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The research core of the knowledge management literature

Authors
Journal
International Journal of Information Management
0268-4012
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
31
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2010.10.002
Keywords
  • Knowledge Management
  • Research Methods
  • Professional Literature
  • Bibliometrics
  • Content Analysis
Disciplines
  • Social Sciences

Abstract

Abstract A bibliometric analysis and a content analysis were conducted to explore the nature of the knowledge management literature. For the bibliometric analysis, three levels of Bradford analysis were used to examine the shape of the knowledge management literature based on 21,596 references from 2771 source publications. Each of the three analyses conformed to the typical curve of the Bradford distribution. For the content analysis, the texts of 630 knowledge management articles were analyzed to address the question of what research methodologies are used in the knowledge management literature. It was found that 27.8 percent of knowledge management-related articles in knowledge management journals used no identifiable research method. Of the remaining 455 refereed articles, 60 percent employed mainstream social sciences research methodologies. The remaining 40 percent of the articles using an identifiable methodology were characterized by the use of “provisional methods” that appeared to substitute for more formally defined or scientifically based research methodologies.

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