, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 203–230 | Cite as

Mapping the knowledge domain and the theme evolution of appropriability research between 1986 and 2016: a scientometric review

  • Yaowu SunEmail author
  • Yi Zhai


The scholars in the research domains of innovation and strategic management concerned about the appropriability for about 30 years or more. They focused on appropriability research and constantly evolving. In this paper, we analyze 30 years (1986–2016) literature on appropriability studies from Web of Science Core Collection database. A cited reference clustering map of different periods and terms co-occurrence map have been generated using bibliometric analysis and content analysis. Based on this, we study the evolutionary trajectory, mechanisms and theoretical architecture of appropriability research and explore further research directions. The results indicate that the essence of the appropriability research evolution is the perception changes in opening and sharing, value creation and value growth, and future research is focusing on role of appropriability in the platform governance, generative appropriability and the evolution of the problem-solving mechanisms.


Appropriability Knowledge map Cluster analysis Open innovation Platform governance 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from several sources: the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71472061; No. 71172193) and Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (No. 20130161110032).


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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business SchoolHunan UniversityChangshaChina

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