Strategic Knowledge Management: Theory, Practice, and Future Challenges

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Knowledge Management

Call for Papers

Special Issue of Journal of Knowledge Management:

Strategic Knowledge Management: Theory, Practice, and Future Challenges

Guest Editors
Prof. João J. Ferreira
University of Beira Interior, Portugal

Prof. Jens Mueller
Waikato University, New Zealand

Dr. Armando Papa
University of Rome “Link Campus”, Italy 

Background and Special Issue Purpose
The current knowledge economy requires companies to create new business structures and new concepts for the management of its resources in order to remain competitive. The latest approaches to strategic management (Ferreira et al., 2016) tend to consider strategic alliances (as sources of knowledge), and intellectual capital (human, structural, and relational capital) as the main sources for a sustainable competitive advantage. In an increasingly globalized world, the survival of businesses management depends on their organizational intelligence, which is the result of information and knowledge systems they have, the skills of its employees and how they relate to its stakeholders (Durst and Edwadsson, 2012).

Strategic Knowledge Management (SKM) relates to the process and infrastructures organizations use to attain, create and share knowledge for formulating strategy and making strategic decisions (Zack, 2002). A knowledge strategy defines to overall approach an organization intents to take align its knowledge resources and capabilities to the intellectual requirements of its strategy. A strategic attitude is necessary to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

From a practice perception, businesses are seeing the prominence of managing knowledge if they to persist competitive and grow. Consequently, several firms everywhere are starting to dynamically manage their knowledge and innovation (Ferreira et al., 2015). Knowledge does matter, but the question is when, how and why? (Carayannis and Campbell, 2009). Today, knowledge matter further and in forms that are not always predictable or even controllable. Knowledge systems are so highly complex, dynamic and adaptive (Carayannis and Campbell, 2009).

Numerous views of knowledge are discussed in several diferent scientific areas, such as strategy, management, and organization theory literature as well as in philosophy. The diferent views of knowledge lead to diferent conceptualizations of (strategic) knowledge management. Our starting point is knowledge as strategic resource. This is in accordance with the business strategy theory, specifically the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm. The main propositions of the RBV is that competitive advantage is based on valuable and unique internal resources and capabilities that are costly to imitate for competitors (Wernerfelt, 1984; Barney, 1991).

We refer to SKM as a capability pertaining to knowledge creation, knowledge organization and storage, knowledge transfer, and knowledge applications which enhances a firm’s ability to gain and sustain a competitive advantage (Davenport and Prusak, 1998; Boisot, 1998; Ferreira et al., 2016; Heisig et al., 2016). The knowledge-based view of the firm states that these resources and capabilities are knowledge-related and knowledge-intensive resources and capabilities (Grant, 1997). Some questions can be raised: What resources can be used to create, acquire, and integrate knowledge in knowledge-intensive processes? How can knowledge intensive processes be designed, redesigned and adapted to changing technological and market conditions? And what resources and capabilities can be used to design the processes? 

In this regard, a key aspect of the process of knowledge creation and innovation is the ability of the organization to absorb external knowledge - absorption capacity. Absorptive capacity has emerged as a concept that connects across the literature on dynamic capabilities and organizational learning (Teece et al., 1997; Zollo and Winter, 2002). Absorptive capacity was defined by Cohen and Levinthal (1989: 569) as “the firm’s ability to identify, assimilate and exploit knowledge from the environment”.

Later, seeking to analyse the multidimensional nature of the concept, Zahra and George (2002) visualize absorptive capacity as a set of dynamic capabilities, through which companies acquire, assimilate, transform and apply to external information and therefore constitutes a pre- requirement needed to implement innovation processes. Absorptive capacity could enhance organizations’ capabilities to facilitate knowledge exchange processes, which can increase innovation performance (Hughes and Wareham, 2010; Patterson and Ambrosini, 2015) and competitive advantage (Zahra and George, 2002; Carayannis et al., 2016).

SKM considers the interaction between technological and intellectual resources essential for organizational survival (Heisig et al., 2016). This interaction is based on the distinction between the 'old world of business' and the 'global knowledge networking'.

Based on the discussion thus far, the purpose of this this special Issue of the Journal of Knowledge Management is to seek together scholarly thought from diferent disciplines to extant paradigms and/or to develop new theoretical conceptualizations. The guest editors invite authors to submit theoretical, empirical, and practice-based research papers using appropriate methodologies and tools of analysis that revisit and/or revise existing theory or perspectives to more accurately reflect the future challenges what we know (and do not know) about SKM. Such studies might be relevant, but not limited to:

- Strategic knowledge management theories;
- Strategic human resource practices and innovation performance;
- Strategic learning and knowledge management;
- Linkage between strategy and knowledge management;
- Role of IT in strategic knowledge management;
- Knowledge as a strategic resource:
- Knowledge creation, knowledge organization, and knowledge transfer;
- Resource-based view, competitive advantage and firm performance;
- Strategic alliances, intellectual capital, and networks;
- Strategic knowledge management and absorptive capacity;
- Strategic knowledge management, innovation and performance;
- Strategic knowledge management and dynamic capabilities;
- Strategic knowledge management and innovative behaviour;
- Managing strategic knowledge, technology and innovation;
- Strategic knowledge benchmarking system.

Guidelines for authors
Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. Please kindly read the author guidelines on the journal homepage before submitting your manuscript, to ensure it is consistent with the journal style

Manuscript submission deadline: 1st September 2017
Publication: expected within year 2018

Submission to the SI should be sent electronically on the Journal of Knowledge Management website through ScholarOne Manuscripts system: