Unrecognised to institutionalised
The Communities of Practice have many varieties of relationships to with the organisations which range from completely the unrecognised to the largely institutionalised ones For example, consider the group of nurses on a ward who meet regularly for lunch and discuss the patient cases. Over time, a history of known cases will be created which could be used for examining new problems. Yet, it was not explicitly made aware of the lunches which had become one of the main sources of new knowledge. Also, the hospital administration weren't aware of the value of the informal lunch discussions. On the other end of the spectrum, some of the communities have found this so valuable that they have been included into the official structure of the organisation. Such kind of institutionalisation can add the legitimacy and the resources to the community of practice without violating the internal drive. Between the invisibility and institutionalisation, there is an entire range of possible relationships.