Co-Evolution of Organizations in Infrastructure Planning: The Role of Communities of Practice as Windows for Collective Learning Across Project-Oriented Organizations

Bert de Groot*, Wim Leendertse, Jos Arts

*Corresponding author for this work

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Challenges in infrastructure planning require public infrastructure administrators, responsible for providing adequate infrastructure facilities, to be adaptive. These organizations evolve and interact with other organizations in a complex organizational landscape. This paper explores the contribution of inter-organizational communities of practice (CoPs) to collective learning and co-evolution of organizations in infrastructure planning. We conducted a case study of five inter-organizational CoPs in the domain of a typical public infrastructure administrator. The results suggest that inter-organizational CoPs enable, for example, policy and practice to co-evolve. Inter-organizational CoPs seem to provide a neutral ground where long-term sector benefits can overcome short-term organizational interests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1328-1356
JournalAdministration & Society
Issue number7
Early online date11-Jun-2022
Publication statusPublished - 1-Aug-2022


  • adaptive capacity
  • co-evolution
  • collective learning
  • community of practice
  • infrastructure planning
  • project-oriented organization

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