Knowledge transfer in interorganizational partnerships: what do we know?

Rosileia Milagres (Fundacao Dom Cabral, Belo Horizonte, Brazil)
Ana Burcharth (Fundacao Dom Cabral, Belo Horizonte, Brazil) (Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Publication date: 4 February 2019



The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on knowledge transfer in interorganizational partnerships. The aim is to assess the advances in this field by addressing the questions: What factors impact knowledge transfer in interorganizational partnerships? How do these factors interact with each other?


The study reports results of a literature review conducted in ten top journals between 2000 and 2017 in the fields of strategy and innovation studies.


The review identifies three overarching themes, which were organized according to 14 research questions. The first theme discusses knowledge in itself and elaborates on aspects of its attributes. The second theme presents the factors that influence interorganizational knowledge transfer at the macroeconomic, interorganizational, organizational and individual levels. The third theme focuses on the consequences, namely, effectiveness and organizational performance.

Practical implications

Partnership managers may improve and adjust contracts, structures, processes and routines, as well as build support mechanisms and incentives to guarantee effectiveness in knowledge transfer in partnerships.


The study proposes a novel theoretical framework that links antecedents, process and outcomes of knowledge transfer in interorganizational partnerships, while also identifying aspects that are either less well researched or contested and thereby suggesting directions for future research.



Rosileia Milagres and Ana Burcharth (2019) "Knowledge transfer in interorganizational partnerships: what do we know?", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 27-68

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