This article is part of an ongoing series of articles on evidence-based knowledge management.
As we’ve advised in our evidence-based knowledge management article series, the professional credibility of knowledge management (KM) into the future depends on moving to a better research foundation.
It is important to note that this involves more than just cherry-picking a few pieces of research to support a particular point of view. Because it introduces or perpetuates biases in decision-making, such an approach to the use of research can be just as removed from evidence-based practice as using no research evidence at all. Absolutely every individual piece of research has limitations – it will have been carried out in a particular context, on the basis of particular assumptions, and influenced by the values and beliefs of the author(s) and the publisher. These values and beliefs will have influenced not only the research methodology, but the decision to pursue a particular research topic or direction in the first place.
Because of these limitations, evidence-based practice needs to involve an assessment of the widest possible range of relevant research. A key way of doing so is through carrying out a literature review. In recognition of the value of literature reviews, they are a primary evidence source for RealKM Magazine articles, and I have also published advice to the KM community on how to use two of the main types of literature review – systematic reviews and narrative reviews. That previous advice is important reading before progressing with this article.
This article goes a step further than that previous advice by listing three resources that provide advice and guidance on how to carry out the different types of literature review. The resources can assist both KM practitioners and organisations with a KM capability to carry out a literature review for a topic or area of interest where no up-to-date review currently exists (and many of those already published can be located by searching RealKM Magazine).
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- Smart, J. (2020). How to review the evidence: A simple guide to conducting a literature review. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. ↩
- Snyder, H. (2019). Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines. Journal of Business Research, 104, 333-339. ↩
- Torraco, R. J. (2005). Writing integrative literature reviews: Guidelines and examples. Human resource development review, 4(3), 356-367. ↩
Also published on Medium.