The pursuit of knowledge is not relegated solely to the individual. Businesses regularly gather staff and other stakeholders with the intent of working together to gain knowledge that can assist in the goals of the organization.

When an organization puts together a knowledge-based community, it shows that it is not only invested in the advancement of the business but also has a vested interest in the people that make up the organization.

Overview: What is a knowledge-based community?

A knowledge-based community is a group of people that are usually within the same organization and are collectively focused on an objective or common interest. This community shares its knowledge and creates advanced ideas and practices that add value to a company. A knowledge-based community is very similar to a think tank.

7 benefits of a knowledge-based community

There are some clear benefits to having a knowledge-based community as part of an organization:

1. Creates an environment that can facilitate a company’s improvement

Knowledge-based communities foster an environment where knowledge is created as well as shared. This knowledge is then used to improve a company’s effectiveness, innovation, and efficiency.

2. A diverse group of voices that find synergy

A knowledge-based community consists of people from various departments in an organization. This diversity serves as a benefit, especially when it can find a unity of thought.

3. Not limited by time constraints

Unlike a team, a knowledge-based community is not limited by time-specific targets. Instead, it is operating indefinitely.

4. Knowledge gains value

Unlike things like capital, land, or labor, knowledge continues to gain value the more it is used. Knowledge-based communities become more effective and efficient with use.

5. Quicker problem-solving

A knowledge-based community contributes to the operation of strategies as well as the ability to solve problems quickly. It can also respond faster to the requirements and needs of an organization’s customer base.

6. Knowledge retention

Having a knowledge-based community in place helps retain knowledge should an employee leave the organization.

7. Learning curve reduction

A knowledge-based community cuts down on the learning curve when new staff is brought on.

Why is a knowledge-based community important to understand?

Knowledge-based communities are important to understand for the following reasons:

Particular attributes

Understanding the unique attributes of a knowledge-based community is important if you are planning on having one put together to benefit your organization.

Know its limitations

Having an understanding of how a knowledge-based community works is important so that you realize what it can do for your organization as well as its limitations.


Understanding what goes into a knowledge-based community is important so that the right members are brought into the community. The effectiveness of a knowledge-based community is dependent on the harmony between its members and the organization’s values.

An industry example of a knowledge-based community

A skateboarding company decides that it should develop an internal knowledge-based community in order to help provide direction toward attaining company goals. The first step it takes in developing its community is to decide on a well-defined theme for the community. Next, it lays out the precise objectives of the community. Then, the community decides on a leader—someone who will be proactive as well as respect all of the community members. Finally, the stakeholders starting it up determine that the organization has a strong amount of support for a knowledge-based community.

3 best practices when thinking about a knowledge-based community

If you’re thinking about starting a knowledge-based community in your company, here are some best practices to be mindful of:

1. Investment in people

There needs to be an understanding among all stakeholders in the organization of the value that comes with the knowledge that is derived from people as opposed to relying on databases.

2. Technology is only a conduit

While technology is always advancing along with the ways that we communicate, these things are only conduits and facilitators for knowledge.

3. Understand human behavior

Since you will be bringing together such a diverse group of people to make up a knowledge-based community, having a solid understanding of human behavior will be imperative.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about a knowledge-based community

How does knowledge productivity relate to economic success?

Knowledge productivity is a decisive factor in economic success.

What types of members might make up a knowledge-based community?

A knowledge-based community might consist of various people from different departments of an organization. There may also be consultants, suppliers, clients, and researchers.

What qualities link members of a knowledge-based community?

There are five elements that should connect the members of a knowledge-based community. These are loyalty, friendship, mutual benefit, respect, and reliability.

Knowledge-based communities in your company

Whether your business is small, medium, or large, having a knowledge-based community in place could offer real benefits. While a small company may have just one in their organization, large corporations often have several. Regardless of the size of your business, having this type of community can lead to better problem-solving, innovation, and a sense of unity among stakeholders.
About the Author