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Knowledge resources in the university context: an overview of the literature

Paola Paoloni (Department of Law and Economics of Production Activities, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy)
Giuseppe Modaffari (Unisu Department, Niccolò Cusano University, Rome, Italy)
Giorgia Mattei (Department of Business Studies, Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 8 July 2020

Issue publication date: 21 May 2021




The aim of this work is to identify and analyze the main areas on which researchers have focused in relation to intellectual capital (IC) and its management in the university context. This review will also analyze how these researchers carried out their work to understand future research directions.


The analysis was conducted through a structured literature review (SLR) of 866 research contributions (articles, book chapters and books). An analysis of the content was performed to identify the main topics discussed and to ascertain how these studies were carried out.


This paper highlights how the management of knowledge resources (as IC) has been discussed in the literature, focusing specifically on how universities report the information, which is fundamental for allowing stakeholders to understand the value created by these kinds of organizations.

Research limitations/implications

The manual analysis of the results of the SLR can be considered a limitation of this work. Another limitation of the work is represented by the use of only one database.


This SLR makes several useful contributions for both practitioners and scholars. First, it suggests strengthening the relationship with the external stakeholders to assure the survival of universities. Second, it enables others to replicate scientific research, thanks to its clear and transparent process. It also allows scholars to identify which issues their work should address, as well as suggesting possible future research areas.



Paoloni, P., Modaffari, G. and Mattei, G. (2021), "Knowledge resources in the university context: an overview of the literature", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 703-724.



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