The Integration of Dispersed Knowledge Management, Enterprise Risk Management and Corporate Crisis Management in the Face of Changes in the Global Business Environment

Submissions open 1st August 2023

Guest Editors Team

Fábio Lotti Oliva

Professor of Enterprise Risk Management, University of São Paulo

Editor of the Journal of Knowledge Management

[email protected]


Masaaki Kotabe

Professor of Marketing and International Business, Waseda University and University of Hawaii at Manoa

[email protected]


Peter Kelle

Ourso Family Distinguished Professor of Business Analysis, Louisiana State University

Editor of the International Journal of Production Economics

[email protected]


Philip Linsley

Professor of Accounting and Risk

University of York

[email protected]


In recent decades, society has experienced a significant evolution of human knowledge. This occurred, to a large extent, as a consequence of globalization and the accelerated technological evolution, which amplified the generation of knowledge and produced considerable changes in the world, in particular, the increased complexity of the national and international business environments in which organizations operate (LIU, 2019; OLIVA, 2014b, 2016 KOTABE; KOTHARI, 2016; GAUR; KUMAR, 2018). Concepts such as VUCA, relating to the conditions of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity, came to be used to express the growing complexity of business environments (BENNIS; NANUS, 1985), which can be seen when observed, by for example, in the increase in the number of agents and relationships involved in current interorganizational arrangements. Previously, the economic relationships between organizations started mainly from the viewpoint of their internal corporate environment, and were explained by the Classical Economics.  However, these relationships evolved to a context in which institutions started to establish the order for economic relationships in a broader environment, involving organizational agents and society, which came to be explained by the New Institutional Economy (COASE, 1937, 1960; WILLIAMSON, 1975, 1985; NORTH, 1990). Thus, we have seen an increase in complexity in the relationships between agents involved in broader interorganizational arrangements, considering customers, suppliers, government and other organizations.


A consequence of this change in the forces that make up the business environment has extended beyond organizational boundaries, resulting in the generation of new corporate risk scenarios, with the potential to affect both the objectives of organizations and also, indirectly, the pillars of the business environment, and cause damage to society (OLIVA, 2016). These new risks, resulting from the increased complexity of business environments, began to challenge the creativity of managers in the most diverse types of organizations, regardless of their area of ​​operation, size or structure (OLIVA, 2014b, 2016). These risks call for the need for greater agility and capabilities in the strategic management of the business to deal with the local and global challenges that have arisen (AMBROSINI; BOWMAN, 2009; OLIVA et al., 2018; CHRISTOFI et al., 2021; DEBELLIS et al., 2021; SHAMS et al., 2021), including enterprise risk management, crisis management and the management of dispersed knowledge.


Risk is the possibility of the occurrence of an event that has the potential to negatively affect the achievement of an organization's goals (COSO, 2004), that is, which can make the achievement of its goals uncertain (ISO, 2009; OLIVA, 2014b, 2016). Initially, companies treated enterprise risk management in a departmentalized manner or, by organizational "silos", in which each area dealt separately with the risks independently (FRASER; SIMKINS, 2016; LIU, 2019, ALBUQUERQUE et al., 2019). Later, with the increasing complexity of business environments, the model evolved and began to consider the interrelationship of internal and external risks to organizations.


Although Enterprise Risk Management is able to identify, analyze and address most of the risks that organizations are subject to, there are residual risks that, due to their very difficult identification, predictability or containment, can go beyond the preventive risk management phase and convert up in corporate crises. In these cases, organizations need to respond very quickly to changes in the environment, and enterprise risk management measures are no longer sufficient, and progress must be made towards corporate crisis management actions (KALAVAR; MYSORE, 2017; SAMRA et al., 2019; WANG; LAUFER, 2020). Corporate Crises are unexpected and unwanted events that can affect companies in a highly impactful way, threatening their reputation, performance and survival (MULLER, 1985; MITROFF et al., 1987; COOMBS, 2015; COOMBS, LAUFER, 2018; BUNDY et al., 2016; KALAVAR, MYSORE, 2017). As with corporate risks, no organization is immune to crises, and it is essential that they are prepared to face them and survive them, according to the best precepts of international corporate governance (BHAUMIK et al., 2019).


To deal with both contexts, whether in preventing corporate risks or reacting to corporate crises, there is a need to develop new knowledge aimed at building organizational problem-solving capabilities, which is done by knowledge management. Thus, knowledge management has become one of the most important elements for the continuous creation of value, innovation and improvement in the performance of companies (DEL GIUDICE; MAGGIONI, 2014; JIMÉNEZ-JIMÉNEZ et al., 2014; OLIVA; KOTABE, 2019). However, the knowledge of interest to organizations may not be available internally to them, but rather dispersed beyond their limits (FERRARIS; BOGERS; BRESIANI, 2020; GARCÍA-ALVAREZ, 2015; WOUTERS; KIRCHBERGER, 2015), constituting dispersed knowledge, that is, that in that information on a given subject is fragmented, either with individuals (tacit knowledge) or materialized in some type of physical record (explicit knowledge), requiring from organizations a systemic and strategic view for its management (NONAKA; TAKEUCHI, 1995; WOUTERS; KIRCHBERGER , 2015; SPACEY, 2016; CASTROGIOVANNI et al., 2016; PRZYBYLA-KASPEREK, 2019).


In this sense, the international dimension enhances the complexity of risk management and corporate crises. In the international arena, multinational companies seek growth to make their processes more efficient, raise the quality of their products and reduce costs. Competition is often established between value chains orchestrated by multinationals in search of achieving their strategic objectives (GEREFFI; HUMPHREY; STURGEON, 2005; BAIR, 2009). The geographic, cultural, social, ethical and economic dimensions in the international context enhance the complexity of knowledge management that is dispersed among the various agents involved in the business environment (HUTZSCHENREUTER; KLEINDIENST; LANGE, 2014; ZHANG; JIANG; CANTWELL, 2019; WANG; CHIN, 2020). The structuring of dispersed knowledge management processes, tools and structures increases the organization's intellectual capital, generating more knowledge to understand the strategic position of each agent and the established relationships, raising the quality of enterprise risk management and corporate crisis management.


For this reason, the importance of Dispersed Knowledge Management has grown, that is, a knowledge management tool capable of reaching and integrating fragmented knowledge, such as knowledge artifacts, sketches, prototypes, models, images, maps, graphics, forms and others, to increase their productivity, competitive advantage and long-term sustainability (WOUTERS; KIRCHBERGER, 2015; OLIVA et al., 2021).


Recent searches carried out in databases for studies with the combination of the words “disperse knowledge management”, “risk management” and “crisis management”, showed the lack of studies that analyzed in depth the interrelationships among these three dimensions of management with each other, or with other aspects of organizational management, such as organizational culture, ethics, barriers to knowledge, innovation, dynamic capabilities, startups, organizational learning and others.


This is why it is very important to develop studies that broaden the understanding of the implications and interactions between Dispersed Knowledge Management, Enterprise Risk Management and Corporate Crisis Management with each other and with other aspects of organizational management, since It will not only allow contributing to the evolution of the state of the art in academic knowledge in Business Administration, but also equipping organizations to face risk and crisis contexts more efficiently in the future.


It is also relevant to refer to the most recent case of international crisis experienced. In March 2020, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization and started an unprecedented global crisis scenario (WEIBLE et al., 2020; ZHANG; SHAW, 2020; GEREFFI, 2020). The sanitary measures adopted to reduce the spread of COVID-19, although necessary, had a devastating effect on various economic sectors of countries. Activities considered non-essential were temporarily interrupted, directly affecting the generation of wealth in countries on a global scale (WEIBLE et al., 2020; HITT; HOLMES; ARREGLE, 2021; ORLANDO et al., 2021). Thus, studies aimed at preventing and increasing the resilience of organizations and countries to new events of global crises in the future are relevant.


In order to fill this theoretical gap, this call for papers seeks to stimulate the development of research on the above-mentioned contents and interactions, and thus assist managers and scholars in the development of solutions to raise the level of maturity of organizations in dealing with corporate risks and crises.



Recommended Research Areas:

This is a special issue organized by the Journal of Knowledge Management and invites you to develop research on various topics related to the central themes, Dispersed Knowledge Management, Enterprise Risk Management and Corporate Crisis Management, together or in combination of two with approach in national or international knowledge management contexts. Emblematic case studies and research-actions in large national and multinational corporations, quantitative and qualitative sectorial research in the national or international context are some examples. The use of well-founded research methods is expected that support studies exploring the following topics, although not necessarily limited to these:


General topics:

Considering the organizational context in the practices of Dispersed Knowledge Management, Enterprise Risk Management and Corporate Crisis Management, together or in combination of two with approach in knowledge management contexts, some general topics are suggested:

  • Implications of use in large national or multinational corporations;
  • Integration with cultural, social, institutional, geographic or economic dimensions in organizations and their business environments;
  • Barriers, critical success factors and application best practices in large organizations;
  • Dynamic capabilities to be explored in inter-organizational arrangements;
  • Innovation management in interorganizational arrangements;
  • Management maturity stages in facing local, regional or global crises;Ethical dilemmas in defining risk appetite and tolerance in organizations;
  • Complexity, vulnerability and impacts of risks and crises on supply chain structures;
  • Identification of organizational “artifacts” related to risk and crisis management;
  • The Covid-19 crisis and its confrontation by organizations;
  • Identification of agents and knowledge capture instruments dispersed in organizations;
  • The challenges, barriers and risks of open innovation between established companies and startups;
  • Proposition of integrative models of protection systems for organizations.


Specific topics:

  • What are the main organizational backgrounds that stimulate the development of dispersed knowledge, risk and crisis management in organizations?
  • How does organizational culture interact with the management of dispersed knowledge, risks and crises in organizations?
  • Which areas of administration can drive the development of dispersed knowledge, risk and crisis management in organizations?
  • How does the management of dispersed knowledge, risks and crises in organizations contribute to the sustainability of organizations?
  • How does the management of dispersed knowledge, risks and crises in organizations affect the performance of organizations?
  • How do multinational companies develop tools or processes for managing dispersed knowledge, risks and crises in organizations with spatially separate structures?


Important deadlines

Open submission: August, 1, 2023

Manuscript submission deadline: November, 15, 2023 (earlier submission is highly encouraged);

Publication expected: by August 2024


Author guidelines, submission and review process

The aims and the scope of this Call for Papers is to collect a premiere and top quality set of the most cutting-edge studies and researches focusing on crucial aspects of knowledge management dispersed, enterprise risk management and corporate crisis management in national and international contexts. Manuscripts are subject to a double-blind peer review process. To format the manuscripts, prospective authors are invited to consult the Journal’s guideline, which can be retrieved from the respective webpages:

Journal of Knowledge Management:

Manuscripts should be submitted through these web pages. Authors should select the special issue title from the drop-down menu while submitting online, in order to be considered for this special issue.

Journal of Knowledge Management:



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