This paper aims to offer a comprehensive systematic review of knowledge management (KM) in franchising literature over the past 29 years.
By means of bibliometric citation analysis, ISI Web of Science (WoS) database is used to analyze articles from 1990-2018. A total of 169 articles by 369 authors across 40 countries published in 113 journals from 200 institutions were clustered and examined through HistCites and VOSviewer.
The exploration of KM in franchising is associated with 3 factors: governance structure; performance outcome; and franchise network growth. The findings also reveal that KM in franchising is still an emerging discipline encompassing conflicting results which offer potential for future research.
Identified research gaps and contradicting views in the literature offer opportunities for researchers to contribute to this research domain by empirically testing the role of absorptive capacity, replication vs adaptation strategies and new franchising formats, such as micro/social franchising.
This study is unique in its examination of KM in franchising. It also highlights the value of knowledge in franchise chain performance.
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