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Knowledge Management Research and Practice
Knowledge Management Systems in the Digital Age

Guest Editors

Daniela Carlucci

Department of the European and Mediterranean Cultures: Architecture, Environment, Cultural Heritages, University of Basilicata, Italy


Dmitry V. Kudryavtsev

Information Technologies in Management Department

Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University, Russia


Constantin Bratianu

UNESCO Department for Business Administration, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania



About the issue
The research and practice have long acknowledged the importance of managing knowledge as a strategic resource for organisational grow, competitiveness, sustainability and innovation (e.g. Boisot, 1998; Carlucci and Schiuma, 2007; Grant, 1996; Heiseg et al., 2016; Holsapple 2005; Schiuma et al., 2012; Sirmon et al., 2011; Teece, 2007).

In today’s digital age the technological advances have further pushed the need for Knowledge Management (KM) to the forefront, and XXI century organisations are facing and exploiting the data “explosion”, by navigating into an ocean of information coming from different sources, sites and stakeholders (Gavrilova et al., 2017). Indeed, the proliferation of data and the development of advanced technologies are changing the way organisations manage, combine and deploy data, information and knowledge, take strategic decisions, operate their businesses models, drive value creation mechanisms to meet diversified stakeholders’ wants and needs.

In such new scenario, organisations are rethinking their ways of acquiring or generating new knowledge, applying current knowledge, retaining and storing existing knowledge, sharing and transferring knowledge, handling obsolete or invalid knowledge. In other terms, organisations are rethinking their KM systems (KMSs) to face the pervasive digitalisation with its challenges and opportunities.

KMS has been conceptualised in different ways over the years. KMS has been defined as a collection of techniques and strategies to analyze, organize, improve, distribute, maintain, and share knowledge and experience in an organization (e.g. Massingham, 2014, Nainar, 2016; Singh, 2007). Focusing on the tacit or explicit nature of knowledge, KMS has been also described as a system that, through information technology, facilitates the capture, storage, search, transfer and reuse of tacit and explicit knowledge in an organization and can aid the organisation to transform tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge (Alavi and Leidner, 2001; Wang et al. 2016).

Recently the inclusion of knowledge and KMS within the released ISO 9001 and 30401 (ISO, 2015; ISO, 2018), has marked a further change for KMS and has provided a long awaited level of legitimacy also for this management system (Kudryavtsev and Sadykova, 2019). According to ISO 30401 (ISO, 2018) the purpose of this standard for KM is to support organizations to develop a KMS that effectively promotes and enables value-creation through knowledge. For this reason, the organization shall establish, implement, maintain and continually improve a KMS, which is understood as a part of a management system with regard to knowledge, where system elements include the organization’s knowledge management culture, structure, governance and leadership; roles and responsibilities; planning, technology, processes and operation, etc.” [ISO, 2018].

What is now required is a KMS that allows organisations to harness the real potential of digital revolution and have an integrated strategy and a holistic approach towards KM in the digital era. Indeed, KMS is one of the key driving vehicles for the digital transformation. However, because of the pace of digital revolution, KMS of an organisation has to be continuously rethought, to provide and transfer the right information and knowledge and create an environment where the digital transformation could clearly flourish.

This special issue aims to provide fresh insights about approaches, models, processes and tools of KMS for timely and effective harnessing the potential of digital era.



In the digital era the importance of KMS is growing larger than before. Digital transformation can successfully develop in organisations only when the changes and knowledge meet, by assuring that skills required by digital revolution is bridged through effective KMS.

Certainly, in the digital emerging era, KM and KMS are being gradually but decisively transforming. Thus, an in-depth investigation of challenges and opportunities for KMS inherent to digital transformation, offers many promising research avenues.

The recent standard ISO for KMS represents a new research lens through which to analyse the design, implementation and improvement of KMS to face the challenges of digital revolution.

In this special issue, both conceptual and empirical submissions are invited to investigate the emerging avenues which match KMS with digital revolution, through both theoretical and practical lenses.

The contributions may address, but are not limited to, the following research topics:


  • Perspectives and good practices of KMS design and implementation for digital transformation

  • Approaches, models, processes and tools of KMS in the digital era

  • Digital infrastructure and technology, big data, AI & KMS

  • KMS and performance management in the digital era

  • KMS and business strategy in the digital era

  • KMS and business modelling in the digital era

  • KMS, learning processes and knowledge sharing for digital transformation

  • KMS and digital business transformation

  • KMS and innovation in digital era

  • KMS standard in the digital era


Additional research lens for the Special Issue


ISO 30401 can be considered as a common language in KM, which can be used for positioning, comparing and evaluating different KMS approaches. This language may help to join researchers from different communities and disciplines, researchers with practitioners.

The current special issue suggests ISO 30401 as a reference frame and research lens for the submissions and proposes authors to position their research within ISO 30401 structure.

So the special issue invites contributions, which cover KMS in the digital era and provide mapping to ISO 30401.


  • Open for submissions: 15 November 2020

  • Submission deadline: 15 March 2021

  • First review round by 15 June 2021

  • Second review round by 31 August 2021

  • Papers acceptance: 15 November 2021




Alavi M, Leidner DE. (2001), Knowledge Management and Knowledge Systems: Conceptual Foundations and Research Issue. MIS Quarterly; Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 107-136. doi:10.2307/3250961

Boisot, M. H. (1998). Knowledge assets: Securing competitive advantage in the information economy. OUP Oxford.

Carlucci, D. & Schiuma, G. (2007). Knowledge assets value creation map: Assessing knowledge assets value drivers using AHP. Expert systems with applications, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 814-821.

Gavrilova T.A., Alsufyev A.I., Grinberg E.Y. (2017) Knowledge visualization: Critique of the St. Gallen School and an analysis of contemporary trends// Business Informatics, Vol. 3, No. 41, pp. 7–19.

Grant, R. M. (1996). Toward a knowledge‐based theory of the firm. Strategic management journal, 17(S2), 109-122.

Heisig, P., Suraj, O. A., Kianto, A., Kemboi, C., Perez Arrau, G., & Fathi Easa, N. (2016). Knowledge management and business performance: global experts’ views on future research needs. Journal of Knowledge Management, 20(6), pp. 1169-1198.

Holsapple, C. W. (2005). The inseparability of modern knowledge management and computer-based technology. Journal of knowledge management, 9(1), 42-52.

International Standards Organization (ISO), (2015). ISO 9001:2015 (en) Quality management systems — Requirements. Retrieved on November 13, 2019 from

International Standards Organization (ISO), (2018). ISO 30401:2018 (en) Knowledge management systems — Requirements. Retrieved on November 13, 2019 from

Kudryavtsev, D., & Sadykova, D. (2019). Towards Architecting a Knowledge Management System: Requirements for an ISO Compliant Framework. In IFIP Working Conference on The Practice of Enterprise Modeling (pp. 36-50). Springer, Cham.

Massingham P. (2014), An evaluation of knowledge management tools: Part 2-managing knowledge flows and enablers. Journal of Knowledge Management. Vol. 18, No. 6, pp. 1101-1126.

Nainar, B. (2016), Effective Application of Knowledge Management System for Reverse Center Location Problem, Advanced Computer Applications, pp. 304-307.

Schiuma, G., Carlucci, D., & Sole, F. (2012). Applying a systems thinking framework to assess knowledge assets dynamics for business performance improvement. Expert Systems with Applications, 39(9), 8044-8050.

Singh SP. (2007), What are we managing – knowledge or information?, Vine, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp.169-179.

Sirmon, D. G., Hitt, M. A., Ireland, R. D., & Gilbert, B. A. (2011). Resource orchestration to create a competitive advantage: Breadth, depth, and life cycle effects. Journal of management, Vol. 37, No. 5, pp. 1390-1412.

Teece, D. J. (2007). Explicating dynamic capabilities: the nature and microfoundations of (sustainable) enterprise performance. Strategic management journal, 28(13), 1319-1350.

Wang J, Ding D, Liu O, Li M. (2016) A synthetic method for knowledge management performance evaluation based on triangular fuzzy number and group support systems. Applied Soft Computing Journal, Vol., 39, pp. 1-27.