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This volume explores the ways in which knowledge and innovation impact business and economic sustainability, offering a wide-ranging and richly illustrated study of knowledge, innovation and sustainability of organizations from a dynamic capabilities perspective.

In organizational theory, dynamic capability is defined as an organization’s ability to react and adapt adequately and rapidly to external change. In today’s global economy, pursuing sustainable strategies and practices is critical to organizational success. Complying with externally and internally imposed sustainability targets might initially appear as a restriction for organizations; however, they can be transformed into a new set of opportunities. This means that the classic ways in which management absorbs the experiences associated with evolving conditions, organizational frameworks and markets must be reconsidered in light of the preservation of the technological, environmental and social ecosystems.

Featuring research and case studies from sectors such as NGOs, SMEs, education and agriculture, this book offers students, academics, practitioners and policymakers a multi-faceted understanding of how and why knowledge, innovation and sustainability are intricately linked—and offers insight into best practices that balance organizational and societal needs.



Chapter 1. Knowledge, Innovation, and Sustainable Development in Organizations: A Dynamic Capability Perspective: An Overview

Knowledge, innovation, and sustainable development are highly recognized themes in the business, economics, and management literature. Despite the existence of this vast literature, few papers analyze this subject under the perspective of dynamic capabilities. This chapter aims to present an overview about this topic, and it provides an opportunity to advance our understanding about knowledge, innovation, and sustainable development in the organization context based on a perspective of dynamic capabilities. Furthermore, we address the main critical aspects approached in the different chapters and their impact on these themes. A short description of the author’s contributions is provided.
Marta Peris-Ortiz, João J. Ferreira, Jose M. Merigó Lindahl

Chapter 2. Knowledge, Innovation and Sustainability: Past Literature and Future Trends

Knowledge, innovation and sustainability are topics very well recognized in the business and management literature and beyond of this field. These subjects seem fundamental to the companies for them to survive and to win in an increasingly globalized world, but how do they appear interconnected on the literature? As research in this area has related these concepts and how these themes have emerged over time, to demonstrate their relevance to this field of science is one of the objectives of this study. Therefore, our study aims to map scientific publications, intellectual structure and research trends on knowledge, innovation and sustainability. Our contribution is precisely to find the theoretical approaches present in the different investigations on this field and to promote the discussion of future agenda.
Cristina Fernandes, João J. Ferreira, Pedro M. Veiga, Marta Peris-Ortiz

Chapter 3. Project Management Office in the Nongovernmental Organization as a Driver of Sustainable Competitive Advantage: A Dynamic Capabilities Approach

The purpose of this research is to evaluate the possible impact of project management office (PMO) on the performance of projects of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), under the lens of dynamic capabilities. To do so, an ex post facto study was carried out, using the difference-in-differences (DID) technique. The data for the study were collected in quarterly performance reports of six projects over 3 years of the Brazilian environmental NGO Instituto Terra. The results lead to the proposition that the PMOs in NGOs act as catalysts of dynamic capacities, allowing these organizations to reach higher levels of performance in their projects. It is argued that the PMO has contributed to making the NGO able to perceive opportunities and threats (sense), avail opportunities (seize), and maintain the conditions of competitiveness by the continuous improvement of the business assets (transforming and reconfiguring), leading to the obtention of sustainable competitive advantage through organizational learning. Thus, the scope of the PMO is expanded as a facilitator of organizational learning through the management of projects and the development of dynamic capabilities to meet the specificities of each project and context.
Adonai J. Lacruz, Everton A. Cunha, Ralf L. de Moura, Marcos P. V. de Oliveira

Chapter 4. Sustainable Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Disadvantaged Regions: Impact of Knowledge and Innovation

Knowledge and innovation are critical resources for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, there is lack of research on the influence of knowledge and innovation on SMEs’ sustainable development and how this can stimulate the growth and development of disadvantaged regions. In order to explore these phenomena, a qualitative approach was chosen, conducting six exploratory case studies in the Beira Interior Region in Portugal. It can be concluded that knowledge and innovation are indeed relevant for the growth and sustainability of SMEs and the regions in which they are embedded. The cases studied particularly underscore the importance of innovative SMEs as drivers of value and wealth creation for disadvantaged regions. Again, the outcomes also show that investing in knowledge and innovation is a means to ensure SMEs’ survival in disadvantaged regions. The implications of this study may also serve as benchmarking for SMEs or regions that pursue knowledge and innovation-based strategies in order to ensure sustainable regional development.
Mário Franco, Heiko Haase

Chapter 5. Applied Innovation Methodology: A Proposal for a Dynamic Sustainable Environment for the Generation of Innovation and Knowledge Management Practices in SMEs

In our current competitive environment, new elements should be introduced to increase the balance in three different areas: the commercial and economic dimension, the demographic movements, and the new technological scenarios. Innovation is not implemented in isolation, depending on the analysis, understanding, and satisfaction of specific needs of each client according to the environment, sector, products, and knowledge management. A good concept related to innovation is the one which fulfills the mentioned needs in order to achieve an optimized final result.
In this order of alignments, the process of conceptualization and the conception of an idea into a concept or prototype and then into a product or service with the required specifications are defined by the whole development process. It is important to outline that the knowledge life cycle in any organization has a specific expiry date, and thus it is important through knowledge to develop adaptation strategies and methodologies in the company as a response to change in its environment. Therefore, the company should pursue the ultimate goal of innovation in order to transform itself into a more competitive entity.
In this paper the authors describe how an SME (small and medium enterprise) could complement the knowledge and dynamic capability management of the client with a strategic point of view and the ability to overcome any inconvenient challenge or problem. To perform this task, a new model called Applied Innovation Methodology was proposed, in order to create dynamic and sustainable new opportunities and to enhance the best practices of innovation and knowledge management within these kinds of organizations.
Jordi Mauri-Castello, Antonio Alonso-Gonzalez, Marta Peris-Ortiz

Chapter 6. Following the Footprints of SME Competitiveness in a High-Technology Sector

This chapter examines the competitiveness footprints of SMEs within a high-tech cluster. A mixed methodology combining quantitative and qualitative data is used. More specifically, a case study is offered to show trends in innovative and entrepreneurial collaboration associated with an internationally competitive high-tech cluster. The findings shed light on the importance of collective efficiency strategies, with a focus on RD&I, implemented by SMEs that operate in an international and competitive market. This chapter highlights the lessons learned in two specific aspects: the role of innovation in the competitiveness of SMEs and the role of innovation and entrepreneurship networks in enhancing the functions of a high-technology industrial cluster, the Portuguese Engineering and Tooling Cluster.
Luís Farinha, Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen

Chapter 7. The Integration of the Supply Chain as a Dynamic Capability for Sustainability: The Case of an Innovative Organic Company

Numerous research projects have demonstrated that a firm’s ability to integrate, build, and reconfigure internal and external competencies to adapt to changes in its environment is a key capability for its competitiveness. However, in the case of developing the capabilities needed to implement innovation, we have found that the ability to integrate knowledge into the supply chain is also crucial since it is an essential requirement for bringing in technological change and product innovation. The purpose of this chapter is to understand the role of supplier integration in the implementation of radical innovation. First, we propose a theoretical model to connect supplier integration as a dynamic capability to ordinary routines. Second, we study the connection between supplier integration and radical innovation through a case study in an innovative firm in the organic agro-food industry. Our analysis reveals that Herbes del Moli, the case under study, would be unable to survive and develop without the integration of the knowledge generated in the company and its painstaking and ongoing partnership with its suppliers to assimilate this knowledge throughout its supply chain. This discussion is relevant in management literature as it involves applying the dynamic capabilities approach to supply chain integration in order to understand the limitations and demands of radical innovation.
Maria D. Moreno-Luzon, Juan P. Escorcia-Caballero, Odette Chams-Anturi

Chapter 8. Personal Branding as a Knowledge Management Tool to Enhance Innovation and Sustainable Development in Organizations

Personal Branding is a relatively new discipline that derives from conventional marketing and which is focused on applying different strategies, techniques, and tools for an individual. Entrepreneurs, professionals, and employees are able to identify their prime skills and competences, communicate them correctly to their target markets, and maximize internal and external client’s satisfaction, achieving goals and objectives in their personal and professional life.
Nowadays, companies require more and more competitive individuals as part of their staff. A strong Personal Branding strategy within the companies’ employees can help these organizations to pursue the successful differentiation and competitiveness that the current labor market is demanding, attracting the best professionals to their staff. This is perfectly aligned with the current economic needs, which aim to sell experiences rather than mere products or services, and Personal Branding has become a great opportunity and a valuable tool for employees to attract new and better customers, compete in a better market, or generate higher incomes. Therefore, Personal Branding could be interpreted as a tool that could enhance an innovation culture inside the organization based on client’s satisfaction and in the long run favoring sustainable development within the organizations.
This paper proposes some considerations to be taken into account to take advantage of Personal Branding and its benefits in the context of an organization. This should be implemented by the companies’ Human Resources department through a proper and efficient knowledge management and dynamic capabilities implementation, in order to promote an acceptable work environment that fosters innovation, sustainable development, transparency, competitiveness, initiative, teamwork, and corporate values alignment within the organization.
Antonio Alonso-Gonzalez, Marta Peris-Ortiz, Jose J. Cao-Alvira

Chapter 9. Expatriation Knowledge Management: The Role of Openness to Change and Work Engagement

This study addresses the relevant aspect when a company chooses the strategy to internationalize. When choosing internationalization, it is crucial for companies to be more careful in selecting professionals that are able to disseminate the firm’s knowledge in international subsidiaries. Despite the expatriation of employees and the internationalization itself being singled out as important competitive advantages, the high cost of training, sending, maintaining, and repatriating an expatriate professional has become a challenge for companies. Considering that the individual’s openness to change can favor expatriation success, the objective of this study is to propose a theoretical model that connects the openness to change personality trait as the antecedent to the intention of an individual to be expatriated or also an antecedent to leave the company. The theoretical model also considers the moderator role of work engagement in both relationships. In the development of the theoretical model, the associations between the four constructs were theoretically identified: openness to change, intention to be expatriated, intention to leave the company, and work engagement, in the form of assumptions. In particular the theoretical model focuses on the moderating role that work engagement can provide for these relationships. The proposed model can be a guideline for knowledge management practices in international organizations.
Silveli Cristo-Andrade, Bruno Felix, Emerson Wagner Mainardes

Chapter 10. The Entrepreneurial University Stimulating Innovation Through Campus Development: The MIT Case

This chapter examines the university campus as a strategic organizational resource helping universities to adapt from a traditional to an entrepreneurial profile in order to remain competitive in today’s knowledge-based economy. The author links the concept of “dynamic capabilities” with corporate real estate management theories to study campus development as a long-term process enabling universities to adapt to the changing environments in which they operate. This chapter illustrates this process with the case of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a well-known entrepreneurial university. Findings describe how the MIT developed its campus and surroundings into a rich innovation ecosystem by reacting timely and adequately to technological, societal, and environmental dynamics influencing its local context. Similarly, the author acknowledges differences in campus management strategies that can be perceived as risky for the competitive position of the MIT in the long term. These findings are particular important for two reasons. In general, they built upon theories emphasizing the role of real estate as organizational resource that needs strategic management. In particular, they draw the attention to the adequate planning of environments fostering innovation ecosystem such as the so-called innovation districts or knowledge locations.
Flavia T. J. Curvelo Magdaniel

Chapter 11. Increasing the Economic Sustainability of the Company JSC “Novoazovskoe”

Increasing the economic sustainability of an enterprise represents one of the most important problems in current global economic and political conditions. For agricultural companies this issue is highly important. One of the ways to increase economic sustainability is by improving the quality of harvested feed for animals, namely, haylage. In this chapter, the meaning of “economic sustainability” and ways of increasing it were taken into account. The joint-stock company “Novoazovskoe” of Azovsky German National District of Omsk region of the Russian Federation was the enterprise considered for our study. According to the topic of the chapter, the general analysis of legal, managerial, financial and productive information of the considered enterprise was implemented. To identify the most prospective ways of increasing economic sustainability in terms of harvesting system, it was implemented the analysis of existing haylage, the harvesting system. In the final chapter, it was set forth a modern system of haylage harvesting, highlighting the need for purchasing required machineries to implement the new system. With the implementation of this new haylage harvesting system undergone, the economic results are also presented. The main results show that after the implementation of the new haylage harvesting system, the total volume of good haylage increased up to 88% of total remained mass and 93% of initial harvested mass. Accumulated gross profit for 5 years received from realization of the surplus of a good haylage was more than 29 million rubles.
Victoria Kopeikina, Paula Odete Fernandes, Olga Kosenchuk

Chapter 12. Innovation Management in Portuguese and Russian Agricultural Companies

Increasing the innovative activity of enterprises in current conditions while managing it properly is one of the most important parts of management. Implementation of new technologies, optimization of costs, entering new markets, launching of new products, and many other aspects – all of them should be considered when adopting the strategy for an enterprise’s activity, both from a short-term and from a long-term perspective. One of the most demanded innovative directions is the use of renewable energy sources. Among the most popular energy sources, solar panels make top of the list, and they can be installed on existing constructions. The reason for development in this direction is the permanent growth in demand for electricity produced through traditional sources and, as a result, the permanent growth of electricity cost for enterprises holding production lines; this ultimately leads to a growth in price for the final consumer. This research considers the opportunity to implement renewable energy sources on existing agricultural enterprises. As subjected enterprises, we will review APC “Bolshevik” of Moskalensky District of Omsk region of the Russian Federation and “Company B” LDA of Bragança Municipality of the Portuguese Republic. We will calculate financial and production results received after the implementation of new electricity-generating systems on both enterprises. The opportunity to sell the surplus of overproduced electricity to the citizens of nearby villages and cities or to the government will also be taken into account.
Mikhail Kopeykin, Sofia Cardim, Vitaly Aleshchenko, Frederico Branco

Chapter 13. Sustainability and Innovation in the Value Chain: An Analysis of a Case Study

A significant number of companies worldwide recognize the importance of sharing resources for value generation and increased competitiveness in their industries. This change has increased in the relevant energy sector, especially in global companies that operate on a productive scale. The search for new forms of sustainable energy generation is the focus of business operations and is a requirement for the introduction of innovation strategy. The objective of this chapter is to present an innovative practice for creating organizational knowledge and achieving sustainable competitive advantage. We address the theoretical relationship between circular economy, strategic innovation, sustainability, competitiveness, and dynamic capabilities, through a case study of a global and innovative company in the energy sector. The research revealed that ENEL ENERGIA would be unable to keep its development and competitiveness without integrating knowledge generated in the business and its partnership with stakeholders of the shared value chain. This discussion is relevant in the literature on management because it represents, at the current world economic moment, a survival approach for companies through innovation and value sharing.
Ronnie J-Figueiredo, Osvaldo Luiz Gonçalves Quelhas, Bouchaib Bahli


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