In recent literature there is an emphasis on the necessity for companies to network and share knowledge. This poses special challenges both to management and policy making. New capabilities and approaches are required to improve the networking capabilities of companies and organisations. It becomes necessary to reinforce the mechanisms by which single organisations specialising in complementary activities can connect and exchange knowledge.
This special issue will focus on knowledge networks that can be intended as formal or informal inter-organisational relationships established with suppliers, customers, retailers, business partners, institutions and even competitors to share knowledge, explore innovations and exploit new ideas. By joining a knowledge network, companies can have access to a broader pool of complementary knowledge and, in this way, can implement innovations, explore new markets, gain flexibility and focus on core competencies.
To join knowledge networks, company executives must be able to focus their strategies not only on the “internal” organisation but also on the web of actual and potential relationships with external partners. This raises new questions. For example, how can knowledge networks be designed and built? How can the processes of knowledge exchange between networked organisations be managed? What mechanisms can be implemented to govern a knowledge network and make this structure sustainable?
Similarly, the implementation of knowledge networks as new structures that aid economic development requires new approaches in terms of policy making. Is knowledge network development a useful and feasible goal of policy making? How can knowledge networks be supported? What changes in policy making does this imply?
This issue seeks papers focusing on the matters mentioned above. Both theoretical/conceptual papers (i.e. definitions, theories of knowledge networking, classifications, etc.) and empirical studies (e.g. case studies or surveys showing how knowledge networks are formed, developed and managed) are welcome.
The issue is expected to provide an updated survey of the state-of-the-art in knowledge networking to researchers specialising in knowledge management, intellectual capital or organisation science. In addition, it is expected to set the grounds for new managerial or policy making frameworks that help to establish fruitful inter-organisational relationships and, through this, to sustain the innovativeness and competitiveness of organisations.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- Practical definitions and classifications of knowledge networks
- Theories explaining knowledge networks' formation and dynamics
- Case studies of knowledge networks and lessons learned in terms of management
- Inter-orgranisational knowledge exchanges
- Protecting and disclosing intellectual capital in inter-organisational networks
- Studies of policy formulation improving knowledge networking capability of companies
- Best practices in managing networking relationships and knowledge exchanges
Submission of manuscripts: 10 October, 2013
Notification to authors: 31 January, 2014
Final versions due: 17 March, 2014