Promoting knoweldge practices for stimulating innovation in Society 5.0: integrating humans and technology for building smarter and sustainable managerial perspectives

Submissions open 1st September 2023


Over the last decades, the rapid spread of digital devices is forcing companies and organizations to adopt digital technologies for refraiming their business models, activities and processes digitally. 

It is widely acknowledged that the digitalization of businesses and the explosion of data collection and analysis may foster the development of innovation (Lee et al., 2014; Corvello et al. 2023). However, the implementation of a smart technological architecture is not synchronous with the emergence of innovation (Chen et al., 2015; Troisi et al., 2020).

To pursue innovation, the role of human component and the fulfilment of social needs should be taken into account (Perri et al., 2020; Visvizi et al., 2021). This notwithstanding, the literature on innovation tends to focus mainly on technology, rather than on the exploration of human component and on the identification of the requisites (skills, attitude, orientation, competencies, knowledge) necessary for people to seize innovation opportunities (Corvello et al., 2022a; Troisi and Grimaldi, 2022).

Digital transformation can have some negative aspects, such as security risks and privacy issues, or the intensification of digital divide (Kashef et al., 2021; Troisi et al., 2022). However, technological evolution cannot be avoided and any kind of organized entity should comply with the challenges of digital era. In such a vein, the technological ‘evolution’ requires to be better understood, managed, and depicted in order to support the emergence of managerial and business models able to combine human and technology sides under a common conceptual framework (Caputo et al., 2019; Del Giudice et al., 2023).

Following the conceptual trace depicted by recent managerial and social contributions, it seems possible to higlighight an increasing relevance of knowledge practices in ensuring organizations’ ability in combining digital and human skills for building new opportunities for creating value (Caputo et al., 2019, 2023; Scuotto et al., 2021). Knowledge management is attracting the attention of both researchers and practioners interested in understanding how the ‘negative’ aspects of digital transformation can be reduced by promoting knowledge sharing practices (Luqman et al., 2022) for bulding ambidextrous organizations (Vrontis et al., 2017) in which knowledge hiding is overcomed trough the definition of digital platforms able to support cognitive and information alignement (Caputo et al., 2021, 2022).

Therefore, a new paradigm seems to emerge under the locution of Society 5.0 (CSTI, 2016), which involves the balance of economic, technological, and social outcomes and promotes the role of skills, knowledge, and humans in the development of innovation.

Society 5.0 defines the proper exploitation of technological innovation by leveraging on ICTs and smart technologies to shape the future smart society. According to this perspective, is imperative that research analyses the relationships between physical space and cyberspace to understand how technology can bring new opportunities for growth and development in the social space to properly balance economic and technological advancements with the resolution of social problems. 

Innovation can potentially have a huge impact on the development of more sustainable production cycles, products services, and also new human-centric business and management models (Lazaretti et al., 2019; Cillo et al., 2021). The different novelties produced by the development of innovation (from production to delivery to strategies and marketing) should generate positive economic, social, and environmental results (Debashree De et al., 2019; Troisi et al., 2021).

In an era of disruption, innovation can restructure economic aspects of the market, by creating new opportunities, new markets and new products (Christensen, 2019; McLaughlin et al., 2008) as well as helping overcome crises (Corvello et al. 2022b). Sustainability-oriented innovation stems from the integration of product innovation, process innovation, organizational innovation, and is based on the creation of novelties at environmental, economic and social levels (Klewitz and Hansen, 2014; Caputo et al., 2021; Fait et al., 2021).

However, despite the increasing diffusion of research on the relationship between sustainability and innovation, there is still the need to explore the impact of some mediating factors in this relationship such as skills, knowledge and capabilities, stakeholder engagement and to apply a multi-levelled perspective to this issue (Carayannis et al., 2017; Cillo et al., 2019; Corvello et al. 2023).

Hence, a multi-dimensional process such as innovation development should be reconceptualized as a complex mix of knowledge-based (human) and institutional (social) dimensions (Lee and Trimi, 2018; Trabucchi and Buganza, 2019).

Recommended Research Area:

For this reason, it emerges the need to explore: 1) the opportunities offered by new technologies, as well as the criticalities they bring about, not only in the development of technological innovation but also in the achievement of social and sustainable innovation for human wellbeing; 2) the role of human factrs (skills, competencies, knowledge, attitude, relational and social capital) in the creation of sustainable innovation; and 3) the contributions that knowledge practices can offer in defining managerial and business models able to face the emerging challenges of sustainability and digital based-era trough the combination of human and technology factors.

Specific topics

The Special Issue aims at collecting multi-disciplinary contributions that explore  the impact of digital technologies and knowledge practices on the development of sustainability based paths in Society 5.0 paradigm. The Editors invite high-quality original contributions that address, but are not limited to, the following issues:

  • Conceptualization of innovation and knowledge in the Society 5.0 paradigm;
  • Conceptualizing and exploring the key digital and knowledge dimensions and outcomes of sustainability for Society 5.0;
  • Conceptualization how human-centered and digital-centered innovation can be combined for promoting sustainability practices in Society 5.0.
  • Linking Society 5.0, Innovation 5.0, and sustainable innovation for building ambidextrous organizations.
  • Different facets of Society 5.0. in the smart city context
  • The role of digital technologies and knowledge practices in enabling or obstacoling innovation for sustainability practices
  • Innovation practices between knowledge sharing practices and knowledge hiding dynamics in Society 5.0
  • The impact of data-driven orientation on knowledge management processes and on the development of innovation
  • Depicting sustainable innovation in digital and knowledge era
  • Digital transformation, sustainable innovation and circular economy: the innovative potential of start-ups
  • Linking knowledge and innovation management for propomiting sustainable-oriented innovation
  • Ethical implications of technology and innovation in a Society 5.0 perspective.
  • Managerial attitude, entrepreneurial orientation, and knowledge practices for innovation management in human-centred innovation ecosystems
  • Digital entrepreneurship and humane entrepreneurship
  • Overcoming innovation trauma through sustainable business model innovation
  • Knowledge Exaptation for sustaining discontinous social and sustainable entrepreneurship
  • Boosting Responsiveness and sense-making in sustainability innovation processes

Guest Editors: 

Prof. Vincenzo Corvello (Leading)

Prof. Orlando Troisi

Prof. Anna Visvizi

Prof. Armando Papa

Submissions Information:

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available by clicking the button below. 
Submit your paper here!

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Important deadlines:

Submission Open: 1st, September, 2023

Submission Close: 28th, Feb, 2024


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