Strategic Knowledge Management for Digital Transformation

Call for papers for: Journal of Strategy and Management

The submission portal for this special issue will open August 1, 2020 and close November 30, 2020

Guest Editors
Krishna Venkitachalam, Professor of Strategy, Estonian Business School (EBS), Tallinn, Estonia,  [email protected]

Giovanni Schiuma, Professor of Innovation Management, DiMIE, Viale dell’Ateneo Lucano n.10, 85100 Potenza, Italy, University of Basilicata, [email protected]

Aims and Scope
Increasingly today’s business landscape is characterised by the pervasive role of digital technologies that are redefining how organisations manage customer experiences and govern operational efficiencies. To denote the advancements in the role of cyberspace and new digital technologies, the notion of digital transformation has been introduced. Digital transformation not only points out the organisations’ challenge to adopt, develop and integrate new technologies of the digital era but most importantly the fundamental importance for organisations to evolve their business models and redefine their value creation strategies. Therefore, digital transformation has a holistic impact on organisations requiring to re-think how they create and deliver value to their stakeholders. For this reason, it is central to understand how organisations approach or should approach the management of knowledge foundations of their competitiveness. The advent of new digital technologies changes the nature and forms of knowledge assets defining the organisations’ value drivers; as well as the knowledge processes for managing and assessing critical knowledge resources defining core competencies and dynamic capabilities of organisations.

Technological innovations and human mobility have persistently contributed to the importance of managing strategic knowledge and capabilities in organisations. Indeed, digital technologies can provide timely access, tremendous possibilities and challenges for organisations.  Considering the rising influence and dependence on digital technologies and applications in many different sectors/industries, the relevance of managing strategic knowledge in organisations has a greater impact than ever before in the growth and sustenance of organisational competitiveness (Dragicevic et al., 2019; Venkitachalam and Willmott, 2015). Besides the significance of strategic knowledge, extant literature on digitally connected conceptualisations (e.g. cloud computing, internet of things (IoT), big data, business analytics etc.) also argue as useful pathways to solve organisations’ challenges related to attaining and maintaining value for its stakeholders (Pauleen and Wang, 2017; Uden and He, 2017). Edwards and Taborda (2019, p.36) further argue “while analytics may lead to knowledge and intelligence (in the military sense of that term), it also needs the input of knowledge and intelligence (in the human sense of that term). And somebody then has to do something new or different as a result of the new insights, or it won’t have been done to any purpose”. However, there remains an inherent risk of how managers apply and use strategic knowledge effectively in their organisations to achieve and sustain competitive advantage is not entirely clear (Edwards and Taborda, 2019; Dragicevic, 2019).

Existing literature argue managers responsible for decision making often have a limited understanding of the role of strategic knowledge management and their influence on the competitiveness of organisations (Casselman and Samson, 2007; Choi et al., 2008; Grant, 1996; Venkitachalam and Willmott, 2015; Venkitachalam and Willmott, 2016; von Krogh, Nonaka and Aben, 2001; Zack, 1999). Inadvertence towards strategic knowledge management in the context of growing emphasis of digital transformation across diverse industries can present enormous concerns like non-adaptive and dysfunctional knowledge processes such as creation, transfer, use and application. Consequently, this can result in reinvention and loss of knowledge assets and massive costs for organisations (Dragicevic et al., 2019; Venkitachalam and Willmott, 2016). Hence, it is desirable to develop a fertile understanding of the relationship between strategic knowledge and digitalisation in organisations. This special issue welcomes papers in this critically important and intersecting domain/theme of strategic knowledge management and digital transformation research. They are the following (but not limited to) suggested areas below.

Possible topics, research questions and/or themes include, but not limited to are:

  • How do ‘big data’ and ‘cloud technologies’ play a role in the creation and use of strategic knowledge in organisations?
  • How does the role of ICT use collaborative working (i.e. knowledge transfer) and innovation to manage strategic knowledge?
  • What is the influence of digital technologies in the use of organisational knowledge?
  • How do KM strategies play a strategic role in digital transformation?
  • How to develop knowledge management systems to drive digital transformation?
  • How do environmental changes (such as competition, product and market diversification) influence KM strategies and knowledge worker performance?
  • What is the relationship between organisational culture, knowledge management and organisational performance?
  • How can we interpret digital transformation following a knowledge-based view?
  • What kind of performance metrics and measures could be used for assessing the strategic impact of knowledge management on digital transformation?
  • What are the consequences of an organisation’s strategic knowledge due to digitalisation?
  • How do the role of digital innovations (e.g. including technological conceptualisations such as big data, analytics, IoT, social media, cloud computing) impact strategic knowledge and thereby organisation’s competitiveness?
  • How do factors (such as competition, product and market diversification) influence the relationship between digitalisation and strategic knowledge to achieve an organisation’s competitive advantage?
  • How does digitalisation influence the relationship between organisational culture and knowledge transfer in the strategic knowledge management of organisations?
  • What is the role of digital capabilities in creating strategic knowledge that contributes to organisational value?
  • What is the role of ‘big data’ and ‘analytics’ in the creation and use of strategic knowledge in organisations, industries and nations?
  • How does digitalisation enable collaborative working (i.e. knowledge transfer) and innovation (i.e. knowledge creation) in organisations?

Important date
Submission deadline: 30 November 2020

Submissions to the Journal of Strategy and Management are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system.

For more information on manuscript requirements, please visit JSMA's author guidelines here 

Casselman RM and Samson D (2007). Aligning knowledge strategy and knowledge capabilities. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management 19(1): 69–81.

Choi B, Poon SK and Davis JG (2008). Effects of knowledge management strategy on organisational performance: A complementarity theory-based approach. Omega: The International Journal of Management Science 36(2): 235-251.

Dragicevic N, Ullrich A, Tsui E and Gronau N (2019). A conceptual model of knowledge dynamics in the industry 4.0 smart grid scenario. Knowledge Management Research and Practice. DOI: 10.1080/14778238.2019.1633893.

Edwards JS and Taborda ER (2016). Using Knowledge Management to Give Context to Analytics and Big Data and Reduce Strategic Risk. Procedia Computer Science 99: 36-49.

Grant RM (1996). Toward a knowledge-based theory of the firm. Strategic Management Journal 17(Winter Special Issue): 109–122.

Pauleen D and Wang W (2017). Does big data mean big knowledge? KM perspectives on big data and analytics. Journal of Knowledge Management 21(1): 1-6

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Venkitachalam K and Willmott H (2015). Factors shaping organisational dynamics in strategic knowledge management. Knowledge Management Research and Practice 13(3): 344–359.

Venkitachalam K and Willmott H (2016). Determining strategic shifts between codification and personalization in operational environments. Journal of Strategy and Management 9(1): 2-14.

Uden L and He W (2017). How the Internet of Things can help knowledge management: a case study from the automotive domain. Journal of Knowledge Management 21(1): 57-70.

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