Calls for papers


International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies
International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies


Special Issue on: “Using Technology for Innovation and Knowledge Sharing in SMEs: Sociotechnical Approaches”

Guest Editors:
Dr. Elayne Coakes, University of Westminster, UK
Dr Yanqing Duan, University of Bedfordshire, UK
Wafi Alkaragouli, University of Westminster, UK

A sociotechnical approach has proven to be a good guide for organisations, consultants, practitioners and theorists to investigate and support knowledge development, sharing and management activities. This is because it considers the major challenges facing organisations in a highly competitive and knowledge-intensive economy: joint optimisation; autonomous working; appropriate organisation structure; culture; group task support; self-determination; and human resources management, including reward systems and authority structures.

The focus of this Special Issue is to extend understanding of how, and whether, web-based technology in particular, is suitable for supporting innovation and knowledge sharing in SMEs at inter- and intra-organisational levels, whilst taking a sociotechnical perspective of this area.

When social and technical systems within an organisation achieve consonance, the organisation will achieve greater productivity (Beekun, 1989). In addition, corporate entrepreneurship may be defined as the promotion of innovation in an uncertain environment, and innovation as the process that through its products, service, and processes, adds value and novelty to the organisation, its suppliers, and customers. Research suggests that more than 85 percent of new product ideas never make it to market, and of those that do, 50 to 70 percent fail. Enablers highlighted in the literature typically include strategy, infrastructure, processes, and supportive management culture. Thus it would seem sociotechnical perspectives can assist innovation, as could a suitable infrastructure.

SMEs are in an especially difficult position for innovation as their resources are more limited than larger enterprises and thus they might need greater support in their entrepreneurial activities. 'Market fit' requires innovation in product, service, supply or process. ICT can provide support for this innovation in multiple ways: e.g. it can provide the e-market outlet; it can support the service/product supply chain and associated processes; and it can assist in innovation development.

We are keen to examine and extend our audience’s understanding of the social and technology elements of an organisation that support knowledge transfer and sharing for innovation and innovation development. We are looking for papers that address the problems experienced in SMEs in relation to knowledge sharing and innovation, and how sociotechnical solutions can overcome/assist understanding, and can develop better methods for the organisation. We would especially welcome papers that address trust and culture within the social elements. We would expect papers to concentrate on web-based technology for any technical solutions or support offered.

Subject Coverage
This special issue will look for practical sociotechnical approaches that can assist practitioners, academics, researchers, and students, in the design and implementation of such KMS for SMEs. An international perspective would be welcome.
Appropriate themes might thus include (but are not restricted to), a sociotechnical perspective on:
  • Knowledge management systems
  • Systems failures
  • Implementation issues
  • Design and development issues including requirements and stakeholder participation
  • Innovation in SMEs
  • Knowledge sharing in SMEs
  • HRM issues for innovation and knowledge sharing
  • Technology and its role
  • Culture and trust
  • Critical success factors

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere

All papers are refereed through a peer review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Author Guidelines page

Important Dates

Full paper submission: 7 February, 2007