Drawing upon the Communities of Innovation (COI) framework, this study seeks to identify the composition (functional demographic diversity), team climate (vision, participatory safety, task orientation, support for innovation), and process (group reflection, group flow, group conflict, dynamic expertise) variables that influence team-level innovation. Using data from 15 business school teams enrolled in a class on innovation and entrepreneurship, I explore the extent to which the proposed composition, team climate, and process variables discriminate between high-ranking and low-ranking innovative teams. I also investigate the degree to which these variables are conceptually and empirically distinct. Given the relative importance of dynamic expertise as a group process, I seek to answer how dynamic expertise is fostered in COIs. Finally, this study seeks to answer the degree to which the proposed composition, team climate, and process variables influence team level innovation. I found significantly greater levels of vision, participatory safety, support for innovation, group reflection, group flow, and dynamic expertise and significantly lower levels of group conflict in high-ranking innovative teams. No significant differences in levels of task orientation and functional diversity existed. Furthermore, the identified COI elements, particularly the team climate measures, are moderately correlated, suggesting that some elements of the COI are not empirically distinct. I found dynamic expertise to be of particular importance to COIs, and demonstrated that a supportive environment and group flow are particularly important to its development. Finally, results from a multinomial logistic regression model showed that support for innovation, group flow, and dynamic expertise were positively associated with the likelihood of being in a high-ranking innovative team. Implications for the COI framework are discussed.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Sociology



Date Submitted


Document Type





communities of innovation, group process, dynamic expertise, innovation



Included in

Sociology Commons