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Inter-organizational relationships in agri-food sector: a bibliometric review and future directions

Walter Vesperi (Department of Law, Economics and Sociology, Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy)
Raffaella Coppolino (Department of Economics, University of Messina, Messina, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 17 March 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023




The current competitive system, complex and rapidly changing, knowledge represents one of the main strategic resources for organizations. Agri-food organizations, traditionally characterized by low-knowledge management (KM) practices, are facing several challenges that require new knowledge to improve performance and their ability to survive. Since agri-food organizations are low-propensity R&D, they are forced into a collaborative approach and the creation of inter-organizational relationships (IORs) for knowledge transfer. The purpose of this study is to offer an overview of the academic literature on knowledge transfer within scientific institutions and agri-food organizations.


This study is based on a systematic literature review. In particular, two international and multidisciplinary databases (Scopus and WoS) were considered. Subsequently, the scientific documents were selected following the PRISMA guidelines. In addition, a scientific landscape visualization was created through VOSviewer software.


The study offers interesting reflections and suggestions on the management of inter-organizational relations in the agri-food sector. In particular, it highlights the importance of the “knowledge” resource in IORs. For this reason, IORs and KM represent a challenge for agri-food organizations.


The main limitation lies in its criteria for collecting and selecting articles. The study is based on the analysis of articles contained only in two scientific databases (Scopus and WoS) and refined by “Business, Management and Accounting”, “Social Sciences” and “Economics, Econometrics and Finance” areas.



Vesperi, W. and Coppolino, R. (2023), "Inter-organizational relationships in agri-food sector: a bibliometric review and future directions", British Food Journal, Vol. 125 No. 1, pp. 82-95.



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