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The popularity of Knowledge Management (KM) has increased rapidly from the 1990’s, and the subject has become a central topic of management philosophy. KM should be seen within the broader context of the relevant changes taking place in the global economic framework. The literature has suggested that knowledge is socially constructed and inseparable from the communities of practice in which it is supported. At the same time, lifelong learning has become a challenge both at the organisational and at the individual level, and this new emphasis on learning poses challenges for Human Resource Development (HRD) professionals. This study investigates the interpersonal process by which knowledge is shared in the HRD Office’s communities of practice of an Italian Bank. The nature of the interpersonal knowledge sharing process is illustrated through a qualitative case study. Key benefits of the interpersonal process are the contextualisation and de-contextualisation activities accomplished at both the demand negotiation stage and the knowledge transfer stage. This process utilises the community’s shared language, cultural norms, social etiquette to allow knowledge to be transferred meaningfully among those HRD professionals. The interpersonal process enables these professionals to practice, learn and enjoy the sharing experience. The focus of this paper is on the growing importance of networks and the human side of KM, and on the critical need to integrate knowledge and action.

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How to Cite
Cassai, P. (2013). The human side of knowledge management: knowledge sharing in a community of practice. Journal of E-Learning and Knowledge Society, 9(3).