Tracing the evolution of the literature on knowledge management in inter-organizational contexts: a bibliometric analysis

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr.. Riikka M. Sarala, Professor of International Business (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Purpose: Based on the growing interest devoted to knowledge management (KM) in inter-organizational contexts, the purpose of this paper is to systematize existing literature and understand how it developed over time, thus tracing its roots and evolution to unveil gaps and suggest new promising areas for future research. Design/methodology/approach: This study used bibliographic techniques to analyze a sample of 85 studies along three main periods (1998-2010, 2011-2014 and 2015-2019). In particular, this study focused on co-occurrences of keywords to identify the most dominant themes, as well as connections among these themes. Findings: Overall, the review shows the main outlets that have published papers on the topic of KM in inter-organizational contexts, as well as the theoretical background this research builds on. The temporal analysis exhibits the core topics that have persisted and grown consistently over time as the links between KM, innovation and networks. In addition, the review highlights new emerging themes, such as the human and social side of KM, and new interesting contexts of study (e.g. coopetition and open/user innovation), which opens exciting avenues for new research opportunities. Originality/value: This study illustrates the conceptual structure of the field in three distinct periods and contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the key topics and their interrelatedness within the area of KM in inter-organizational contexts. Both researchers and practitioners can profit from the study because it reveals consolidated topics while identifying areas that still need to be investigated to foster KM in inter-organizational settings.

Additional Information

Journal of Knowledge Management, 24(2), 463-490
Language: English
Date: 2020
knowledge management, inter-organizational relationships, networks, alliances, literature review

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