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Special Issue "Knowledge Management and Human Resources Management for Organizational Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Carla Maria Marques Curado
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Management, ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics & Management, University of Lisbon, 1249-078 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: knowledge management; human resource management and organizational behavior
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The knowledge-based view of the firm evolved from the resource-based view of the firm [1], and acknowledges the existence of a very special resource category—the human capital. Managing such a powerful resource involves managing the employee’s efforts, performance, expectations, and career, as well as gaining access to the employee’s knowledge.

Sustainable development goals attendance demands the use of most common innovation dynamics, for example, knowledge strategies and human resources management [2]. Thus, this Special Issue invites submissions focusing on knowledge management and human resources management as a means to reach organizational sustainability. We encourage interdisciplinary thinking; the main objective of this Special Issue is to approach the involved topics with new perspectives and methods, and to provide evidence from studies developed in original settings. Empirical papers reporting unique, systematic, innovative, and integrative research are targeted for this Special Issue. Bibliometric, systematic, and content literature review analyses are also requested. Both theoretical and empirical approaches are accepted. Submissions of empirical studies using either quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods analyses are the most welcome.

Knowledge management (KM) and human resources management (HRM) topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • KM and HRM integrative models for organization sustainability;
  • KM and HRM analytics;
  • KM, HRM and digitalization;
  • KM optimization of traditional HRM tools;
  • KM and HRM contributions to organizational learning;
  • KM return-on-investment;
  • HRM return-on-investment.

References

  1. Curado, ; Bontis, N. The knowledge based-view of the firm and its theoretical precursor. Int. J. Learn. Intellect. Cap. 2006, 3, 367–381.
  2. Muñoz-Pascual, ; Curado, C.; Galende, J. The Triple Bottom Line on Sustainable Product Innovation Performance in SMEs: A Mixed Methods Approach. Sustainability 2019, 11, 1–22.

Assoc. Prof. Carla Curado
Guest Editor

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 1900 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

  • KM models
  • HRM models
  • organizational sustainability
  • organizational learning
  • analytics
  • digitalization
  • return-on-investment

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Article
Contributions to Sustainability in SMEs: Human Resources, Sustainable Product Innovation Performance and the Mediating Role of Employee Creativity
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2008; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042008 - 13 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1208
Abstract
The analysis of human resources and sustainable innovation through organizational variables is useful, albeit limited, for predicting complex interactions for sustainability development in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This paper seeks to overcome this limitation, proposing three models with variables at two levels, [...] Read more.
The analysis of human resources and sustainable innovation through organizational variables is useful, albeit limited, for predicting complex interactions for sustainability development in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This paper seeks to overcome this limitation, proposing three models with variables at two levels, namely, for the development of creativity (individual level) and sustainable product innovation performance (organizational level) and sustainability development. Theoretical models are tested using the Structural Equations Model. It is posited that knowledge, motivation, and relationships (individual level) may be predictors of creativity. In addition, creativity is analyzed as a mediator between human resources and sustainable product innovation performance. In this way, it is easier for SMEs to detect on which aspects of HR they should place greater emphasis for sustainable product innovation performance (PIP), with the purpose of reducing the ones associated with the Covid-19 crisis and obtaining a sustainable world. Information was obtained through an online questionnaire involving a sample of 245 certified innovative Spanish SMEs. The results support major findings: (a) knowledge, (b) motivation, and (c) relationships have a positive impact on creativity; (d) the three models hold that creativity fully mediates human resources and sustainable product innovation performance. The paper contributes to the literature on the human resources and sustainable product innovation performance by adopting a multidisciplinary approach, as well as by analyzing variables on two levels, measuring the most internal aspects of employees (wishes, emotions, ideas, or feelings), and explaining the mediating role of employee creativity. Full article
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Article
From Barriers to Enablers: The Role of Organizational Learning in Transitioning SMEs into the Circular Economy
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1021; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031021 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1310
Abstract
To contribute to small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) sustainable transition into the circular economy, the study proposes the activation of organizational learning (OL) processes—denoted here as multi-level knowledge creation, transfer, and retention processes—as a key phase in introducing circular business models (CBMs) at [...] Read more.
To contribute to small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) sustainable transition into the circular economy, the study proposes the activation of organizational learning (OL) processes—denoted here as multi-level knowledge creation, transfer, and retention processes—as a key phase in introducing circular business models (CBMs) at SME and supply chain (SC) level. The research employs a mixed-method approach, using the focus group methodology to identify contextual elements impacting on CBM-related OL processes, and a survey-based evaluation to single out the most frequently used OL processes inside Italian construction SMEs. As a main result, a CBM-oriented OL multi-level model offers a fine-grained understanding of contextual elements acting mutually as barriers and drivers for OL processes, as possible OL dynamics among them. The multi-level culture construct—composed of external stakeholders’, SC stakeholders’, and organizational culture—identify the key element to activate CBM-oriented OL processes. Main implications are related to the identification of cultural, structural, regulatory, and process contextual elements across the external, SC, and organizational levels, and their interrelation with applicable intraorganizational and interorganizational learning processes. The proposed model would contribute to an improved implementation of transitioning into the circular economy utilizing sustainable business models in the construction SMEs. Full article
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Article
Towards More Proactive Sustainable Human Resource Management Practices? A Study on Stress Due to the ICT-Mediated Integration of Work and Private Life
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8303; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208303 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1095
Abstract
This article discusses sustainability in Human Resource Management (HRM) in the blurred digital working life, focusing on the emotion of stress. Its empirical basis is an activity and emotion diary study conducted with 26 employees of three industrial companies in Sweden. Our results [...] Read more.
This article discusses sustainability in Human Resource Management (HRM) in the blurred digital working life, focusing on the emotion of stress. Its empirical basis is an activity and emotion diary study conducted with 26 employees of three industrial companies in Sweden. Our results show that work and private life are integrated by digital activities and also by emotions. Due to the extensive use of digital devices, stress in the working sphere is not only connected with work, and stress in the private sphere is not only connected with private life. The study also shows that stress is often episodic and can end due to activities connected with both the trigger and non-trigger spheres. From a social sustainability perspective, this study suggests that HRM should gently extend employee consideration beyond the traditional temporal and spatial boundaries of work, i.e., also including private life when understanding work in the digital age. Full article
Article
Knowledge Management Practice in General Education Schools as a Tool for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4034; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104034 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1048
Abstract
The already scarce and further dwindling natural resources, increasing environmental pollution, and other environmental, economic, and social challenges that transcend national boundaries necessitate the continuous pursuit of the more responsible implementation of the principles of sustainable development in the public and business sectors, [...] Read more.
The already scarce and further dwindling natural resources, increasing environmental pollution, and other environmental, economic, and social challenges that transcend national boundaries necessitate the continuous pursuit of the more responsible implementation of the principles of sustainable development in the public and business sectors, especially in general education schools, as the future and welfare of the society depend on education results. Therefore, the implementation of knowledge management practices in general education schools is one of the efficient ways of achieving the principles of sustainable development and their positive outcomes for society and the state. This research aimed to evaluate the peculiarities of applying knowledge management practices in general education schools for sustainable development. Research methods such as analysis of scientific literature, multiple-criteria assessment, survey, and expert evaluation were used to achieve the goal of the study. The results of the study showed that there is a high potential in general education schools for the application of knowledge management practices to achieve sustainable development. However, general education schools still face a lack of teachers’ motivation and a lack of financial resources to apply knowledge management practices and improve knowledge infrastructure for sustainability. Full article
Article
The Model of Knowledge Management Based on Organizational Climate
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3273; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083273 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1220
Abstract
Keeping in mind the fact that organizations in the region of Vojvodina are moving from a negotiated to market economy, this study aims to analyze how the dimensions of collaborative climate affect the various activities of knowledge management. The degree to which collaborative [...] Read more.
Keeping in mind the fact that organizations in the region of Vojvodina are moving from a negotiated to market economy, this study aims to analyze how the dimensions of collaborative climate affect the various activities of knowledge management. The degree to which collaborative climate influences knowledge work is investigated on 190 participants in the region of the Province of Vojvodina (Serbia). Two standardized questionnaires were used to collect data: a knowledge management questionnaire, which included 32 questions, and a collaborative climate questionnaire of 20 questions. To test the hypothesis of the study, the technique used was descriptive statistics, confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling. The results show that only the organizational culture as a dimension of collaborative climate contributes to the explanation of all the activities of knowledge management, except the activity of leaving knowledge, which fails to achieve a statistical relationship with any dimension of collaborative climate. This study provides useful insights for practitioners wanting to improve an organization’s performance and to increase organizational sustainability and learning. It is a useful base to expand further research in a way of better understanding the impact that collaborative climate has on the implementation of knowledge management in a transition towards a knowledge economy. Full article
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Systematic Review
A Systematic Literature Review on Sustainability in Family Firms
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3824; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073824 - 31 Mar 2021
Viewed by 754
Abstract
In this study, we explore the research published from 2015 to 2020 on the importance of family firms (FFs) to sustainability. Our results come from a content analysis of 28 studies on this topic. Further, they deal with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) [...] Read more.
In this study, we explore the research published from 2015 to 2020 on the importance of family firms (FFs) to sustainability. Our results come from a content analysis of 28 studies on this topic. Further, they deal with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the construction industry in Italy and Spain. These studies mainly follow a quantitative approach with data from a survey. This study’s main contribution regards the identification of three sorts of aspects associated to sustainability in FFs which match the three pillars of the triple bottom line approach that supports sustainable business development: social inclusion, economic development, and environmental protection. Our findings show that the family’s religiosity, reputation, and image play relevant roles in the FFs’ adoption of sustainable practices. Moreover, the CEO and their successor’s choices also have consequences for sustainability. These studies demonstrate how the family’s control, its values, and the industry influence the adoption of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. FFs go green by adopting eco-innovation to adapt to the constantly changing environment and market pressures. We acknowledge the limitations of the study. We offer advice to colleagues when developing future futures studies to address the influence of cultural differences between FFs and non-FFs and suggest they perform comparative analyses. This research could lead to further investigation of the effects of other variables that may influence sustainability in the context of FFs. Full article
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