R, Scientometrics, Knowledge Management, and Social Network Analysis

5 Years after “Knowledge management: another management fad?”

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In 2000, Ponzi and Koenig wrote a paper titled Knowledge management: another management fad? with the following abstract.


Knowledge management is a subject of a growth body of literature. While capturing the interest of practitioners and scholars in the mid-1990s, knowledge management remains a broadly defined concept with faddish characteristics. Based on annual counts of article retrieved from Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index, and ABI Inform referring to three previous recognized management fad, this paper introduces empirical evidence that proposes that a typical management movement generally reveals itself as a fad in approximately five years. In applying this approach and assumption to the case of knowledge management, the findings suggest that knowledge management is at least living longer than typical fads and perhaps is in the process of establishing itself as a new aspect of management. To further the understanding of knowledge management’s development, its interdisciplinary activity and breadth are reported and briefly discussed.

Ponzi and Koenig used article counting technique where the article counts were retrieved from Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index and ABI Inform. They counted the number of articles from 1991 to 2001 with the following result.


So, I was curious to know how the knowledge management field has evolved in the past 5 years from 2002 to 2006. Hence I retrieved article counts from both Science Citation Index and Social Science Citation Index (not ABI Inform). The result is as follows:


So, it can be seen that Ponzi and Koenig’s finding still holds now. However, it will be interesting to see whether the number of articles on knowledge management will stabilize around 500 (Article counts in 2007 as per 28 June 2007 is 153).


Written by Mat

October 7, 2008 at 6:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. […] “Fad” argument. Wilson (2002) describes it as “in large part, a management fad, promulgated […]

  2. […] number of academic publications with the keyword ‘knowledge management’ in my previous post. As can be seen, the search volume has actually decreased more than 50% from its peak in […]

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