To promote active participation within the OCoP, members need to perceive it as relevant and capable of meeting their learning needs (Hoffmann et al, 2009).
Wenger et al (2009) have also shifted thinking in this area and discuss the facilitator role as a technology steward supporting the smooth running of the OCoP but this may be a shared or a developmental activity.
At a macro level, two authors suggested that a lack of organisational recognition and managerial support was perceived to be a potential issue although this was before OCoP development (David et al, 2012; Sinclair and Levett-Jones, 2011).
Employees may not feel free to post information or questions on an OCoP without checking with their supervisor first.
There would appear to be value in developing an OCoP to promote knowledge and provide professional support; although implementation can only be successful if the intended users can see the relevance and are willing to use it (Hoffman et al, 2011).
Creech and Ramji (2004) suggest that it can take one to three years for members to get to know each other, develop trust and engage in higher level activities, such as an OCoP. MacPhee et al (2009) identify that a common mistake is to not allow enough time for members to become familiar with networking activities.
Questions of libel and copyright apply when users post content created by others or comments about other people and need to be understood to ensure effective use of the OCoP. Privacy policies and adequate controls need to be in place to protect the storage and exchange of organisational knowledge.
Novel strategies to demonstrate the value of this knowledge need to be included in the OCoP design and have been adopted by successful business organisations to promote dissemination and improve performance (Wenger et al, 2002).
Wenger et al (2002) recommend using nontraditional methods to assess the value of the OCoP including listening to member's stories, which can clarify the complex relationships among activities, knowledge and performance.
* The online community of practice (OCoP) can start simply by using existing technology to create a network that can be developed into a learning community
* The benefits of an OCoP include the opportunities to engage in knowledge transfer and professional support within a safe space that is easily accessible across locations