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Reverse knowledge transfer: making sense of two decades of academic research

Nivisha Singh (Department of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Institute of Management Technology Ghaziabad, Ghaziabad, India)
Ritesh Pandey (Finance Area, Institute of Management Technology Ghaziabad, Ghaziabad, India)
Rohit Gupta (Operations Management Area, Indian Institute of Management Ranchi, Ranchi, India)
Baidyanath Biswas (DCU Business School, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland)
Shubhi Gupta (OB & HR Area, FORE School of Management, New Delhi, India)

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems

ISSN: 2059-5891

Article publication date: 9 June 2022




This study aims to synthesize extant literature on the concept of reverse knowledge transfer (RKT) built up over the past two decades with the help of bibliometric analyssis and also to suggest promising new areas for research in this field.


The study adopts a literature review methodology combined with bibliometric and network analysis based on 117 papers identified from the Scopus database. In particular, this study has tried to identify and capture themes not previously fully captured or evaluated by other reviews on this topic.


The authors have identified research themes and research gaps in the area of RKT. Overall, the review shows the main outlets that have published papers on RKT and the theoretical background this research is built on. This study exhibits core themes in this area that have persisted and grown consistently such as the subsidiary’s role in RKT. In addition, the review highlights less researched themes such as role of boundary spanning in RKT, which open exciting avenues for new research opportunities.

Research limitations/implications

This study finds that RKT research has experienced remarkable growth from a complete viewpoint in recent years. There was a surge in publications in the area from 2008 onwards, and many of its influential papers seemed to have been published between 2013 and 2018. Prominent themes in this body of research have been identified and potential for future studies has been explored.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to map, synthesize and discuss the literature concerning RKT.



The infrastructural support provided by FORE School of Management, New Delhi in completing this paper gratefully acknowledged by Shubhi Gupta.


Singh, N., Pandey, R., Gupta, R., Biswas, B. and Gupta, S. (2022), "Reverse knowledge transfer: making sense of two decades of academic research", VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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