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Knowledge Translation in Collaborative Environments: Challenges and Opportunities

Special issue call for papers from Management Decision

Guest editors:

Giustina Secundo, University of Salento (Lecce, Italy) Department of Innovation for Engineering, University of Salento Via per Monteroni, s.n. 73100 Italy.
[email protected]

Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli, Polytechnic University of Bari – Department of Mechanics, Mathematics, and Management – Viale Japigia 182 – 70126 Bari (Italy)
[email protected]

Luca Simeone, Aalborg University, Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, A.C. Meyers Vænge 15, 2450 København SV, Denmark
[email protected]

Giovanni Schiuma, University of  Basilicata, Dipartimento di matematica, Informatica ed Economia,
via dell’Ateno Lucano, 1, Potenza (Italy)
[email protected]

Special issue aim:

Knowledge transfer processes are important for building and sustaining competitive advantages and dynamic capabilities (Nakauchi, et al., 2017). At firm level, knowledge transfer processes have been mainly investigated as an organisational capability, assuming knowledge flows uniformly within a firm (Nakauchi, et al., 2017). However, the turbulence of the competitive environment demonstrates that such a view is limiting since it ignores the inter-organisational level. Indeed, collaborative dynamics favor the process of searching and recombining knowledge (Savino et al., 2017), involving also different stages of knowledge transformation (Raven et al, 2011), which are in turn affected by the diversity of the actors involved, hence calling for knowledge translation (Seaton, 2002). Specifically, translating knowledge involves processing knowledge, interpreting it according to the needs and interests of organizations/actors, and transforming it into forms that are more suitable for the specific context of application (Simeone et al., 2017a).

Previous studies (Simeone et al., 2017b; Simeone et al, 2017c) analyzed how knowledge translation can occur across various forms, highlighting a quasi-linear movement or a more complex and ambiguous interactions and negotiations among various actors. Despite the relevance of defining better knowledge-based processes to support collaborative environment, very few studies analyze the relevance and the forms of knowledge translation processes occurring in collaborative relationships. Therefore, this special issue calls for contributions that acknowledge the complexity of knowledge translation in various collaborative contexts of application.

The Guest Editors encourage submissions of empirical research and conceptual articles that address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Sustaining and managing processes of knowledge translation in collaborative environments
  • Applications of knowledge translation in different contexts (network, districts, industry-university collaborations etc.)
  • Knowledge translation for innovation
  • Different forms of knowledge translation
  • Semiotic aspects of translational processes
  • Methods and tools supporting knowledge translation
  • Design-based knowledge translation in multi-stakeholder environments
  • Empirical research and case studies about knowledge translation in practices.


Nakauchi, M., Washburn, M. and Klein, K. (2017) "Differences between inter- and intra-group dynamics in knowledge transfer processes", Management Decision, 55 (4), 766-782.
Raven, R. P., Verbong, G. P., Schilpzand, W. F., & Witkamp, M. J. (2011). Translation mechanisms in socio-technical niches: a case study of Dutch river management. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 23(10), 1063-1078.
Savino, T., Messeni Petruzzelli, A. and Albino, V. (2017), Search and Recombination Process to Innovate: A Review of the Empirical Evidence and a Research Agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 19: 54–75. doi:10.1111/ijmr.12081.
Seaton, R. A. F. (2002), "Knowledge Transfer". Strategic tools to support adaptive, integrated water resource management under changing conditions at catchment scale - A co-evolutionary approach. Bedford, The AQUADAPT project.
Simeone, L., Secundo, G and Schiuma, G. (2017a) Fostering academic entrepreneurship through design-as-translation to align stakeholders’ needs: The MIT SENSEable City Lab case” Technovation, Vol. 64–65, pp.58-67.
Simeone, L., Secundo, G. and Schiuma, G. (2017b) "Knowledge translation mechanisms in open innovation: the role of design in R&D projects", Journal of Knowledge Management, 21 (6), 1406-1429,
Simeone, L., Secundo, G., & Schiuma, G. (2017c). Arts and design as translational mechanisms for academic entrepreneurship: The metaLAB at Harvard case study. Journal of Business Research,

Submission procedures

Submissions to the special issue should be sent electronically through the “Management Decision”  ScholarOne System.  The manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with the guidelines for authors given in the website of the journal “Management Decision”:

Authors need to clearly indicate in their submission information and letter that their manuscript is for the Special Issue on “KNOWLEDGE TRANSLATION IN COLLABORATIVE ENVIRONMENTS.” All submissions will be subject to a double-blind review process followed by “Management Decision” Journal. All manuscripts must be original, unpublished works that are not concurrently under review for publication elsewhere. Questions about this special issue may be directed to the guest editors.

For any questions interested authors can contact the corresponding guest editor:
Giustina Secundo: [email protected]
Submission deadline: 30th October 2019

Guest editors’ bios

Giustina Secundo is Senior Researcher in Management Engineering at University of Salento (Italy), currently qualified to the position of  Associate and Full Professor (Italian Ministry of University and Research). Her research is focused on Academic entrepreneurship, Innovation Management in Learning network and Technology Entrepreneurship Education. These research activities have been documented in more than 150 publications in international publications. Her research appeared in Technovation, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Journal of Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management Research & Practices, Measuring Business Excellence, Journal of Knowledge Management. She is co Editor of the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research and She sits in the board of Journal of Intellectual Capital. She's lecturer of Project management and Technology entrepreneurship at the Department of Innovation Engineering (University of Salento, Italy)  since 2001. She is a member of the Project Management Institute. Across 2014 and 2015 she has been visiting researcher at the Innovation Insights Hub, University of the Arts London (UK). Email: [email protected].

Luca Simeone is Assistant Professor in Service Design at Aalborg University and his work is situated at the intersection of research, design practice and entrepreneurship. He has founded and managed 6 design companies and has conducted research and teaching activities at universities such as Harvard, MIT, Polytechnic of Milan, Malmö University and University of the Arts London. He (co)authored some 70 publications, including 3 books and articles in journals such as Technovation, R&D Management, Journal of Knowledge Management, Journal of Business Research, CoDesign, Leonardo and Visual Studies. He also serves as a consultant for public and private organisations (the European Commission and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) in order to help define strategies, policies, and funding schemes to foster innovation. Email: [email protected]

Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli is Senior Assistant Professor in Innovation Management, currently qualified to the position of  Full Professor (Italian Ministry of University and Research), and co-founder of the Innovation-Management Group at the Politecnico di Bari. Before joining the academia, dr. Messeni Petruzzelli worked as organizational analyst at Eni Group (2004-2006), being involved in the design and development of the organizational chart of the whole company and related subsidiaries. Dr. Messeni Petruzzelli holds a PhD in Management (2008) and a Laurea in Management Engineering (2003) from Politecnico di Bari. During the 2007-2008 academic year, he was a visiting researcher at the IESE Business School (Department of Strategic Management) of the University of Navarra (Barcelona, Spain). Dr. Messeni Petruzzelli is the author of 52 international publications and three international books on the topic of innovation management and technology strategy. His studies on this issue have been published in leading journals such as Research Policy, Academy of Management Perspectives, Journal of Management, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, International Journal of Management Reviews, Long Range Planning, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Industry and Innovation, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Technovation, and European Management Review. He belongs to the editorial team of Journal of Knowledge Management and serve as guest-editor for Industry and Innovation, Technovation, Creativity and Innovation Management, and Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Finally, his studies have recently been awarded the Nokia Siemens Network Award in Technology Management for Innovation into the Future. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

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: 12 editions have been organised since 2006. He can be contacted at: [email protected]