Cross-border innovation: assessing concepts, contexts, and content

Ricardo Rodrigues, Carlos Sampaio*, Paulo Duarte, José Manuel Hernández-Mogollón

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study provides an outlook of the evolution of cross-border innovation literature. A sample of 226 articles addressing cross-border innovation and knowledge transfer published between 1997 and 2022 was screened using bibliometric methods. Data are split over three time slices and a thematic analysis is conducted, suggesting three main themes in literature: research-and-development, mostly linked with mergers and acquisitions and competitiveness, knowledge creation and transfer linked with innovations systems and performance, and innovation linked with networks, firms’ capabilities, and absorptive capacity. A co-citation analysis was also conducted which showed that the background literature of the research stream is based on the internationalization process, knowledge transfer and competitiveness, research-and-development, business performance and innovation systems. Results further introduce a geographic boundary to the research in knowledge and innovation, particularly frontier and regional innovation systems. Based on the results, future research lines are suggested, including the role of organizational learning and knowledge creation, towards the innovation of new products and services of companies seeking internationalization, and how disruptive events in worldwide supply chains affect cross-border innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15581
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-border
  • Innovation
  • Knowledge
  • Knowledge exchange
  • Literature analysis


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