Purpose – This article assesses the role of collaborative knowledge building in the co-creation of artifacts in the knowledge management field.
Design/methodology/approach – Fifty-eight articles published in six knowledge management-related journals were analyzed. The framework for analysis included thirteen codes. Articles were analyzed using qualitative and quantitative methods.
Findings – Findings showed that several factors influenced the co-creation of artifacts in collaborative knowledge building. At the micro level, individual motivation, capabilities and reflexivity seemed to play a central role in co-creation processes. At the meso level, teamwork and shared understanding were identified as two key major factors. At the macro level, structural, behavioral and cognitive factors were identified; they included organizational rules and workplace setting, organizational culture, and learning and memory. Managerial agency, characteristics of artifacts, and knowledge brokers and boundary spanners also seemed to have an influence at the inter-organizational levels of analysis.
Research limitations – This study has limitations related to scope of contribution, covered time span (17 years), and restrictions in journal subscriptions.
Practical implications – The study will help managers understand the intricacies of collaborative knowledge building practices to increase organizational overall effectiveness and performance.
Originality/value – This article is a first attempt to systematically assess the role of collaborative knowledge building in the co-creation of artifacts, and therefore it represents a primary reference in the knowledge management field. It proposes some initial propositions that can guide future empirical studies.