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Key knowledge management processes for innovation: a systematic literature review

Vítor Costa (Universidade da Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal)
Samuel Monteiro (Research Center in Business Sciences (NECE-UBI), Universidade da Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal)

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems

ISSN: 2059-5891

Article publication date: 8 August 2016




The purpose of this paper is to review current literature on knowledge management processes considering the relationship between the key knowledge processes of acquisition, sharing, storage, codification, creation, application and different types of innovation, through a systematic literature review.


This study follows systematic review protocols for management and organisational sciences and analyses 45 full papers on knowledge management processes and innovation.


Results not only show that all knowledge processes can directly support innovation but also that other organisational variables (e.g. organisational learning, absorptive capacity) mediate this relationship. Moreover, knowledge creation and knowledge application appear as two central processes through which knowledge acquisition, sharing, codification and storage influence innovation. Knowledge acquisition and knowledge sharing are the most frequently studied knowledge processes. The majority of the sample papers present traditional innovation definitions (product vs process, radical vs incremental and technical vs administrative). However, organisational innovation, innovation capability and innovation performance approaches emerge from the papers’ analysis.

Research limitations/implications

The present review includes major scientific papers; however, the search is limited to the Web of ScienceTM platform.


This literature review analyses high-quality, peer-reviewed papers, following a systematic methodology that can be tested and updated. Papers were divided based upon the knowledge process(es) being analysed and the innovation type/approach, providing a twofold contribution to knowledge management and innovation literature.



Costa, V. and Monteiro, S. (2016), "Key knowledge management processes for innovation: a systematic literature review", VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. 46 No. 3, pp. 386-410.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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