Calls for papers


International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business


Special Issue on: "Collaborative Innovation Networks"

Guest Editors:
Prof. Andrea Fronzetti Colladon, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy
Prof. Francesca Grippa, Northeastern University, USA
Prof. Peter Gloor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

This special issue welcomes researchers in the fields of management science, computer science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, design and arts to discuss how the diffusion of collaborative innovation networks can encourage entrepreneurship.

Collaborative innovation networks (COINs) have been defined by Gloor (2006) as teams of self-motivated people with a collective vision. They are enabled by technology to collaborate, challenge the status-quo and innovate by sharing ideas, information, resources and work. Since then, several empirical evidences have supported the validity of this concept (Zylka et al., 2016).

Collaborative innovation networks are a key component of R&D efforts, as they provide access to knowledge and expertise that can support the open innovation model. Identifying COINs supports the development of start-up or spinoff opportunities as they organically emerge within organisations. What can we learn from the development of successful COINs? How can collaborative networks between SMEs and/or research centres be optimised to foster the firm’s performance? What can we learn in terms of creativity and problem solving by looking at the dynamic evolution of COINs? What are the benefits of being embedded in a COIN when designing and executing R&D activities? How can collaborative innovation networks promote the launch of start-up’s and spinoffs? We invite papers that address these and similar questions to describe the mechanisms behind successful COINs.

We invite contributions that shed light on the mechanisms and processes enabling collaborative innovation networks to be effective and to create positive change for individuals and organisations. We invite papers that advance the understanding of the mechanisms facilitating collaboration in a networked global environment, as well as new methods to detect and promote innovation within, and across, organisational boundaries (Dana et al., 2008; Wright and Dana, 2003).

We are also interested in exploring the advantages of collaboration for start-ups firms (Allen et al., 2016), as well as the distinctive individual characteristics and the network roles/positions of entrepreneurs (Battistoni and Fronzetti Colladon, 2014; Gloor et al., 2011; Gloor et al., 2016). Some of the questions that we are interested in exploring are: what are the leadership and communication styles of successful entrepreneurs and what are their effects on COINs? Does the presence of COINs support employees’ retention and commitment?

Finally, we invite papers that present and discuss case studies on the application of methods to measure, assess and improve collaboration and innovation, at the individual, team and firm level (Allen et al., 2016; Etemad et al., 2001), using innovative technologies or original communication styles, such as the pattern languages (Iba, 2014).

Subject Coverage
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Networks and collaboration in a global context: Optimisation through collaboration, teamwork through virtually enhanced collaboration, measuring the performance of collaborative innovation networks, SMEs and startup networks, knowledge and information flows in collaborative teams, diversity in COINs
  • The role of the entrepreneur: Social network positions of entrepreneurs, distinctive individual traits and the effects they produce in collaborative innovation networks, collaborative leadership and employee's engagement
  • Tools and methods: social system design, social network analysis, semantic social network analysis, actor network theory, pattern languages
We encourage scholars to submit contributes that can enhance the understanding of these subjects, providing both relevant theoretical and practical advancements.

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper has been completely re-written and if appropriate written permissions have been obtained from any copyright holders of the original paper).

All papers are refereed through a peer review process.

All papers must be submitted online. To submit a paper, please read our Submitting articles page.

Important Dates

Manuscripts due by: 17 March, 2017




Allen, T.J., Gloor, P.A., Fronzetti Colladon, A., Woerner, S.L. and Raz, O. (2016) ‘The power of reciprocal knowledge sharing relationships for startup success’, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 636–651. doi: 10.1108/jsbed-08-2015-0110.


Battistoni, E. and Fronzetti Colladon, A. (2014) ‘Personality correlates of key roles in informal advice networks’, Learning and Individual Differences, Vol. 34, pp. 63–69. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2014.05.007.


Dana, L.P., Etemad, H. and Wright, R.W. (2008) ‘Toward a paradigm of symbiotic entrepreneurship’, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 109 -126. doi: 10.1504/ijesb.2008.016587.


Etemad, H., Wright, R.W. and Dana, L.P. (2001) ‘Symbiotic international business networks: Collaboration between small and large firms’, Thunderbird International Business Review, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 481–499. doi: 10.1002/tie.1009.


Gloor, P.A. (2006) Swarm creativity. Oxford University Press.


Gloor, P.A., Fischbach, K., Fuehres, H., Lassenius, C., Niinimäki, T., Olguin, D.O., Pentland, S., Piri, A. and Putzke, J. (2011) ‘Towards “Honest Signals” of creativity – identifying personality characteristics through microscopic social network analysis’, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 26, pp. 166–179. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.10.573.


Gloor, P. A., Woerner, S. L., Schoder, D., Fischbach, K. and Fronzetti Colladon, A. (2016) ‘Size Does Not Matter – In the Virtual World. Comparing Online Social Networking Behavior with Business Success of Entrepreneurs’, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, in press.


Iba, T. (2014). Collaboration Patterns: A Pattern Language for Creative Collaborations. CreativeShift, Yokohama, Japan.


Shimomukai, E., Nakamura, S., and Iba, T. (2012) ‘Change making patterns: a pattern language for fostering social entrepreneurship’. Paper presented at the 19th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (PLoP 2012). 19-21 October 2012. Tucson, Arizona.


Wright, R. W. and Dana, L. P. (2003) ‘Changing Paradigms of International Entrepreneurship Strategy’, Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Vol. 1 No. 1 , pp. 135–152. doi: 10.1023/A:1023384808859


Zylka, M., Führes, H., Fronzetti Colladon, A. and Gloor, P. A. (Eds.), (2016) Designing Networks for Innovation and Improvisation. Proceedings of the 6th International COINs Conference. Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland.