Communities of innovation: Individual, group, and organizational characteristics leading to greater potential for innovation

A 2013 AECT Research & Theory Division Invited Paper

Abstract

In this paper I will explain what I see as some of the core attributes of Communities of Innovation, or communities fostering collaborative creativity, and what we have learned from the research literature about each attribute. There is a critical need to design learning environments that foster creative thinking in students, particularly in the area of collaborative creativity. Many of the current problems and challenges graduates will face in society and industry are too large to be faced alone. However, the research and pedagogical understanding of how to develop skills in collaborative creativity is still underdeveloped. In seeking to understand what collaborative creativity would look like in education, I reviewed the literature on organizational and social creativity, along with social learning theory, to develop a framework of characteristics common to most environments that foster collaborative creativity in students (West, 2009). This framework describing Communities of Innovation explains some of the similar characteristics at the individual, group, and organizational levels of innovative communities.

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West, R.E. Communities of innovation: Individual, group, and organizational characteristics leading to greater potential for innovation. TECHTRENDS TECH TRENDS 58, 53–61 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-014-0786-x

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Keywords

  • creativity
  • innovation
  • collaborative creativity
  • collaborative learning
  • group creativity
  • communities of innovation