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This paper discusses some of the difficulties involved in using the concepts of 'communities of practice' and 'networks of practice' when understanding the exchange of knowledge among globally dispersed communities of professionals. It proposes rethinking 'networks of practice' as heterogeneous networks in the sense used by the actor-network theory. The revised concept is illustrated with examples from the author's study of software developers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and their ties to global technology.
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Keywords: Brazil; ICTs; actor-network theory; communities of practice; globalization; software development

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Information, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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