, Volume 101, Issue 1, pp 623–661 | Cite as

Visualizing the structure and bridges of the intellectual property management and strategy literature: a document co-citation analysis

  • Francesco Paolo Appio
  • Fabrizio Cesaroni
  • Alberto Di Minin


This article uses document co-citation analysis to objectively explore the underlying structure of the intellectual property research domain, taken from a managerial and strategic standpoint. The goal of this study is identifying its main research areas, understanding its current state of development and suggesting potential future directions, by analyzing the co-citations from 181 papers published between 1992 and 2011 in the most influential academic journals. Five main clusters have been identified, mapped, and labeled as follows: Economics of patent system, technological and institutional capabilities, university patenting, intellectual property exploitation, and division of labor. Their most active areas on this topic, and the most influential and co-cited papers have been identified and described. Also, intra- and inter-cluster knowledge base diversity has been assessed by using indicators stemming from the domains of information theory and biology. A t test has been performed to assess the significance of the inter-cluster diversity. The knowledge bases of these five clusters are significantly diverse, this meaning that they are five co-existing paradigms.


Document co-citation analysis DCA Intellectual property IP management IP strategy Cluster analysis Diversity analysis 

JEL Classification

O34 O32 M10 



We want to thank Prof. Antonella Martini (University of Pisa), Prof. Daniela Baglieri (University of Messina), and the three reviewers for their invaluable suggestions and support. Fabrizio Cesaroni also acknowledges support from the Spanish Ministry of Economics and Competitiveness, project ECO2011-27942.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Paolo Appio
    • 1
  • Fabrizio Cesaroni
    • 2
    • 3
  • Alberto Di Minin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Energy Systems, Territory, and Construction Engineering (DESTEC), University of PisaPisaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Business AdministrationUniversity Carlos III de MadridGetafeSpain
  3. 3.Scuola Superiore Sant’AnnaIstituto di ManagementPisaItaly

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