Communities of Practice.

Link to blog post



About the Author

Randolph Preisinger-Kleine

Randolph Preisinger-Kleine

Dr. phil. Preisinger-Kleine has considerable expertise on the topic of learning cities and regions as well as quality development in education. He participated in several European projects related to this project: CERN, TESTSCAN, ICONET, ICOVET, EVAL IV, R3L+, BEQUAL etc. He published several articles on the subject of this project, including a widely noticed article in the CEDEFOP European journal (12/02) on organisational learning. Since 1998 he works on quality development in VET and adult education, since 2004 he is concerned with e-learning development, development of social software architectures, and the development of pedagogy frameworks for virtual learning environments. He has developed various virtual communities of practice, such as the CoPs within the Leonardo da Vinci project "ICONET - European Network for Informal Learning" (CoP of practitioners & validators of informal learning), within the KA3 project G8WAY (CoP of career counsellors & supporters of young students on the transition from school | university to work), and the CoP of European learning city | region stakeholders within the Grundtvig multilateral project R3L+. Moreover, he is developing CoP-based platforms for the creative industries, such K10.

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This project is funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.