Knowledge Management Research & Practice

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 169–177 | Cite as

A literature review on knowledge management in SMEs

  • Roberto Cerchione
  • Emilio EspositoEmail author
  • Maria Rosaria Spadaro


This paper provides a systematic review of the literature on knowledge management (KM) in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and SME networks. The main objective is to highlight the state-of-the-art of KM from the management point of view in order to identify relevant research gaps. The review highlights that in recent years the trend of papers on the topic is growing and involves a variety of approaches, methodologies and models from different research areas. The vast majority of papers analysed focus on the topic of KM in the SME while there are only few papers analysing KM in networks populated by SMEs. The content analysis of the papers highlights six areas of investigation from which were derived ten research questions concerning three perspectives: the factors affecting KM; the impact of KM on firm’s performance; the knowledge management systems.


barriers performance knowledge management tools knowledge management practice knowledge management systems SMEs 


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Copyright information

© Operational Research Society Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Cerchione
    • 1
  • Emilio Esposito
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria Rosaria Spadaro
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Industrial Engineering – University of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly

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