Special issue on digital transformations and value creation in management

Kun-Huang Huarng (National Taipei University of Business, Taipei, Taiwan)
Andrea Rey-Martí (University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)

European Journal of Management and Business Economics

ISSN: 2444-8494

Publication date: 8 July 2019


Huarng, K.-H. and Rey-Martí, A. (2019), "Special issue on digital transformations and value creation in management", European Journal of Management and Business Economics, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 110-113. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJMBE-07-2019-140



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Kun-Huang Huarng and Andrea Rey-Martí


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Special issue on digital transformations and value creation in management


The importance of innovation is manifest. Recently, a hotter issue is moving to global innovation. Global innovation is highly related to competitive advantage. For example, the ability of multinational corporations to leverage their innovation competencies across globally dispersed subsidiaries is a valuable source of competitive advantage (Mudambi et al., 2007). Companies have managed to integrated a globally innovation chain. They have implemented innovation processes crossing borders that provide these companies new source of competitive advantages (Doz et al., 2004). Many high-tech industries need global innovation to develop multiplying effects. For example, global innovation and markets has dramatically impacted software development (Damian and Moitra, 2006). From other perspective, the rise of smart cities in the globalization of innovation networks generate demand from global technology markets, global innovation, global technology transfer and new product co-development (Komninos, 2009).

On the other hand, a basic issue within the field of management concerns the generation, exploitation and sharing of company knowledge (Berry, 2014). A growing body of research addresses how firms can achieve sustainable advantages through using, reconfiguring and extending their knowledge (Cohen and Levinthal, 1990; Eisenhardt and Martin, 2000; Gran, 1996; Kogut and Zander, 1992). The process of innovation depends heavily on knowledge, and the management of knowledge should be a critical part of business operations (Gloet and Terziovski, 2004). Innovation relates to the process of creating and applying new knowledge. Hence, innovation itself is the very central of knowledge management (Gurteen, 1998).

Darroch (2005) states that a firm with a knowledge management capability can use resources more efficiently and so can be more innovative. This addresses the relationship between knowledge management and innovation. The nature of global economic growth has been changed by the speed of innovation. Meanwhile, the complexity of innovation has been increased by growth in the amount of knowledge available to organizations (Du Plessis, 2007). Study also shows that knowledge management capacity plays a mediating role between strategic human resource (HR) practices and innovation performance (Chen and Huang, 2009).

Following the literature, this special issue covers studies ranging from individual level that may affect company innovation and performance, such as soft skills and employee deviant behavior, to company level, such as how brand may attracts job applicants, and to region level, such as the relationship of entrepreneurship and firm creation with region performance, how additive manufacturing may change global business landscape, and the issue of innovations in intellectual property rights management (IPRM). The contributions of these studies are summarized below.


The impact has been widely recognized of interpersonal skills and personal characteristics on employability (Heckman and Kautz, 2012; Succi, 2018; Wheeler, 2016). Succi and Wieandt conduct an exploratory study to describe the tools to assess soft skills during the recruitment process, and those to develop soft skills of graduates during their first years on the job. Two symmetrical online questionnaires have been sent to 500 HR managers and 240 graduates of a European business school in both Italy and Germany. The empirical results show that graduates and managers describe differently the use of tools to develop graduates’ soft skills. The majority of HR managers state that they use formal training to graduates and that they are involved in the performance appraisal sessions. From the graduate side, only 22 percent agree that they receive formal training and only 26 percent in a performance appraisal process. Based on the finding, it is interesting to ask whose responsibility it is to develop soft skills for employees, graduates themselves, higher education or companies?

Deviant workplace behavior (DWB) violates significant organizational norms and is perceived as threatening to the well-being of an organization (Bennett and Robinson, 2000). Kalemci, Kalemci-Tuzun and Ozkan-Canbolat conduct a study to understand the organizational and supervisory support in the context of employee DWB by examining the employees’ cultural value orientations. This study uses fuzzy set/qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to analyze relationships between DWB and perceived organizational support, as well as perceived supervisory support and employees’ cultural value orientations. Contrary to conventional statistical analysis, fsQCA can generate multiple relationships, consisting of various combinations of independent variables but leading to the same dependent variable. The multiple relationships can demonstrate different behaviors. This study shows that organizational and supervisory support influences employees’ DWB.

The impact of branding activities has increased to include not only consumers but also stakeholders, in particular, employees (King and Grace, 2009; Jiang and Iles, 2011; Xie et al., 2015; Jain and Bhatt, 2015). Santiago explores the relationship between the employer (organization) brand attractiveness and the intention of job hunters to submit a job application to that organization. This study used both quantitative (a questionnaire survey) and qualitative (in-depth interviews) data to investigate the perceptions of future and current employees. The millennial generation respondent supports the multi-dimensionality of employer brand attractiveness, highlighting the importance of economic factors, such as better salary or opportunities for promotion. These factors seem less important to millennials for them to consider future job prospects. However, the results of the qualitative research for current employees show that career progression appears to be crucial.

Huarng (2013) considers it is critical to lower the entrepreneurship risk. Innovations requires an entrepreneur willing to assume the risk involved in launching new products or processes onto the market (Braunerhjelm et al., 2010). Rico and Cabrer intend to examine the factors for the divergences in the economic growth of the Spanish regions. The empirical results show that entrepreneurial capital, understood as both the creation of new firms and entrepreneurship activity, have a positive effect on productive efficiency and can explain the differences in the economic growth of the regions. In addition, human capital and the promotion of innovation act as catalysts for the productive efficiency of the regions.

Additive manufacturing is supposed to change supply chains from global to local (Zeleny, 2012), or disrupt operations of firms along the supply chain (Oettmeier and Hofmann, 2016, Rogers et al., 2016). Öberg intends to explore the development of additive manufacturing from a power dependence perspective. The study is based on the data collected from 620 industry experts representing 102 companies. The result points out how the disruptive characteristics of the supply chain leads to exercised power. The power struggle provides new insights into how an emerging technology is realized and the effect of protectionism on such attempts.

The global process of strengthening and harmonization of intellectual property rights (IPRs) systems has been intensified recently by the signing chapters with intellectual property provisions and other trade-related issues (Campi and Dueñas, 2019). Ana Modic, Hafner, Damij and Zajc evaluate innovations in IPR databases, techniques and software tools, with an emphasis on selected new developments and their contribution toward achieving advantages for IPRM and wider social benefits. Several industry buzzwords are addressed, such as IPR-linked open databases, blockchain and IPR-related techniques, acknowledged for their contribution in moving toward artificial intelligence in IPRM. The analysis is done by a literature review, web analysis and interviews carried out with some of the top experts from IPR-savvy multinational companies. An examination of existing IPR tools shows they are not yet fully developed, with limited usability for IPRM. After reviewing the techniques, it is clear that the current one is insufficient to fully address artificial intelligence in IPR. Uses of blockchain in IPR show they are yet to be fully exploited on a larger scale.


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