Knowledge Governance: Building a Conceptual Framework

  • Isabel Pinho
  • Cláudia Pinho
  • António Pedro Costa
Keywords: Literature Review, Knowledge Governance, Education, Research, Innovation.


Abstract. This exploratory systematic literature review is a starting point for a deep literature review on “Knowledge Governance” (KGOV) topic. We define the research question: What is Knowledge Governance? To achieve the answer to this research question we start by performing an exploratory review in order to identify some key blocks related to the structure of this topic by looking for answers to the following questions: a) What are the seminal, core, relevant and review documents on Knowledge Governance topic? b) In which context (e.g., Education, Science and Innovation) Knowledge Governance theme is addressed in these documents? c) In what layer (Micro, Meso, Macro and Network) and level of activity (or level of Analysis) those documents focus?

The research design was structured in three main stages: planning the review; conducting the review and reporting the outcomes from the review.  The main output of the first stage was the review protocol, a plan that contains information on: (1) the specific objectives of the review; (2) research strategy; (3) final results of the research. Having completed the elaboration of the protocol, in a collaborative way, we proceeded to the second step stage: conducting the review. To carry out this operational step, we take a procedural approach, considering this step as a sequencing of the following phases:  Identification of research, Selection of studies, quality assessment, Data extraction monitoring progress and Data synthesis. The last stage was Reporting and dissemination whose final product will be an article to be submitted in co-authorship. This exploratory review was made taken an qualitative research approach and using qualitative software tool (WebQDA) to organize all information and to facilitate the collective analyse data made by the authors. This collaborative work was based on a discussion of interpretations, classifications and also the construction of the conceptual framework.

We got a quick picture about Knowledge Governance, through the identification of the seminal, core and relevant documents. We also seek to know the contexts of these studies, as well as on what ontological levels and activities they refer to. The principal results are: a) the identification of the structure of the topic, by retrieving the main seminal articles and the most cited (core documents) and b) the building of a structured analysis framework. This framework will be used to perform a deep literature review that aim to develop an integrated and holist conceptual model on Knowledge Governance. Major conclusions are related to clues for future research on this topic. In addition, this exploratory review will have an impact on the development of collaborative research work, by researchers with diverse theoretical backgrounds and complementary skills. The challenge of teamwork was facilitated by the use of research support tools, specifically EndNote and WebQDA.