Influential Journey’s Through Dental Communities of Practice: A Phenomenological Based Enquiry Approach


  • Debbie Reed University of Kent
  • Helen Woodruff
  • Tania Hopper
  • Benjamin Nicholls



Community of Practice, Dental, Professional Journey, Phenomenological.


Objective: To identify meaningful factors influencing the dental professional’s transit within Communities of Practice (CoPs).

Methods: A phenomenological methodology approach was taken to conduct interviews with 7 dental elites (plus 1 pilot interview) identified through purposive sampling; all had held central positions of influence within dental CoPs; all had journeyed to those positions from the periphery of the Community of Practice (CoP). A semi-structured phenomenological based interview schedule was utilised for data collection and thematic analysis was employed for data analysis.

Results:Coding led to the identification of four progressive and interlinked emergent themes related to the meanings that the individual participants placed on their journeys undertaken from peripheral participation to the centre: Self Awareness; Social Awareness; Cultural Awareness and Transformatory Awareness.

Conclusion: The journeys undertaken by individuals navigating their own trajectory within a dental CoP require a significant undertaking of awareness development across a

number of significant areas. Successful negotiation of those sites requires a preparedness for growth, adaption and evolution.

The implications for practice and suggestions for other research are included.



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How to Cite

Reed, D., Woodruff, H., Hopper, T., & Nicholls, B. (2017). Influential Journey’s Through Dental Communities of Practice: A Phenomenological Based Enquiry Approach. Advanced Journal of Professional Practice, 1(1).