This study examines how members of core (engineers) and peripheral (technical writers) professional communities are creating new knowledge. Base of field observation and interviews from DigTel, an innovative technology firm, we explore how specific interaction mechanism, the chavruta, borrowed from Judaic religious tradition, creates dialogical practices that enable technical writers and engineers to capture each other's language and to reflexively create knowledge out of their discourse. We demonstrate how the chavruta enable to bridge status and power and transform occupational differences into collaboration. We provide a theoretical explanation for the way local knowledge created at the chavruta has served as a new context for new knowledge through engineers and technical writers managing three dialogical practices - learning, inquiry, negotiation and knowledge sharing.
- knowledge creation
- occupational communities
- practice, collaborative knowledge work