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Many psychological and educational theories attempt to explain how a person’s environment impacts his ability to learn and understand. A person’s social connections form an environment that has become a focus in educational institutions and learning organizations. For example, the developmental theory of social constructivism suggests that a person’s culture and context in social settings allow groups to construct knowledge jointly for the benefit of the group. This concept was further expounded in the IBM Systems Journal article titled “Communities of Practice and Organizational Performance” where the authors identify a community as “a group whose members regularly engage in sharing and learning, based on their common interests,” or a community of practice. The authors conclude that:
. . . communities play a significant role in the development of social capital, which in turn influences organizational outcomes. ...