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Knowledge Management

Research and Practice

Special Issue Call for Papers: 

Managing Knowledge to Navigate the Coronavirus Crisis

The coronavirus pandemic is introducing a new level of uncertainty and posing difficult and even unprecedented challenges for the sustainability of organisations and communities comparable only to the once generated by war. Indeed, states and organisations are already using a terminology, communication style and political actions distinguishing wartime. The coronavirus outbreak is first and foremost a human tragedy which is impacting on the people’s lives across the world. But it is also having significant implications on the global economy and the enterprises’ survival. The working mechanisms of socio-cultural and economic-production ecosystems are under threatening of disruption, and organisational systems are challenged to understand how they can face the consequences of the epidemic’s spreading and impact. Organisations at the macro and micro level must learn how to face and contain the negative outcomes of the coronavirus outbreak. The business models and traditional working mechanisms are at stake.

Around the world meanwhile, the governments are putting in place actions both to contain the spreading of pandemic across territories and to manage the economic crisis, organisations must develop strategies and implement management initiatives to respond to the waves of disruption that the pandemic is generating. The understanding of the strategies, projects and tools to manage the knowledge to get through the coronavirus crises is essential for survival and sustainability of any private, public and social organisation. The capacity of creating, employing and deploying knowledge is critical to protect the business and to guarantee that organisations can continuously contribute to the value creation dynamics of stakeholders’ wealth creation. Knowledge management is essential to drive organisations through the crisis. It can help to implement change management, to optimise operations, and most importantly, to support organisational learning mechanisms that can turn into innovations strengthening organisational systems of responding to a complex socio-economic landscape. Knowledge management can contribute in different ways to face the coronavirus crisis. The management and assessment of knowledge assets can drive the workplace protection ensuring employees safety and engagement to find new solutions. A knowledge-based view of the employment and deployment of new technologies can support smart working, the protection of employees’ expertise from dispersion, the creation of knowledge communities for innovation, the strengthening of social capital to face the psychological and sociological human tragedies. Knowledge management strategies play a central role in developing supply chains resilience and reorganising operations. The assessment and protection of intellectual capital are critical to reducing the risks of a financial downturn. Finally, knowledge-based strategies can help to maintain relationships with customers and key stakeholders. 

Countries’ and organisations’ crisis-response efforts are in full motion, and scholars must contribute to understanding how to navigate the coronavirus crises best. The multidisciplinary field of knowledge management can provide useful insights to help leaders and managers to think and rethink their organisations to equip them with a knowledge management capacity of effectively absorb and react to the coronavirus crises’ impacts.

This Special Issue aims to gather insights from scholars and practitioners that can help organisations to navigate during the difficult time and complex socio-economic landscape generated by the coronavirus crisis. We look for contributions that pull together existing knowledge or proposing novel understanding helping organisations to protect their sustainability and reframe their value creation mechanisms. 

The special issue will gather contributions related to the themes from a range of perspectives, potential topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • What lessons can we learn from the crises so far? And How these insights can help to define better managerial models to cope with the pandemic spreading as well as with its negative impacts?

  • How can knowledge be effectively created and translated into action during an epidemic outbreak?

  • What are the characteristics that an intelligent data system should present helping to cope with the updated information to promptly inform decision-makers about the contingent situation, the trajectories evolution, and the possible scenarios?  

  • To what extent cybersecurity can help to face the coronavirus pandemic?

  • What are the features that a knowledge management system should present to face a pandemic outbreak?

  • How can we use new technologies to create and share knowledge to manage the risks of a pandemic outbreak? 

  • How to develop a knowledge management system supporting rapid product and service prototyping and development to face the impacts of an epidemic crisis?

  • How can we best understand how to prevent and react to an epidemic escalation? 

  • How can organisations pull together their best people’s knowledge to navigate through a crisis?

  • What are the most valuable intellectual capital dimensions to manage and protect to face the coronavirus outbreak?

  • How can organisations manage at their best the infodemic with the diffusion of fight false information, especially in social media forums?

  • How to manage knowledge-behaviour gap: why do not people follow the guidelines by healthcare officials despite the risks being so well-known?

  • How can ICT be used to monitor the spread of the virus and to advise individuals to avoid risks? Are there ethical concerns in allowing the “big brother” to watch?

Papers must be no longer than 3500 words, and we are planning a fast track peer review process.


  • Submission deadline: 30 May 2020

  • First review round by 10 June 2020

  • Second review round by 30 June 2020

  • Papers acceptance: 14 July 2020



Arnold Howitt and Herman B. Leonard, eds, Managing Crises: Responses to Large-Scale Emergencies, first edition, Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2009. 

Nahman Alon and Haim Omer, “The continuity principle: A unified approach to disaster and trauma,” American Journal of Community Psychology, 1994, Volume 22, Number 2, pp. 273–87.

Arnold Howitt and Herman B. Leonard, eds, Managing Crises: Responses to Large-Scale Emergencies, first edition, Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2009. 

Helio Fred Garcia, “Effective leadership response to crisis,” Strategy & Leadership, 2006, Volume 34, Number 1, pp. 4–10.
Amy C. Edmondson, “Don’t hide bad news in times of crisis”, Harvard Business Review, March 6, 2020,