Review and Validation of Literature Review Analysis – COP Characteristics

Following a meeting with my PhD supervisors two weeks ago, I have spent the last week and a half reviewing the Thematic Analysis of the COP characteristics as part of my latest paper which I am looking to publish. Over the next two weeks I plan on goiong through a process of review and validation of this analysis and the codes I produce.

The steps I have followed are outlined below:


Fig 1.0. Categorizing the COP characteristics under the three structural elements of a COP: Domain, Community and Practice.

The first step I took was to categorize the characteristics of a COP which I had extracted from the literature and list them under the three structural elements of a COP – Domain, Community and Practice. These three elements are highlighted in the literature as the three main parts of a COP – they are vital to any COP.

Fig 2.0. Participation, Learning and Knowledge are all linked to each other and to the three structural elements of a COP.

The next step I took was to list all the charcteristics of participation, learning and knowledge under such headings. These three elements are linked to each other, i.e. learning is a result of participation in a COP and participation in a COP leads to the construction of knowledge. All three characteristics are linked to the Practice and Community aspect of a COP.


Fig 3.0. Coding the data.

Categorizing the characterisitcs under Domain, Community and Practice could be viewed as a form of coding. Once I had that completed, I set about coding the data a second time – i.e. what was the data saying, what was it talking about. I identified the follwing codes:


  • members are involved in a similar area of work
  • members are aware of what each other can and can’t do
  • same problems are experienced my members
  • members have expertise in an area and they develop expertise
  • members know what they want to talk about
  • members measure how effective their work is
  • members share the same view of the world


  • members help each other
  • members learning together and from each other
  • members develop experience
  • members build relationships through communications
  • working together aids learning
  • members develop an understanding


  • members engage with each other
  • members interaction with each other
  • members may be distributed globally
  • members share information and resources with each other
  • members engage in joint activities


I didn’t code any further as I want to validate the codes I have established so far with my supervisors this afternoon. I personally think the codes need to go deeper than the ones I have produced thus far but I will discuss it further later on.

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