Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Daniel Hanson

Second Advisor

Steven Manderscheid


Innovation helps bring competitive advantage to organizations. Without competitive advantage organizations are in danger of not surviving. Two initiatives have recently emerged to support innovation: Communities of Practice (CoPs) and Social Networking. Communities of Practice provide an opportunity to organizations where innovation is created through the knowledge-sharing and informed ways of working. Social Networking is being utilized in organizations to foster collaboration and expose expertise for employees to tap into.

The purpose of this study is to determine the value of combining CoPs with social networks. This will be done by studying communities in the MIX (Medtronic Information Exchange) social networking environment. Communities of practice may be inclined to utilize the capabilities of MIX, thus increasing innovation in the organization.


SC 11.MAL.2011.Brill.PK