[Journal] Call for papers: Special issue on Managing the emerging knowledge economy inside China

[German title: [Journal] Aufruf für Artikel-Beiträge: Sonderausgabe über das Management der aufkommenden Wissensökonomie in China]

Calls for papers: Chinese Management Studies
Special issue theme: “Managing the emerging knowledge economy inside China”

Guest Editor: John Humphreys, Texas A&M University – Commerce, USA

Submissions are due no later than 17 March 2008.

Since Ikujiro Nonaka’s (1991) classic Harvard Business Review article (reprinted in the summer 2007 issue), researchers have focused considerable attention on the concept of knowledge management. Exploration in the field has evolved dynamically across numerous disciplines from explicit knowledge and information processing, to more tacit knowledge and organizational sharing, to the production and distribution of new knowledge. Nonetheless, Nonaka’s assertion that the “one sure source of lasting competitive advantage is knowledge” certainly still rings true as globalization inexorably marches on.

With China’s unprecedented explosion on the world stage, it is critical that scholars begin to examine knowledge management within such a dynamic transitional economy. While we know that knowledge is viewed as crucial to success in most mature economies (Bruton et al., 2007) and developed countries have accrued more knowledge reserves (Tan & Hooy, 2007), our understanding of the conception and propagation of knowledge inside China is limited. We recognize that knowledge creation is the realm of human subjectivity (Nonaka & Toyama, 2005) but also value the influence of the organization in amplifying the generated knowledge (Nonaka, 1994). Moreover, since organizational culture impacts knowledge management success (Davenport & Prusak, 1998), it only stands to reason that culture more broadly defined must exert even greater sway on the process and perspective of effective knowledge management. With China’s extraordinary economic growth in successive years, and the subsequent blended environment of Confucian values and an increasing market-oriented philosophy, numerous and varied questions emerge.

Prospective contributors may wish to consider (but are not limited to) the following research questions:

  • Although cultural values are relatively stable, they do change over time. How might the convergence of traditional value systems with a market-oriented approach impact the generation and exploitation of knowledge with Chinese workers? Within Chinese firms?
  • Nonaka (1991, p. 98) rightly assessed that creating new knowledge “is as much about ideals as it is about ideas”. How would Chinese ideals influence the individual conception and diffusion of new knowledge? Within Chinese firms? With global affiliates?
  • Technologies to support knowledge management are many, but are they employed widely in China? If not, then what steps must be undertaken for China to become a learning economy and might there be opportunities with global partners in this area?
  • Conversely, technological advancement and skill alone does not guarantee a working knowledge economy. Other individual factors relating to ideas such as risk-taking and power-sharing are often assumed. How might often accepted Chinese behaviours associated with risk aversion and power distance effect the emergence of an authentic knowledge economy?
  • In the eleventh five-year plan, the Chinese government listed enhanced innovation and creativity as a primary societal goal. This objective clearly encompasses the idea of creating and managing knowledge. How might this be achieved? Why has China recently lagged behind in this area and what should be done to accelerate innovation? What are the implications for Chinese education? Industry?
  • One could argue that many Chinese organizations operate with a resource-based view of the firm with little attention given to the often undifferentiated human resources. How can Chinese managers be convinced that individual employees have valuable knowledge to such a degree that organizations begin to develop a more knowledge-based view?

In summary, our goal in this special issue is to better understand how the unique characteristics of China (society, economy, organizations, values, people, technology, etc.) influence the effective creation, utilization, and dissemination of knowledge in contemporary Chinese organizations and their multifaceted interactions with global partners. We explicitly invite manuscripts that examine such issues that directly relate to the challenges and opportunities inherent with China’s potential and preparedness for sustained success in a knowledge-based economy.

Submissions are due no later than 17 March 2008.

Completed papers and initial suggestions should be emailed to the guest editor, John Humphries at john_humphreys@tamu-commerce.edu.

Contributors should follow the manuscript requirements and author guidelines provided in the back of each issue of Chinese Management Studies and at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/cms.htm.

All submissions will be reviewed in accordance with the established reviewing process of the journal. Please be sure to include both a Structured Abstract and up to six keywords which encapsulate the principal areas covered by the article.

General questions about submission should be directed to the CMS Editor, Professor Check-Teck Foo, at MCTFOO@ntu.edu.sg.


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