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Collaborative network of firms: antecedents and state-of-the-art properties

Francesco Appio (), Antonella Martini, Silvia Massa and Stefania Testa

International Journal of Production Research, 2017, vol. 55, issue 7, 2121-2134

Abstract: The concept of collaborative networks has attracted considerable attention, especially in two knowledge domains: innovation and operation management. Although collaborative networks have evolved into many forms, their central role in triggering debates has not gone unnoticed. In this paper, we aim to contribute to these debates through a bibliometric review of a decade of research on collaborative networks (2002–2015). By using a combination of document co-citation and bibliographic coupling analyses, we unveil the origins and evolution of collaborative networks over time by analysing the references from the most important academic contributions. Our goal is threefold: first, to systematise the state of the art in the Input-Process-Output (IPO) framework; second, to elucidate the antecedents of the research field on collaborative networks (research streams originating from the field, main authors and journals) by organising them in six thematic clusters; and third, to show how the antecedents shaped the IPO framework. While ‘collaborative networks’ used to belong to two distinct domains, the research agendas seem to converge because of the interactions between their most active authors. As such, cross-fertilisation occurs with the International Journal of Production Research, which plays a central role in this process.

Date: 2017
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Working Paper: Collaborative network of firms: antecedents and state-of-the-art properties (2016)
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DOI: 10.1080/00207543.2016.1262083

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