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The Role of Knowledge Management in Supply Chain Management: A Literature Review

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Purpose: The aim of this paper is to examine the state of knowledge management research in supply chain management from three standpoints, methodological approach, supply chain management area, and knowledge management processes. Design/methodology/approach: To achieve this, a systematic review is conducted over the period 2000-2014 on the basis of a qualitative content analysis. Findings: Major results showed that knowledge management can be viewed as a leverage mechanism for: (i) supply chain integration; (ii) the enhancement of intra and inter-relations across the supply chain; (iii) supply chain strategy alignment; and (iv) the reinforcement of knowledge transfer in product development. Some supply chain management areas such as reverse logistics, inventory management, forecasting/demand planning, outsourcing, and risk management have been explored only to some extent. Furthermore, knowledge transfer is being studied in the majority of the articles, mainly by both case study and survey approach; mathematical models and simulation techniques are used in very limited articles. Findings concerning theoretical perspectives and managerial issues are also described.Research limitations/implications: The limitation of our study encompasses the aspects of search period (2000-2014), selection of search databases (Web of Science and SCOPUS and language selection (English). Practical implications: The exhibition of the KM processes within the SC context may help practitioners and managers interested in implementing KM initiatives to replicate the methodologies in order to increase the possibilities of a successful KM adoption. Originality/value: The systematic review will contribute to the understanding of the present state of research in the knowledge management theory, with focus on the supply chain, as there are no state-of-knowledge studies that report a systematic literature review approach.



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