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Knowledge creation measurement methods

Rebecca Mitchell (Lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Law, School of Business and Management, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia)
Brendan Boyle (Lecturers in the Faculty of Business and Law, School of Business and Management, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 23 February 2010




This paper sets out to examine the operationalisation of knowledge creation. Given the importance of knowledge creation for national and corporate wealth, assessing its measurement is a valuable exercise; however, current research utilises a range of measures, and this lack of agreed construct operationalisation is a barrier to robust empirical investigation. This paper aims to review current measurement methods and to construct a taxonomy of knowledge creation measures.


A four‐step classification method is followed. In order to generate information on the essential properties of measurement methods, relevant empirical research is reviewed and a content analysis performed on the resultant measures. The literature review includes key‐term searches on bibliographic databases, yielding a sample of 63 empirical papers that incorporated knowledge creation measures. Both of the authors independently created a cognitive map of these measures based on three different attributes.


The main contribution of the paper is the development of a hierarchical taxonomy of knowledge creation measures. This taxonomy, in which movement up the hierarchy provides broader conceptual classification and movement down provides conceptual refinement, advances knowledge creation research by categorising measures in a way that facilitates assessment against existing comparable definitions.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the research stem from issues of bias. In addition to sampling bias, some bias may have entered the coding with respect to placement of measures into process or output categories.


The research has significant implications for future research in knowledge creation: the taxonomy facilitates consistency between knowledge construct definition and measurement, and differentiation between knowledge creation and other, related constructs, such as innovation. Such a taxonomy makes it easier to clarify similarities and differences among knowledge creation measures, develop new propositions for future investigation, and identify neglected areas of study.



Mitchell, R. and Boyle, B. (2010), "Knowledge creation measurement methods", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 67-82.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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