, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 555–581 | Cite as

Positioning knowledge: schools of thought and new knowledge creation

  • S. Phineas Upham
  • Lori Rosenkopf
  • Lyle H. Ungar


Cohesive intellectual communities called “schools of thought” can provide powerful benefits to those developing new knowledge, but can also constrain them. We examine how developers of new knowledge position themselves within and between schools of thought, and how this affects their impact. Looking at the micro and macro fields of management publications from 1956 to 2002 with an extensive dataset of 113,000+ articles from 41 top journals, we explore the dynamics of knowledge positioning for management scholars. We find that it is significantly beneficial for new knowledge to be a part of a school of thought, and that within a school of thought new knowledge has more impact if it is in the intellectual semi-periphery of the school.


Innovation Management Schools of thought Clustering 



Our special thanks to Henry Small and Thomson ISI for their generous use of data in this project.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Phineas Upham
    • 1
  • Lori Rosenkopf
    • 1
  • Lyle H. Ungar
    • 2
  1. 1.The Wharton SchoolUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.CIS DepartmentUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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