Simon Fietze, University of Southern Denmark
Sylvia Rohlfer, CUNEF
Claudio Petti, Department of Engineering for Innovation – University of Salento
The survival and growth of an organization depend mainly on the capabilities of its management and its employees; and its ability to ensure knowledge transfer in, from and to the organization. To understand how these processes are organized, it is vital to focus on how input is transformed into innovation and to include the control structure as all activities related to the process have to be coordinated and structured. In a context in which formalized processes are unevenly developed and management knowledge may be more unevenly spread, innovation and knowledge management research need to take several issues into account.
Leading views on innovation, from network analysis to innovation systems, often underscore the necessity of firms having access to pioneering technologies and economies creating institutions focused on promoting the transfer of pioneering knowledge (Breznitz, 2007; Owen-Smith & Powell, 2004). However, a recent stream of research focuses on capabilities and knowledge possessed by various employees (from CEOs/managers to non-managerial) in order to create ideas and to implement innovative practices and/or processes with the aim to increase a firm’s innovative capabilities (Teece, 2017; Chowhan, 2016; Lin & Sanders, 2017). In addition, external sources for knowledge and innovation have become the focus in small business management, i.e. the management of open innovation, and are becoming part of national and cross-national innovation networks (Gretzinger et al., 2010).
In order to understand how innovation processes are organized, it is not only important to focus on the “technical” aspects of the transformation process (how input is transformed into innovation output) and the division of labour, but also to include more explicitly the regulatory aspects or the control structure as all activities related to the transformation process have to be coordinated and structured. However, in a context in which formalized processes are unevenly developed and management knowledge may be more unevenly spread, innovation and knowledge management research need to take several issues into account (Gu, Jiang, & Wang, 2016).
We encourage submissions that can address innovation at multiple levels of analysis (strategic, intermediate and operational) as well as comparative analysis of different patterns of firm and institutional strategies across nations and regions. Manuscripts that draw on a variety of theoretical and disciplinary approach to the study of entrepreneurship, innovation and knowledge management in entrepreneurial start-ups and SMEs are welcomed. Suggested topics can include, but are not restricted to:
How exactly is innovation as a process embedded in organizational structures and work practices, including the role and impact of different groups of employees in this process?
At what stage, with what aim, at what intensity and with what organizational support, are employees involved in innovation at different levels?
How is the innovation and knowledge management process at each of these levels supported by management as well as the leadership role?
How does management support, leadership as well as the innovation process differ with respect to formal, top-down initiated innovations, innovations at the intermediate level and employee-led innovative behaviour?
What organizational mechanisms provide the best conduit for knowledge flow within and between SMEs and in innovation-oriented partnerships
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