The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation
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The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation

Edited by Harald Bathelt, Patrick Cohendet, Sebastian Henn and Laurent Simon

This unique Companion provides a comprehensive overview and critical evaluation of existing conceptualizations and new developments in innovation research. It draws on multiple perspectives of innovation, knowledge and creativity from economics, geography, history, management, political science and sociology. The Companion brings together leading scholars to reflect upon innovation as a concept (Part I), innovation and institutions (Part II), innovation and creativity (Part III), innovation, networking and communities (Part IV), innovation in permanent spatial settings (Part V), innovation in temporary, virtual and open settings (Part VI), innovation, entrepreneurship and market making (Part VII), and the governance and management of innovation (Part VIII).
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Chapter 21: Community, creativity and innovation

Joanne Roberts


Creativity and innovation are central to the competiveness of businesses and nations in the current era. Social interaction embedded in communities is increasingly recognized as a rich source of creative activity. Hence, communities are being nurtured and adopted by business organizations with the purpose of promoting and appropriating the creative and innovative potential that they offer. This chapter aims to critically examine the relationship between community, creativity and innovation to reveal how community can facilitate creative and innovative activity. The chapter begins by considering the concepts of community, creativity and innovation before going on to explore the creative potential of community through a review of the communities of practice approach to understanding and facilitating learning and knowledge generation. This is followed by an examination of different types of community as sites of creativity and innovation. The potential of communities to inhibit creativity and innovation is then considered before brief conclusions are drawn.

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