Information knowledge and innovation management

Focusing on the management of practices and processes in dynamic and collaborative work settings across a variety of organisations.

Man and woman in a meeting.
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Our research themes

The knowledge and information management research group focuses on the management of information, knowledge and innovation practices and processes, mainly in collaborative and dynamic work settings, in a variety of organisational and inter-organisational contexts.

The group has a strong interdisciplinary nature and draws on theoretical perspectives from organisational and sociological theory, strategic management, information science, information systems and information technology.

We bring diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives to this area, with an emphasis on interpretive approaches to discourse, knowledge and power.

Key research areas

The KIM group research is clustered around the following areas:

  • Social practices
    • the social dynamics of information and knowledge discovery, sharing and transformation
    • organisational adaptation and knowledge sharing
    • boundary-spanning practices
    • social networks and knowledge communities
  • Strategy
    • knowledge and information management governance and strategies
    • knowledge absorption and innovation
    • intangible asset valuation
  • Systems
    • systems in use, knowledge work and the digital workplace
    • social enterprise systems and innovation
    • systems evaluation and change management
    • digital identity

Projects and research areas

See details of our projects below.

Drivers of Industrial Rejuvenation in UK and Portugal Old Industrial Regions

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The project aimed at investigating how organisational and network capital influence path renewal and path creation processes. It followed a qualitative case study approach, which allowed the investigation of industry rejuvenation manifestations in a natural setting.

South Yorkshire and the North Region of Portugal were chosen as archetypical old industrial regions concentrating a variety of firms that have been successful in their adaptation by the innovative restructuring of their traditional manufacturing activities.

Participants in the study comprised Managing Directors of firms belonging to the metal and engineering industry and the textile and footwear sectors, and actors of the regional innovation system – Higher Education Institutions, Research & Development centres, business incubators, local executive boards, chambers of commerce and industry.

The qualitative, interview-based research design gave participants an opportunity to reflect at length on how industry in their respective regions has proved its resilience in the face of a context of global economic crisis.

More specifically, participants held widely consensual views on the role played by regional embedded competences in the shaping of firms’ turn to innovation, productivity, resource-efficiency and high value-added to compete in global markets.

Access to knowledge transfer centres that operate the integration of knowledge assets that are unique to the regions was also considered pivotal to the leveraging of high value-added goods and services, and to the effective management of value chains.

The project findings contribute to an enhanced understanding of how organisational capital (manifested notably through working practices that support intra and inter-organisational knowledge flows) and regional network capital (manifested notably through engagement in collective learning with innovation actors, combined with the exploitation of geographical proximity opportunities to create and distribute knowledge) support the development of rejuvenation trajectories of firms embedded in old industrial regions.

Watch the project video

The project culminated in the organisation of the Industrial Renaissance Forum – a combined stakeholder engagement and results dissemination event held at the Information School.

The Forum celebrated the industrial rejuvenation trajectories of two European old industrial regions: South Yorkshire and the North Region of Portugal.

The experience and know how of key stakeholders - EU Committee of the Regions, UK and Portugal firms, enterprise partnerships, R&D centres, local government – was brought together in discussion, giving participants cross-cutting insight into practical projects, good practice, governance issues, and the dynamics of regional innovation.

Project lead: Dr Jorge Martins

Funder: Regional Studies Association

From Marketplace to Marketspace

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The aims of this project were (a) To raise awareness among market traders of the business opportunities offered by ecommerce, and (b) To enable market traders to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to trade online.

In order to demonstrate the business potential of ecommerce, UG students studying on the department’s Information Management in the Digital Economy module worked alongside market traders; interviewing traders, understanding their business context, defining a marketspace opportunity, trialling the use of various Internet business tools and developing an online presence that would help traders to market their business online and to enlarge their current customer base.

The main benefit of the project to market traders was to raise their awareness of the business potential of the Internet.

The main benefit accruing to the university is the project’s contribution to undergraduate learning in the areas of information management and e-business. The project also enabled students to see the relevance and timeliness of one of the department’s undergraduate modules and the content of its curriculum to current trends in the marketplace.

The project has highlighted a continuing divide in the digital economy between those businesses that have the capability and know-how to exploit the Internet for enterprise and those who do not.

Duration: 2010-2011

Sponsor: Knowledge Transfer, University of Sheffield

IKIM participant: Angela Lin and Jonathan Foster

A model for research methods training for new research students in libraries and Information Studies

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This project aimed at developing a training model and seminar series for research students in Information Studies.

It addresses the wide range of methodologies that is used in information studies; by the pooling of expertise, and the development of a common package, aimed so that students are more widely exposed to them than HE institutions would be able to do individually.

A decision tree was developed which will assist students in adopting and adapting appropriate methodologies for their chosen topic.

Project duration: 2007-2008

Sponsor: AHRC Collaborative Research Training Provision for Doctoral Students.

Partners: Loughborough University

IKIM team: Ana Vasconcelos

Riders have spoken: designing and evaluating an archive for replaying interactive performances

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In recent years, a number of organizations within the field of electronic arts have devoted attention to the task of archiving and preserving, often transitory, electronic works of art and digital performances.

These organizations have tried to address some of the problematic aspects of archiving and preserving electronic media, e.g. the research and development process that is often involved, user interactions, distributed authorship of the work, and dependency on hardware and software components, by developing documentation strategies and metadata models that aid in accessing the materials and increasing their interoperability.

In addition, interactive games and performances present particular challenges for capturing, archiving, and replaying.

These challenges relate to the often distributed nature of the artwork, its open design, the multiple participants involved, and the heterogeneous nature of the data, e.g. audio files, video files, GPS data, generated by the performance.

Trying to capture the live character of such performances is extremely difficult. Rider Spoke, the mixed reality interactive performance that we archived and replayed, was developed by the artists Blast Theory in collaboration with the Mixed Reality Laboratory at the University of Nottingham as part of the European research project Integrated Project of Pervasive Games (IPerg).

Sponsor: AHRC

Partners: Steve Benford (University of Nottingham), Gabriella Giannachi (University of Exeter)

IKIM participant: Dr Jonathan Foster

Links: http://projects.beyondtext.ac.uk/sg-jonathan-foster/

The strategic turnaround of traditional SMEs in Portugal in a time of economic downturn: a knowledge management perspective

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This project aims to identify and conceptualise the extent to which knowledge management related core competences (e.g. sustaining absorptive capacity, innovation and knowledge integration, the balance between knowledge exploration and knowledge exploitation) formed the basis for the strategic turnaround of SMEs operating in low tech traditional sectors in Portugal, notably through the transition from a low-cost oriented strategy to a focused differentiation based strategy, aimed at the high end of the market, and sustained by a new understanding of the market.

Sponsor: The Information School's Distinguished Scholar Scheme and the Santander Research Mobility Award

Project partners: ISEGI (Lisbon School of Economics and Management)

KIM team: Jorge Martins and Ana Vasconcelos.

Find My Migraine

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Co-investigator: Jorge Tiago Martins

Funding: The Sheffield Crucible

Migraines have a profound negative impact on individuals’ social and work life. Due to their debilitating impact, migraines can lead to absence from work with consequent loss of productivity.

Despite migraines being a substantial burden, the needs of migraine sufferers are frequently unmet. In this project an inter-disciplinary team joining researchers from the School of Clinical Dentistry, the Information School, the Management School and the Department of Psychology developed a prototype for a smartphone application in which different inputs known to influence the development of migraines (e.g. mood, stress, eating diary, sleeping patterns, daily events) can be easily recorded.

Once the inputs are recorded the application creates statistics and graphs that can be sent to a doctor for helping monitoring the patient health.

Additionally, the application generates warning signals that can be used by the migraine sufferer as an alert for future migraine attacks.

Adopting epistemologies of the Global South to reimagine innovation for social inclusion and environmental sustainability

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Focusing on Peru (ODA country), this project gathered leading experts interested in exploring the extent to which innovation (policy & implementation) can be guided and informed by indigenous knowledges. It adopted the concept of Buen Vivir (sumac kawsay), which stems from Andean indigenous bodies of knowledge and represents an ontological and epistemological alternative to Western thought.

Funded by University of Sheffield GCRF QR small research grants

IKIM member: Andrea Jimenez

Metropolitan water observatory

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This research will take place in Lima, Peru, in collaboration with KNOW City Partner, Foro Ciudades Para La Vida. Their project, ‘Metropolitan water observatory’, will explore the potential of co-developing a virtual platform for citizens of Lima and Callao to input information, concerns and issues regarding water, in order to produce evidence that can influence decision-making towards more equal water distribution


Funded by KNOW: Knowledge in action for urban equality, a project funded by the ESRC under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)

IKIM member: Andrea Jimenez

Innovating Next Generation Services through Collaborative Design

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Focused on addressing the needs of mid-size accounting and law firms to deliver high value client-focused professional services, the ESRC-funded Next Generation Professional Services Firms project uses a 'design thinking' approach to identify and develop strategies for evaluating, adopting and implementing AI. The project is one of three successful bids to the Industrial Strategy Challenges Fund 'Next Generation Services' call. It will explore and identify the main areas of 'threat' and 'opportunity' offered by the adoption of AI in accounting and law as well as analyse the potential barriers to AI-based business model innovation. The findings will be used to offer proposals as to how these might be addressed. Alongside the technological barriers, the research will seek to explore the institutional, regulatory and societal challenges that face Professional Services Firms.

Funded value: £1,437,084

PI: Professor Tim Vorley, Sheffield University Management School; Information School Co-I: Jorge Tiago Martins

Visit the project website


Group members

Click on any name to bring up more details and contact information.

Academic staff

Dr Ana Cristina Vasconcelos (Head of Group)

I research the interface between the management of information and knowledge and the implementation and adaptation of information systems. I am particularly interested in: collaborative work practices; knowledge sharing and boundary spanning practices; absorptive capacity and knowledge integration; communities of practice, virtual communities and identity.

See Ana's full staff profile

Dr Jonathan Foster

j.j.foster@sheffield.ac.uk
Tel: 0114 2222665
Room 310

My principal research and teaching interests are in information governance, digital economy, and institutional and classroom perspectives on the implementation of information and communications technology in educational settings.

I have higher degrees in Information Systems and in Education (M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning from the University of Sheffield), and received a PhD in Information Studies (Social Sciences) from the University of Sheffield.

I have been PI for an externally-funded AHRC project investigating the implementation and evaluation of digital archives; and has led a number of learning and teaching development projects including Computer-Based Collaborative Learning (funded by TLTP) and Managing Innovation in the Digital Economy (funded by University of Sheffield).

I am currently PI for a University of Sheffield Digital Transformations Research project on Collective Intelligence (2013-14); and a strand of this project is investigating shared understandings of the impact of technology on privacy, and organizations’ handling of personally-identifiable information.

See Jonathan's full staff profile

Dr Andrea Jimenez

a.jimenez@sheffield.ac.uk
Tel: 0114 2222684
Room 323a

My research revolves around the role of innovation in socio-economic development.

I explore this from two distinct dimensions: the internal processes within organisations, by looking at absorptive capacity, knowledge sharing and collaboration; and the wider geopolitical dimension around innovation discourses embedded in the international development sector.

See Andrea's full staff profile

Dr Jorge Martins

jorge.martins@sheffield.ac.uk
Tel: 0114 2222667
Room 304

My research lies at the intersection of information systems, management and organisational theory. My focal concern is the linkage between innovation, technology and networking to the practices of managing knowledge and information, and to the processes of organising (e.g. virtual organisations, collaborative working, temporary organisations, regional innovation systems, etc).

See Jorge's full staff profile

Dr Gillian Ragsdell 

g.ragsdell@sheffield.ac.uk

My principal research interests are in knowledge management and, in particular, in the design and introduction of effective knowledge management strategies.

I have collaborated on projects in a wide range of organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors, where I have supported programmes of change and development. Early academic roots in systems thinking and creative problem solving influence my activities and most of my research adopts a participatory approach.

See Gillian's full staff profile

Dr Sophie Rutter

s.rutter@sheffield.ac.uk
Tel: 0114 2222659
Room 234

I am particularly interested in how the environment influences the way people interact with information, what techniques people use to search for information, and how information use can be evaluated in different environments.

My research so far has been broadly focused on school children, search interfaces and health communication.

See Sophie's full staff profile

Dr Sara Vannini

s.vannini@sheffield.ac.uk

My research interests are at the intersection of critical studies of technology and society, social change, and information ethics. I focus on social appropriation and embodied experiences of technologies by different social groups, information privacy in the context of migration, the role of public access to information in mis/disinformation, and participatory and visual methodologies of inquiry.

PhD researchers

Jahad Al Wahshi

I am undertaking a critical evaluation of the role of business intelligence and data analysis in money laundering and fraud detections in the Oman banking industry.

See Jahad's full profile

Bedour Alboloushi

I am investigating the development of administrative innovation in relation to post-adoption usage of HRIS in the context of public sector organizations in Kuwait.

See Bedour's full profile

Hooria Ali Hafedh

I am researching the banking sector in Bahrain.

See Hooria's full profile

Elijah Chirwa

My research area is in technology innovation and diffusion with focus on fintechs (financial technologies) in Sub-Saharan Africa.

See Elijah's full profile

Meichengzi Du

I am formulating a framework to support smart city change management.

Bekim Kasumi

bkasumi1@sheffield.ac.uk

I am researching the flow of knowledge across formal and informal networks of subsidiary companies and its impact on innovation in multinational companies.

Muntaha Nafisa 

I am evaluating the quality of the existing EHR Systems of Govt. Healthcare facilities of Bangladesh.

Naveendra Weerakoon

I am researching service innovation in knowledge-intensive business services.

Laura Ofulue

I am researching Understanding Motivation and its Impacts on Governance within Crowdsourcing Platforms.

James Toner

JToner1@sheffield.ac.uk

My research is on the organisational learning and knowledge sharing in pursuit of organisational effectiveness in schools.

See James' full profile

Yuzhen Zhu

Understanding the Role of Information and Communication Technology in the Shaping of Interorganizational Knowledge Exchange Practice: Proposing an ICT-based Generic Knowledge Management Framework for the European Living Lab Ecosystem

See Yuzhen's full profile

Visiting scholars

Dr Igor Bernik

Head of the Information Security Lab, Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security - University of Maribor

Dr Elsa Fontainha

ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Universidade de Lisboa


Funders and collaborators

Research carried out within this group is funded by a wide range of organisations.

Funders

  • European Union FP7 programme
  • Santander
  • Cross-cutting Directors of Research and Innovation Interdisciplinary Scholarships
  • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Information and Computer Sciences (HEA-ICS)
  • Centre for Inquiry-Based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences (CILASS)
  • Regional Studies Association

Collaborators


 

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