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Special Issue "Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 May 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Michele Grimaldi

Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Cassino, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: intellectual capital management, knowledge management within organizations and in collaborations among organizations, intangible asset evaluation and strategies, processes and tools for knowledge management, open innovation, strategic management of the patent portfolio
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Livio Cricelli

Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Cassino, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: industrial organizations; intellectual capital; knowledge management; patent management; innovation; open innovation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will comprise a selection of papers addressing approaches and tools for managing knowledge assets and intellectual capital elements with the aim of promoting corporate sustainability and creating value, which is sustainable over time.

Research papers address the multifaceted phenomena of managing the intangible resources of organizations to promote the sustainability and understanding the role of knowledge and intellectual capital in creating sustainable competitive advantages.

Covered topics include, among others: the identification of the competencies that provide sustainable competitive advantages; the acquisition and usage of knowledge to have a sustainable competitive advantage; the link between KM and HRM to support sustainability; the impact of key individuals’ knowledge on sustainable competitive advantage; the impact of key organizational knowledge available in inter-organizational networks on sustainable competitive advantage; the management of intellectual capital in supporting sustainable value creation in organizations; the assessment of the intellectual capital value drivers to increase the sustainable value creation of an organization.

Papers selected for this Special Issue are subject to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications.

Prof. Dr. Michele Grimaldi
Prof. Dr. Livio Cricelli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • knowledge
  • intellectual capital
  • intangible assets
  • intellectual capital management
  • knowledge management
  • sustainability
  • sustainable value
  • sustainable competitive advantage

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Measurement of the Human Capital Applied to the Business Eco-Innovation
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3263; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123263
Received: 24 April 2019 / Revised: 7 June 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 13 June 2019
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Abstract
Despite the growing number of studies on eco-innovation, the specific human capital applied to the eco-innovative processes by firms has not been thoroughly analyzed to date. Due to this gap, this study carries out an empirical research about the definition and measurement of [...] Read more.
Despite the growing number of studies on eco-innovation, the specific human capital applied to the eco-innovative processes by firms has not been thoroughly analyzed to date. Due to this gap, this study carries out an empirical research about the definition and measurement of the human capital applied to business eco-innovation in terms of knowledge. For this purpose, we define a human capital specific index (HCSI) to analyze the influence of firms’ human capital in their eco-innovative activities. The results have been obtained through the analysis of a sample of eco-innovative Spanish firms and they show some relevant implications for practitioners regarding the decision-making process in promoting eco-innovation and for the management control of eco-innovative processes. One of the study contributions for academics is to increase the knowledge about the measurement and the impact of the specific human capital applied to eco-innovation by firms in the theoretical framework of the resource-based view theory (RBV). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Sharing, and Innovation Performance: Evidence from the Chinese Construction Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2713; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092713
Received: 12 April 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
Knowledge economy era is an era driven by innovation, mainly based on the input of intangible assets which plays decisive roles in the long-term development of enterprises. The product value of enterprises is largely determined by their intellectual capital. Therefore, as pillars of [...] Read more.
Knowledge economy era is an era driven by innovation, mainly based on the input of intangible assets which plays decisive roles in the long-term development of enterprises. The product value of enterprises is largely determined by their intellectual capital. Therefore, as pillars of China’s economy, construction enterprises must strengthen their investments in intellectual capital, and to achieve competitiveness in the market, enterprises must share knowledge with the other members of their networks. This study explores the relationship among the intellectual capital, knowledge sharing, and innovation performance of construction enterprises and the mediating effect of knowledge sharing on the relationship between intellectual capital and innovation performance by using data collected from a questionnaire survey. These data are analyzed along with the aforementioned relationships by using SPSS and a structural equation model. The findings indicate that intellectual capital not only has a direct positive influence on the innovation performance of construction enterprises but also positively affects their innovation performance through knowledge sharing. This paper concludes by presenting its limitations and the implications of its findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Do Transformational Leaders Engage Employees in Sustainable Innovative Work Behaviour? Perspective from a Developing Country
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2485; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092485
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 28 April 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Inadequate and inconclusive studies of the role of transformational leadership (TL) on employee creative process engagement (CPE) and sustainable innovative work behaviour (IWB) have motivated the authors to further advance knowledge in this aspect of the workplace. In doing so, the present study [...] Read more.
Inadequate and inconclusive studies of the role of transformational leadership (TL) on employee creative process engagement (CPE) and sustainable innovative work behaviour (IWB) have motivated the authors to further advance knowledge in this aspect of the workplace. In doing so, the present study seeks to extend the understanding of innovative work behaviour by the involvement of TL and its subordinates through engaging employees in the creative process. The authors adopted the deductive reasoning approach to measure the observed relationships using structural equation modelling (SEM) through SmartPLS 2, a second-generation integrated regression model for statistical measurement. The results from self-report and others’ reported questionnaires reveal that transformational leaders can engage their subordinates in the creative process and sustainable innovative outcomes by influencing employee intrinsic motivation and proactive behaviour. However, the mediating effect of CPE on TL and IWB is not supported. Lastly, the authors discuss the findings and contributions of these empirical findings in theory and practice. In addition to the potential implications of the examined results, this study also recommends directions for further research in the light of its limitations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Knowledge-Based Dynamic Capabilities for Sustainable Innovation: The Case of the Green Plastic Project
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2392; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082392
Received: 23 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
A large number of recent studies show that sustainable innovation requires specific and new dynamic capabilities related to a new form of collaboration with suppliers, customers, research institutes and other related partners. These sources and external knowledges and competences require new skills in [...] Read more.
A large number of recent studies show that sustainable innovation requires specific and new dynamic capabilities related to a new form of collaboration with suppliers, customers, research institutes and other related partners. These sources and external knowledges and competences require new skills in managing relationships and knowledge integration. Considering this gap, the purpose of this paper is to identify how knowledge-based dynamic capabilities (KBDCs) influence the process of developing sustainable innovations. To meet this objective, we use a procedural approach from the reconstruction of the green plastic project, in its R&D trajectory, from retrospective interviews and secondary data. Our results point to a set of practices (microfoundations) essential in the development process of sustainable innovations. We also identify the changes experienced in the knowledge capabilities of the company throughout the development of the project; this component provides the originality of this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Intellectual Capital Performance of the Textile Industry in Emerging Markets: A Comparison with China and South Korea
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2354; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082354
Received: 24 March 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
In this study, the Value Added Intellectual Capital (VAICTM) and Modified Value Added Intellectual Capital (MVAICTM) models are utilized to analyze intellectual capital (IC) performance of the textile industry in China and South Korea during 2012–2017, and measure the [...] Read more.
In this study, the Value Added Intellectual Capital (VAICTM) and Modified Value Added Intellectual Capital (MVAICTM) models are utilized to analyze intellectual capital (IC) performance of the textile industry in China and South Korea during 2012–2017, and measure the contribution of IC sub-components to companies’ performance. The results show that the aggregate IC positively affects earnings, profitability, and productivity of textile companies in China and South Korea. At the sub-components level, the contribution of capital employed efficiency (CEE) is the largest, followed by structural capital efficiency (SCE), and relational capital efficiency (RCE) in China’s textile industry. In addition, Korea’s textile industry relies heavily on CEE and human capital efficiency (HCE), while the contribution of RCE is relatively small. Finally, relevant policies are put forward to promote the sustainable development of the textile industry in these two emerging markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Enhancing Employee Creativity for A Sustainable Competitive Advantage through Perceived Human Resource Management Practices and Trust in Management
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2305; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082305
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (753 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study explores the black box of the relationship between perceived human resource management (HRM) practices and employees’ creativity. Building on the literatures on social exchange and creativity, this study advances a moderated mediation framework of the link between perceived HRM practices and [...] Read more.
This study explores the black box of the relationship between perceived human resource management (HRM) practices and employees’ creativity. Building on the literatures on social exchange and creativity, this study advances a moderated mediation framework of the link between perceived HRM practices and employees’ creativity. We develop the argument that the positive relationship between perceived HRM practices and employees’ creativity is mediated by trust in management and that the mediated relationship is stronger for permanent employees than for temporary employees. Our study finds strong support for the moderated mediation model in a survey study of 285 employees in 14 research institutes funded by the Korean government. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Double-Level Influence of Guanxi on Construction Innovation in China: The Mediating Role of Interpersonal Knowledge Sharing and the Cross-Level Moderating Role of Inter-Organizational Relationships
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1657; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061657
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 9 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
Guanxi, a Chinese term that defines social networks of power and benefits, can be divided into inter-personal and inter-organizational relationships. Guanxi significantly influences construction innovation in China. Many studies have examined the relationship between guanxi and construction innovation at the project or organizational [...] Read more.
Guanxi, a Chinese term that defines social networks of power and benefits, can be divided into inter-personal and inter-organizational relationships. Guanxi significantly influences construction innovation in China. Many studies have examined the relationship between guanxi and construction innovation at the project or organizational level. However, few of these studies explain how guanxi might affect an individual’s innovative behaviour from a double-level perspective. This paper builds on social capital theory and social exchange theory to examine guanxi’s role in motivating innovative behaviour in a China-specific construction context. It investigates the main effects of inter-personal relationships on innovative behaviour, the mediating effects of knowledge sharing, and the cross-level moderating effects of inter-organizational relationships. These elements were tested using a survey that received 178 responses from 35 different organizations. The results were analysed using Hierarchical Linear Modelling (HLM) and revealed that inter-personal relationships have positive influences on innovative behaviour, thus highlighting the partial mediating effects of knowledge sharing. In addition, the analyses showed that inter-organizational relationships augment inter-personal relationships and knowledge sharing on innovative behaviour by cross-level interaction. The research findings enhance an understanding of guanxi and innovative behaviour in China-specific construction project settings, as well as verifying the significance of guanxi in stimulating innovative behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Prioritization of Strategic Intangible Assets in Make/Buy Decisions
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051267
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 27 February 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (8033 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Every company, in a knowledge-based economy and, in a sustainability-aware era, is “doomed” to deal with a critical mass of strategic assets, in order to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Maintaining this system up-to-date requires financial/organizational efforts. Therefore, in order to optimize performance, [...] Read more.
Every company, in a knowledge-based economy and, in a sustainability-aware era, is “doomed” to deal with a critical mass of strategic assets, in order to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Maintaining this system up-to-date requires financial/organizational efforts. Therefore, in order to optimize performance, it is necessary to detect which are the assets that can be outsourced/externalized without jeopardizing the business model architecture. Nevertheless, several studies confirm the inherent risks upcoming with any decision of outsourcing; pursuing a bearable long-term advantage over competitors mostly involves combinations of resources and capabilities, i.e., intangible assets. By the means of a multi-criteria indicator, the proposed framework builds a quantitative relational ranking of such resources, disclosing their critical weight (revealing which assets are actually strategic), hence the convenience for each of them to be outsourced or kept “in-house” to create sustainable value. This solution permits a strategy-level prioritization to take informed decisions on outsourcing candidates, also returning further analytics on the status of each investigated entity. Designed as a discriminating tool in make/buy resolutions to be used alongside traditional cost-based criteria, it represents a comprehensive approach capable of appreciating the complexity of the problem and the involved risks in order to keep a sustainable momentum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Intellectual Capital as a Factor of Sustainable Regional Competitiveness
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4848; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124848
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 11 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (613 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable competitive advantage is a widely explored topic at the organizational level. Although, regions care about competitiveness as much as organizations, because it leads to improved welfare and economic performance. However, sustainable regional competitiveness is still an ambiguous concept. On the one hand, [...] Read more.
Sustainable competitive advantage is a widely explored topic at the organizational level. Although, regions care about competitiveness as much as organizations, because it leads to improved welfare and economic performance. However, sustainable regional competitiveness is still an ambiguous concept. On the one hand, it considers long lasting economic growth and on the other hand, it focuses on the sustainability and well-being of upcoming generations. This paper considers both aspects. Intellectual capital, considered to be the foundation for competitive growth, is selected as a basis for the analysis. It is evaluated as a factor involved in regional competitiveness. Sustainable regional competitiveness in this paper is defined based on the World Economic Forum framework, the Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index, and the Global Green Economy Index. The aim of the paper is to identify the interlinks between intellectual capital and sustainable regional competitiveness. The paper is based on a literature review and index analysis. The findings show that intellectual capital is involved in almost all factors influencing regional competitiveness and it is even more important for sustainable regional competitiveness. It can be concluded that the interlinks between intellectual capital and sustainable regional competitiveness are strong and inseparable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Intellectual Capital, Financial Performance and Companies’ Sustainable Growth: Evidence from the Korean Manufacturing Industry
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4651; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124651
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 1 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Intellectual capital (IC) is considered to be a wealth generator and driver of financial performance thus creating competitive advantage and sustainability in business. This paper empirically investigates the impact of IC on financial performance and sustainable growth in the Korean manufacturing industry. Multiple [...] Read more.
Intellectual capital (IC) is considered to be a wealth generator and driver of financial performance thus creating competitive advantage and sustainability in business. This paper empirically investigates the impact of IC on financial performance and sustainable growth in the Korean manufacturing industry. Multiple regression models are applied with data collected from 390 manufacturing companies listed on the Korean Stock Exchange during 2012–2016. The results of the analysis show that IC has a positive impact on financial performance and companies’ sustainable growth. In addition, companies’ performance and sustainable growth are positively related to physical capital, human capital (HC), and relational capital (RC). RC is found to be the most influencing factor. Finally, innovative capital captures additional information on structural capital (SC) which negatively affects the performance of Korean manufacturing companies. The results extend the understanding of IC in creating corporate value and building sustainable advantages in emerging economies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Barriers to Knowledge Management in the Health Sector of Pakistan
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4155; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114155
Received: 22 October 2018 / Revised: 7 November 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 12 November 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1407 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Knowledge management (KM) is the source for creating a sustainable competitive advantage, and it helps the organizations to retain, develop, organize and utilize their knowledge. Due to globalization, the organizations must maintain their knowledge assets to survive. Many organizations have realized the potential [...] Read more.
Knowledge management (KM) is the source for creating a sustainable competitive advantage, and it helps the organizations to retain, develop, organize and utilize their knowledge. Due to globalization, the organizations must maintain their knowledge assets to survive. Many organizations have realized the potential of KM and are applying it. Since the healthcare industry is growing significantly, it is continuously generating a wealth of knowledge. This knowledge can be recorded, communicated and used by many health care professionals with the help of KM. There is a wealth of research on KM in healthcare of developed countries, but very few studies regarding KM implementation can be found in developing countries i.e., Pakistan. Pakistan is now looking towards the implementation of KM; it is in its initial stages. The implementation of KM in the healthcare of Pakistan is affected by different barriers. In this study, the barriers will be identified and analyzed. An interrelationship between the barriers will be determined, and how the different barriers support each other (driving power), and how they influence each other (dependence power). The results of interpretive structural modeling (ISM) and MICMAC (Matrice d’Impacts croises-multipication appliqué an classment i.e., cross-impact matrix multiplication applied to classification) approach show that lack of support from top management, insufficient strategic planning and lack of support from organizational structure are the main barriers to KM adoption in the healthcare of Pakistan. This study provides a solution in determining the main barriers that need to be solved first, and to ensure effective implementation of KM in the healthcare of Pakistan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Organizational Performance and Sustainability: Exploring the Roles of IT Capabilities and Knowledge Management Capabilities
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3816; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103816
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2445 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study explores the effects of organizational information technology (IT) capability in determining organizational performance and sustainable competitive advantage. Building on the resource-based and knowledge-based views of a firm, the study proposes a theoretical framework. In this framework, organizational IT capability is theorized [...] Read more.
This study explores the effects of organizational information technology (IT) capability in determining organizational performance and sustainable competitive advantage. Building on the resource-based and knowledge-based views of a firm, the study proposes a theoretical framework. In this framework, organizational IT capability is theorized to strengthen organizational performance and sustainable competitive advantage, directly and indirectly, through organizational knowledge management capabilities. Data collected from the middle and senior managers of diverse organizations in an emerging economy have been used to test the relationships in the framework. To estimate the proposed relationships in the conceptual model, we use structural equation modeling through SmartPLS 3.2. The results confirm that organizational IT capability significantly impacts organizational performance and sustainable competitive advantage. Additionally, organizational knowledge management capabilities partially mediate the relationship between IT capability and the outcomes (i.e., organizational performance and sustainable competitive advantage). The study concludes with a discussion of the implications for academicians and managers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
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