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The Intellectual Structure of Product Innovation. Research: A Bibliometric Study of the Journal of Product Innovation Management, 1984-2004


  • Boris Durisin

    () (Management Department, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy)

  • Giulia Calabretta

    (ESADE Business School, Barcelona, Spain)

  • Vanni Parmeggiani

    (SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan, Italy)


Product innovation research has matured substantially in the last two decades. A great deal of knowledge has been produced on various aspects of the discipline, so it is of interest to assess the state of the art the scientific community has reached in this discipline, and the route it has taken. This perspective is investigated through a bibliometric study of the Journal of Product Innovation Management (JPIM), arguably the most important specialized journal on this topic. The work reviews all journal article contributions in JPIM from 1984-2004 in determined time frames, assesses the citations contained in these articles, identifies how the citations are related to the various topics of production innovation research (topic-related citation variety, topic-related citation consistency, variation in topic-related citation pattern) and offers a retrospective examination of the evolution of the field. The overall analysis of citations shows that most articles in JPIM cite at least one of the Top 50 works identified by this study. This testifies the strong impact of the most influential works on the intellectual structure of product innovation research. The observed citation pattern suggests that the Top 50 articles gained influence in product innovation research either because they represent a relevant contribution on a fundamental topic that already has been authoritatively studied or because they investigate in a relevant manner a new topic. The article suggests that JPIM might benefit in its aim to consolidate its position as one of the top academic business journals if published articles increasingly drew on the most influential works to inform their research design, and explicitly stated the theoretical underpinnings they draw on in their research design. Overall, the analysis of the sub-periods (1984-1988, 1989-1993, 1994-1998, and 1999-2004) provides evidence for the maturation of new product innovation research. Books covering a wide range of topics are replaced by journal articles addressing a specific topic; over time, specific topics emerge and become influential for the discipline’s intellectual structure; articles published in JPIM augment their methodological rigor and increasingly address contingency factors. The article also notes that obtaining relevance for JPIM authors constitutes a necessary condition for being considered by management researchers at large as an influential contribution to product innovation research.

Suggested Citation

  • Boris Durisin & Giulia Calabretta & Vanni Parmeggiani, 2009. "The Intellectual Structure of Product Innovation. Research: A Bibliometric Study of the Journal of Product Innovation Management, 1984-2004," KITeS Working Papers 010, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Nov 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:kites10_wp

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