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Knowledge Management in Startups: Systematic Literature Review and Future Research Agenda

Author

Listed:
  • Piera Centobelli

    () (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, P.le Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy)

  • Roberto Cerchione

    () (Department of Engineering, University of Naples Parthenope, Centro Direzionale di Napoli, Isola C4, 80143 Naples, Italy)

  • Emilio Esposito

    () (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, P.le Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy)

Abstract

This paper conducts a systematic literature review on knowledge management (KM) in the context of startups in order to analyze the state of the art, identify research gaps and define a future research agenda. The main findings highlight that, even though there is an increasing number of papers on the topic of KM in startups, several issues are still neglected. Specifically, the paper identifies four main gaps in the body of literature. The first gap deals with the environmental and socio-political factors influencing the adoption of KM in startups. The second gap regards the lack of a comprehensive taxonomy of knowledge management systems (KMSs) that may support the processes of knowledge creation, acquisition, storage, transfer, sharing and application. This second gap allows us to identify a third gap concerning the level of alignment between startup’s strategies and technologies adopted. Finally, the fourth gap deals with the issue of the impact of KM on startup’s performances with regard to economic, financial, market, technical, technological, organizational, human and relational performance. From these four gaps, six research questions (RQs) have been proposed. These RQs allow us to identify possible areas of analysis to define a future research agenda. Neglecting these issues means underestimating all the possible advantages of KM adoption for a startup to achieve efficiency, effectiveness and scalability goals.

Suggested Citation

  • Piera Centobelli & Roberto Cerchione & Emilio Esposito, 2017. "Knowledge Management in Startups: Systematic Literature Review and Future Research Agenda," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-19, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:361-:d:91821
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philippe Silberzahn & Christophe Midler, 2008. "Managing robust development process for high-tech startups through multi-project learning: The case of two European start-ups," Post-Print hal-00404202, HAL.
    2. C. Lakshman & Ronaldo C. Parente, 2008. "Supplier-Focused Knowledge Management in the Automobile Industry and Its Implications for Product Performance," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 317-342, March.
    3. Ikujiro Nonaka, 1994. "A Dynamic Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 5(1), pages 14-37, February.
    4. Jonas Debrulle, 2012. "Start-up absorptive capacity: Does the owner’s human and social capital matter?," Working Papers VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics 30, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics.
    5. Zoltan J. Acs & Mark Sanders, 2008. "Intellectual Property Rights and the Knowledge Spillover Theory of Entrepreneurship," Jena Economic Research Papers 2008-069, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    6. Thierry BURGER-HELMCHEN, 2008. "Plural-entrepreneurial activity for a single start-up: a case study," Working Papers of BETA 2008-01, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:1263-:d:142146 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1818-:d:114402 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:gam:jeners:v:11:y:2018:i:5:p:1103-:d:143932 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:9:p:1503-:d:109643 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:12:p:2280-:d:122397 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:300-:d:128463 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:682-:d:134441 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    entrepreneurship; factors affecting KM; KMSs; knowledge management; performance; start-up firms; scalability;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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