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Strategic Knowledge Management Models and Tools for Entrepreneurial Universities

Special issue call for papers from Management Decision

In the last decades, universities have moved from focusing exclusively on their primary two missions of education providers and scientific knowledge creators, to be considered as key actors of economic and cultural growth, transforming themselves into engaged institutions with industry and society at large (Etzkowitz, 2000; Vorley and Nelles, 2008). This movement has been frequently described as “third mission” focusing on knowledge transfer, commercialization and innovation as third pillar of a university (Lambert, 2003; Laredo, 2007; Zomer and Benneworth, 2011; Secundo, Del Vecchio, Schiuma and Passiante, 2017). Although there is no general definition, third mission activities comprise three dimensions performed by universities in relation to external environments: technology transfer and innovation, continuing education and social engagement (E3M, 2010).

In this perspective, the term “entrepreneurial university” (Etzkowitz, 1983, Clark, 1998; Philpott et al., 2011; Etzkowitz, 2016 ) has been adopted by academics and policy makers to describe universities that effectively deliver on their “third mission” contributing to the regional economy simultaneously (Clark, 1998; Van Vught, 1999; Lambert, 2003).

The recognition that in today’s economic landscape Entrepreneurial Universities can play the fundamental role of key enablers in the areas of technology, innovation and economic development, points out their role as knowledge-based agents for local value creation dynamics. Indeed, an Entrepreneurial University can be seen as entrepreneurial hub with multiple and integrated knowledge-based functions ranging from the traditional pure knowledge and technology development to innovation ecosystems development as well as social innovation and community engagement catalyzer.

Therefore, the understanding of entrepreneurial universities as entrepreneurial hubs or knowledge agents, together with an analysis of the knowledge models, processes and tools that can support their missions and strategies is of fundamental importance. The way they act strategically as creators and disseminators of new knowledge, organizers of multidisciplinary and boundary spanning knowledge application activities as well as facilitator of university-industry links represent a critical area of research investigation.

To date most of the studies on entrepreneurial university and academic entrepreneurship have focused the attention on technology transfer offices (TTOs), incubators and science parks, stakeholder collaboration, innovation support, entrepreneurial training of highly skilled individuals and the development of new spin-off firms as tools used to achieve their entrepreneurial aspirations (Slaughter and Leslie, 1997; Shane, 2004; Somsuk and Laosirihongthong, 2014; Elia, Secundo and Passiante, 2017). In all these processes, a reconceptualization of knowledge production called the “Mode 3” Knowledge Production System (expanding and extending the “Mode 1” and “Mode 2” knowledge production systems) (Carayannis and Campbell, 2012) has been defined. The Mode 3 Knowledge Production System architecture focuses on and leverages higher order learning processes and dynamics that allow for both top-down government, university, and industry policies and practices and bottom-up civil society initiatives and priorities to interact and engage with each other toward a more intelligent, effective, and efficient synthesis. This means that the entrepreneurial university implements several strategies and new institutional configuration such as Entrepreneurship centres (Cassia, De Massis, Meoli, and Minola, 2014; Maas and Jones, 2017) to work together with the government, industries and society to facilitate the diffusion the production, the application and the exploitation of knowledge and technology (Leydesdorff and Meyer 2006).

The convergence of these perspectives requires new updated models, strategies tools for the strategic knowledge management in the entrepreneurial universities. The growing relevance of this new archetype of university calls for a more in depth investigation of the strategic approaches, models, processes and tools supporting the creation, transfer, development, valorization, exchange and integration of new knowledge at the core of their missions and strategic actions. Thus, the goal of this special issue is to provide a knowledge-based analysis of entrepreneurial universities investigating the strategic knowledge management models and tools at the basis of the management, creation and diffusion of knowledge, research and innovation.

The Guest Editors encourage submissions of empirical, research and conceptual articles:
• Considering all methodological approaches including nascent methods;
 • Applying an interdisciplinary approach;
• Incorporating a well-founded mixed-method design;
• Evidencing cross-national differences among entrepreneurial universities;
• Identifying limitations in existing studies;
• Challenging or extending existing theory;
• Identifying areas for future research.

Indicative list of anticipated themes:

What are the most relevant knowledge changes of the universities that can accelerate their transition towards entrepreneurial universities?
•How do entrepreneurial universities integrate their knowledge strategies to reach university goals in teaching, research, and outreach?
•What are the new entrepreneurial university models/archetypes and how is it possible to classify their external and internal knowledge assets?
•What is the role of knowledge based systems and new social media for the entrepreneurial university?
•Which knowledge outcomes of an entrepreneurial university affect regional development and social engagement?
•How can the effects of entrepreneurial university on regional development be measured from a knowledge-based perspective?
•How do entrepreneurial universities make use of knowledge exchange and transfer with stakeholders to shape society?
•What is the role of knowledge management to support university-industry-society interactions?
•How do entrepreneurial universities valorize university knowledge assets?
•What are the most relevant knowledge processes supporting the development of an entrepreneurship ecosystem shaped by an entrepreneurial university?
•What is the role and function of entrepreneurial centers to drive the development of entrepreneurial universities?

Guest editors:

Giovanni Schiuma, University of Basilicata, Potenza, Italy
Giustina Secundo, University of Salento, Lecce , Italy (corresponding guest editor)
Paul Jones, International Centre for Transformational Entrepreneurship, Coventry University, UK

Papers should be submitted via the journal’s online submission system available through the journal homepage

When submitting please choose the special issue: “Strategic Knowledge Management Models and Tools for Entrepreneurial  Universities”  as the article type from the drop down menu.

All papers must follow the guidelines outlined by the journal for submission, available at:

For any questions interested authors can contact the corresponding guest editor: Giustina Secundo ([email protected])

Submission deadline:  30th October 2018

Guest Editors Bio:
Giovanni Schiuma serves as Chief-Editor of the journal “Knowledge Management Research and Practice” and as Co-Editor in Chief of the international journal “Measuring Business Excellence” and he has acted as guest Editor of the Journal of Knowledge Management, Journal of Intellectual Capital, International Journal of Knowledge-based Development, and Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital. Giovanni chairs the International Forum on Knowledge Assets Dynamics: 10 editions have been organised since 2006. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

Giustina Secundo is Senior Research Fellow at University of Salento (Italy) Department of Engineering for Innovation. Her research is characterized by a cross-disciplinary focus, with a major interest towards Academic Entrepreneurship, Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Education, Intellectual Capital Management in University and Knowledge transfer in Open Innovation. Her research appeared in Technovation, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Journal of Intellectual Capital, Journal of Knowledge Management, Business Process Management. She's lecturer of Project management and  Technology entrepreneurship at University of Salento since 2001. In 2015, She has been visiting researcher at Innovation and Insights hub of the University of the arts in London (UK). She can be contacted at:  [email protected]

Paul Jones is Deputy Director of the International Centre for Transformational Entrepreneurship and a Professor in Entrepreneurship.  Prof. Jones has worked in further and higher education for over 25 years working at Carmarthenshire College, University of Glamorgan and Plymouth University. Prof Jones has set up two University Entrepreneurship Centres in his career to date and taught entrepreneurship in many different countries.  Prof. Jones joined Coventry University in September 2015. Prof. Jones is an active researcher in the entrepreneurship discipline with over 250 research outputs including edited books, academic journals, book chapters and conference papers. Prof. Jones has undertaken research in entrepreneurship and small business Management and entrepreneurship education during his academic career. He has published his work in leading international journals such as “International Small Business Journal”, “Omega”, “Journal of Business Research” and “Environment and Planning C”. Prof. Jones is currently Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research and Associate Editor of the International Journal of Management Education. He sits on the board of Trustees for the Institute of Higher Education and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. Prof. Jones is a visiting Professor for Manchester Metropolitan University, Anglia Ruskin University and the University of South Wales.

Submission deadline:  30th October 2018

Planned publication date: Late 2019

Target number of accepted papers:  10 + Introduction / Editorial

Target rejection rate:  50% or more. Lower rejection rate will be because will target established scholars working in this area with established research programs.

Maximum length of papers:  Articles should be between 5000 and 7000 words in length.

Review process and number of reviewers to be used per paper: each paper is desk reviewed by the editor(s) and, if it is judged suitable for this publication, it is then sent to two independent referees for double blind peer review.

Target time from submission deadline to acceptance (As a general guideline papers should be reviewed for appropriateness within a week of submission. The average time to first decision should be 60 days. The average time from submission to acceptance should be 180 days.)