Knowledge Management Research and Practice (KMRP) is a reputed international journal in the field of knowledge management. Motivated by the stature of the journal, this study aims to analyse the journal’s impact, prominent themes, and frequently contributing authors and their affiliated institutions and countries using bibliometric analysis. Network analysis is used to observe the trends in collaboration in the journal. Bibliographic coupling analysis grouped the journal’s publications into four different groups with the objective of identifying the leading trends and the evolution of the journal. The study uses the Scopus database to extract the bibliographic data of the journal along with VOSviewer and Gephi software for graphical visualisation of the bibliographic data.
Knowledge Management Research and Practice (KMRP) publishes peer-reviewed research covering all components of managing knowledge. The journal is broad in its scope and presents articles that carry a multidisciplinary approach and robust conceptual integration. It primarily addresses issues relating to organisational learning, intellectual capital, knowledge economics, sustained innovation, franchise networks, human capital, renewal capital, and entrepreneurial capital. The journal published its first issue in 2003 under the editorial direction of Professor John S Edwards of Aston University. The journal was published by Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. up to the 2nd issue of volume 16 in 2018 and subsequently, the journal shifted publishing to Taylor and Francis Ltd. Beginning with 10 articles and three book reviews in 2003 the journal has impressively escalated its productivity to 48 articles 2019 and received more than 5000 citations till 2018. According to Scopus, KMRP ranks 30th in the categories of “Library and Information Sciences” and “Management Information Systems” in terms of CiteScore. The journal is ranked “A” by Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) and the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), Association of Business Schools’ Academic Journal Quality Guide and Scopus indexes it and maintains a repository of the abstracts of its published articles. In addition, Serenko and Bontis (2017) studied the global ranking of 27 Knowledge Management and Intellectual Capital (KM/IC) academic journals. The study through a survey of 482 KM/IC researchers reports that experts rank KMRP in the upper third position. It shows the acceptability and reputation of the journal in its field. The study also reports the journal ranking list by aggregating the results of the expert survey and citation impact. KMRP ranks fourth in this list after the Journal of Knowledge Management, Journal of Intellectual Capital, and The Learning Organisation.
It is a frequent exercise among journals to publish an editorial, review or a special issue on the completion of a substantial tenure (Schwert, 2002). In recognition of KMRP’s achievements, this study provides a retrospective analysis of the journal’s publications between 2006 and 2019. Following previous journal bibliometric studies like (Baker et al., 2020; Donthu et al., 2020; Kumar et al., 2020; Laengle et al., 2017; Merigo et al., 2018; Valenzuela-Fernandez et al., 2019), the study offers a comprehensive review of the publication and citation trends of the journal along with its most contributing authors, and their affiliated institutions and countries. Intellectual influence in the journal is identified by studying the articles most referred by KMRP articles. The thematic structure and the development of the journal are also discussed using bibliometric coupling analysis and author keyword analysis. Network analysis is used to explore the collaboration patterns among KMRP authors and their affiliated countries from 2006 to 2019. Serenko et al. (2010) conduct a scientometric analysis of 11 major KM/IC peer-reviewed journals. Serenko et al. (2010) studied the trends of the country, institutional, and author productivity in the KM/IC field whereas this study exclusively focuses on KMRP. Moreover, unlike Serenko et al. (2010) this study offers the thematic evolution of KMRP articles through clusters formed using bibliographic coupling and network analysis. Thus, the current studies assume a more comprehensive methodology to get a bird’s eye view about KMRP and its positioning in the knowledge management field.
The remainder of the study is structured as follows: Section 2 provides a review of bibliometric studies and Section 3 summarises the methodology. Section 4 presents the results of descriptive analysis followed by a bibliometric analysis in Section 5 and network analysis in Section 6. Section 7 provides a discussion of the significant findings and Section 7 concludes the study.
2. Literature review
The tool of bibliometrics comes from the field of information and library sciences (Kumar et al., 2020). It was first coined by Pitchard in 1969 as a methodology studying bibliographic data quantitatively (Pritchard, 1969). It majorly explores the major trends, research yield, and impact in a research area (Cobo et al., 2011; Henderson et al., 2009; Pritchard, 1969). Bibliometrics thus provides a quantitative analysis of existing literature and has wide application in many fields (Ellegaard & Wallin, 2015). This method is extremely pertinent to review and consolidate large corpus of data without the researcher’s bias due to its quantitative components (Ramos-Rodrígue & Ruíz-Navarro, 2004). Thus, we found this method most suitable to synthesise the large corpus of KMRP publications. Moreover, literature consists of a pool of similar studies using bibliometrics to study the research outlets of several areas. Gaviria-Marin et al. (2018) analysed the 20 years of publication and citation patterns of the Journal of Knowledge Management using the bibliometric method. Heck and Bremser (1986) used bibliometrics to explore six decades of The Accounting Review. Majorly using co-citation analysis Schrock et al. (2016) studied the intellectual structure and thematic developments of Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management. Laengle et al. (2017) studied four decades of the European Journal of Operational Research through bibliometrics. Martínez-López et al. (2018) explored fifty years of the European Journal of Marketing using several bibliometric indicators so as Merigo et al. (2018) reviewed five decades of the Information Sciences, Valenzuela-Fernandez et al. (2019) for 25 years of the Journal of Business- to- Business Marketing, Wang et al. (2019) for International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications and Kumar et al. (2020) for International Journal of Social Economics. Baker et al. (2020) developed clusters using bibliometric coupling analysis to study the thematic structure of the three decades of Small Business Economics. On a similar line, Donthu et al. (2020) used the variety of bibliometric tools for studying works of Journal of Business Research. Martínez-López et al. (2020) used several bibliometric tools to study Industrial Marketing Management. Therefore, recognising the suitability and wide acceptability of the bibliometric method, this study uses bibliometrics to analyse and synthesise KMRP publications between 2006 and 2019.
In bibliometrics bibliographic data is analysed using quantitative tools (Pritchard, 1969) which facilitates more objective interpretations. Also, bibliometrics uses various bibliometric indicators to statistically investigate a group of related documents to provide a general overview of a research field. The methodology is complementary to econometrics and social network analysis. Bibliometrics is a widely used methodology for constructing a broad overview of a journal (Barilan, 2008). There are substantial studies employing bibliometrics to access the trends and thematic structures of a journal (Barik & Jena, 2013; Gaviria-Marin et al., 2018; Wang et al., 2019).
The study employs several bibliometric indicators to provide a comprehensive overview of KMRP. The count of publications is the measure of productivity and the count of citations is the measure of influence (Kumar et al., 2020; Svensson, 2010). The study also employees indicators such as h-index (Alonso et al., 2009), bibliographic coupling (Kessler, 1963; Martyn, 1964), and keyword co-occurrence (Callon et al., 1983). These indicators were identified after reviewing several similar studies published in repute journals like Merigo et al. (2018), Valenzuela-Fernandez et al. (2019), Baker et al. (2020), and Donthu et al. (2020). Along with descriptive analysis, the study identifies the thematic structure of the journal using bibliometric coupling analysis. Kessler proposed that documents citing an identical third document tend to form a bibliographic couple and that bibliographic couples discuss similar intellectual themes (Martyn, 1964). Thus, bibliographic coupling analysis was used to analyse the topics present in KMRP. VOSviewer and Gephi software (Bastian et al., 2009; Van Eck & Waltman, 2017) were used to study and visualise the network of the bibliographic data. Figure 1 provides the analytical structure of the study.
Analytical structure of the study
Google Scholar, Scopus, and the Web of Science are the three major abstract and citation database (Farooque et al., 2019). Because of the low data quality of Google Scholar literature points questions about its relevance for research (Mongeon & Paul-Hus, 2016). In comparison to Web of Science, Scopus has extensive coverage of academic literature (Farooque et al., 2019; Gaviria-Marin et al., 2018). Moreover, Scopus is one of the largest multidisciplinary databases of peer-reviewed literature from scholarly journals (Bartol et al., 2014; Norris & Oppenheim, 2007). Therefore, Scopus was used to extract the bibliographic data for the study. Following the earlier work on bibliometrics (Baker et al., 2020; Donthu et al., 2020; Gaviria-Marin et al., 2018; Kumar et al., 2020), we choose Scopus for extracting bibliographic data of KMRP. The only issue with Scopus data is that it is not as uncontaminated as Web of Science (Strozzi et al., 2017). Thus, the data were further reviewed and improved to overcome the issue. Initially, on searching for KMRP under “source title” in Scopus, a total of 547 documents were retrieved. To ascertain that only peer-reviewed articles were used for the study, the search was limited to articles, reviews, conference papers, and undefined pieces, which left us with 514 documents. Further, on verifying the authors, 11 papers were isolated which were editorials (5), guest editorials (4) and position papers (2), were found mentioned as articles under “document type” head within the set of 514 documents. After removing these 11 documents, a final set of 503 studies between 2006 and 2019 was considered for analysis.
4. Descriptive analysis
The Scopus database shows that KMRP published 463 articles, 34 reviews and six conference papers between 2006 and 2019. The following subsections display the results of the descriptive analysis for these 503 documents.
4.1. KMRP – annual publication and citation structure
KMRP published 35.93 articles on an average between 2006 and 2019. The average citations credited to the published works during this period is 10.45. The count of publications nearly doubled from 2006 to 2018, while the citation count grew from 3 in 2006 to 269 in 2019. Count of articles published is a measure of journal productivity, and the count of citations is a measure of journal influence (Svensson, 2010). KMRP has grown both in terms of productivity and impact. Out of 503 total publications, count of cited articles is 426. Note that 64 out of 77 non quoted articles are those published in 2018 and 2019. Generally, newly published articles may do not have enough time to be cited. Table 1 provides descriptive statistics on KMRP’s yearly publications and citations between 2006 and 2019.
KMRP has an (SCImago Journal Rank) SJR of 0.462, meaning KMRP publications have received 0.462 average-weighted citations with the source of quote weighed according to prestige. It has a CiteScore of 3.6 which indicates that the average citation received by documents published between 2016 and 2019 is 3.6 and Source Normalised Impact per Paper (SNIP) is 1.063 implying KMRP articles have received on average 1.063 citations from its subject area. Figure 2 shows the journal’s increasing trend in terms of Cite Score, SJR and SNIP from 2006 to 2019. Journal citation report by Clarivate Analytics presents KMRP with a 2 years impact factor of 1.583 meaning that articles published in 2017 and 2018 have received an average of 1.583 citations.
KMRP’s Cite Score, SJR and SNIP between 2006 and 2019
4.2. KMRP – leading authors and their affiliated institutions and countries
Muller-Merbach Heiner from Technische Universität Kaiserslautern has contributed the most to KMRP with nine articles followed by Ettore Bolisani from Università degli Studi di Padova with six articles and Enrico Scarso from Università degli Studi di Padova with five articles. However, the highest number of citations (137) is credited to Cress Ulrike from only three articles followed by Edvardsson, Ingi Runar with 101 cites to four articles. Out of the top 20 contributors to KMRP, 14 have at least 40 citations. Table 2 presents the descriptive statistics for the top 20 most contributing KMRP authors.
Table 3 lists the institutions of affiliation for the most contributing KMRP authors. Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy is the highest contributing institution with 13 articles followed by the Tampere University of Technology and Technische Universität Kaiserslautern with nine articles each. It is usually found that the institutions affiliated to top contributing authors show the most productivity. The top 3 most contributing authors of the journal are affiliated to Technische Universität Kaiserslautern and Università degli Studi di Padova.
Table 4 shows the counties of affiliation for the most frequent KMRP authors. The United States leads the list with 73 publications and 893 citations, which signifies that the United States is credited with around 17% of the total citations. It also has the highest h-index of 16 showing that 16 articles affiliated to the United States are cited at least 16 times. The other most contributing countries are Italy (55), United Kingdom (49), and Spain (46) articles. Hong Kong heads the citation per publication ratio with 23.25, being credited with 186 total citations with only eight articles.
Further, to understand the contribution pattern of authors and their affiliated institutions and countries, trends were studied over 5-year periods. Table 5 lists the top authors, institutions and countries over these 5-year periods.
KMRP from 2006 to 2010: authors Muller-Merbach H., Cress U. and Zhu Z. were significant contributors to the journal. As Muller-Merbach H with nine publications between these phases is affiliated to Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, the university got maximum affiliations as well. Authors affiliated to the United States and United Kingdom dominated KMRP publications along with other countries like Germany, Australia, Italy and Japan.
KMRP from 2011 to 2015: During this period many authors like Amores-Salvado J., Delgado-Verde M., Navas-Lopez J.E., Salmador M.P., Cegarra-Navarro J.-G. and Hossain L contributed significantly to the journal. Although the United States and the United Kingdom acquire the position of the top three most contributing countries during this period, authors from Spain featured majorly with 25 articles.
KMRP from 2016 to 2019: Bolisani E. began contributing in the previous period with two publications and has contributed four articles between 2016 and 2019. Esposito E. and Scarso E. are also significant authors from this period. Along with the domination of North American and European countries like United States, United Kingdom and Spain, many other countries like China, Taiwan and South Korea had a considerable contribution to KMRP. This shows that the journal currently has publications from diverse geographical regions.
4.3. KMRP – co-authorship pattern
Collaborations among researchers and the proportion of global submissions are vital factors for an increase in the number of publications (Finardi & Buratti, 2016; Su et al., 2015) which led us to study the author collaboration pattern in KMRP. More than 75% of the studies published in the journal were two-author and three-author studies while 121 articles were single-author studies. Articles consisting seven-author or six-author studies were published between 2006 and 2015 in the journal. Gradually, the number of multiple author studies increased as out of 179 studies published between 2016 and 2019, only six articles were single-authored. Figure 3 presents the collaboration pattern in KMRP publications.
KMRP articlesCollaboration pattern in
4.4. KMRP most cited articles
The influence of an article is indicated by the count of its citations (Tsay, 2009). The most influential publications of the KMRP are listed in Table 6. “The theoretical foundations of knowledge management” (2006) by Baskerville R. and Dulipovici A is the most cited article of the journal with 178 cites followed by “Trust as an antecedent to knowledge sharing in virtual communities of practice” (Usoro et al., 2007) by Usoro A., Sharratt M.W., Tsui E. and Shekhar S. with 135 cites. The top 20 most cited articles of KMRP carry more than 43 citations.
4.5. KMRP – citations by authors, countries and journals
The authors, countries and journals which often cite the journal are listed in Table 7. Nonaka, I. has mentioned the journal 72 times followed by Bontis, N. and Schiuma, G. citing 40 times each. Authors affiliated to the United States, along with having the maximum contributions to the journal also cite the journal the most with 4391 citations. The United Kingdom (1722), Canada (641) and Australia (595) come next. Journal of Knowledge Management which is one of the leading journals in the area of “knowledge management” with an impact factor of (4.488) cited KMRP the most with 565 citations. Interestingly, authors writing for KMRP also cite the journal often. Other journals influenced by KMRP are Strategic Management Journal (306), Research Policy (290) and Organisation Science (235) cites.
5. Bibliometric analysis
5.1. Most referred documents and journals by KMRP
Table 8 lists the documents most cited in KMRP publications. The study mostly influencing the works in KMRP is “A dynamic theory of organisational knowledge creation” (1994) by Nonaka I. with 103 citations. The article was published by the journal Organisation Science. Other frequently referred works include “Toward a knowledge-based theory of the firm” (1996) by Grant R. M with 85 cites and “Review: knowledge management and knowledge management systems: conceptual foundations and research issues” (2001) by Alavi M., Leidner D.E with 78 cites. This implies that KMRP studies are majorly influenced by highly regarded works in the field of “knowledge management” and “knowledge creation”.
To locate the source of influence in KMRP studies, journals most often cited by KMRP are listed in Table 9. Journal of Knowledge Management is cited the most by the journal with 1135 cites followed by Strategic Management Journal with 1029 cites.
5.2. KMRP – author keyword analysis
Author keywords symbolise the article content or the article’s association with its research question (Strozzi et al., 2017). Articles with common keywords could carry a common research theme (Ding et al., 2001; Sureka et al., 2020). Callon et al. (1983) argued that the co-occurrence of author keywords shows the theoretical structure of the existing literature. Therefore, author keyword analysis with VOSviewer (Van Eck & Waltman, 2017) is used to identify the themes present in KMRP. Figure 4 shows the temporal evolution of KMRP keywords over three periods between 2006 and 2019. Results infer that “knowledge management” and “knowledge sharing” stayed as the most dominant themes from 2006 to 2019.
Themes during 2006–2010: the major focus of the journal was on “knowledge management”, “knowledge sharing” and “knowledge management practices”, gradually the focus shifted to “tactic knowledge”, “knowledge management strategy”, “collaborative systems” and ‘knowledge creation. From 2008, themes like “innovation”, “ontology”, “intellectual capital”, and “performance management” came into focus. At the end of this period studies of “knowledge communication” and “theory of knowledge” emerged.
Themes during 2011–2015: Along with the ongoing themes, 2011 and 2012 showed new works in KMRP on “knowledge management strategy”, 2013 and 2014 showed a major focus on “intellectual capital”, “knowledge management tools”, “knowledge acquisition”, “knowledge transfer” and “knowledge communities”. By the end of 2014 to 2015, the attention shifted to “explicit knowledge” and “social capital”.
Themes during 2016–2019: Studies focused on new topics like “marketing”, “communities of practice”, “supply chain management”, “absorptive capacity”, ‘business strategy and “relational capital” along with “knowledge sharing” and ‘knowledge management which are the prime focus of the journal. “Organisational learning”, “innovativeness”, “technology transfer”, “family firms”, “taxonomy” and ‘industry 4.0ʹ are the current areas of focus for KMRP.
KMRP over 3 periodsAuthor keyword network in
5.3. Bibliographic coupling analysis of KMRP documents
According to Kessler (1963), when two documents tend to cite one or more common references, they establish a bibliographic couple. Documents displaying an identical pattern in their source of influence by forming bibliographic couples share similar intellectual content (Weinberg, 1974). Bibliographic coupling analysis was conducted employing VOSviewer to identify the important topics of research for KMRP. The study divided the 503 KMRP articles into 14 groups, out of which four significant clusters comprise 498 (99%) articles. Table 10 offers a summary of the four KMRP clusters, together with the most cited representative articles in each group. The naming of clusters is based on subjective judgement. The subsequent subsections provide a discussion of these four major clusters.
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Research constituents and authorship patterns in the Knowledge Management Research and Practice
Author(s): Giovnni Schiuma,Satish Kumar,Riya Sureka &Rohit Joshi