A Literature Review on Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO)
24 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2015 Last revised: 3 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 1, 2015
Following Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) is currently an emerging area in that has received little attention by scholars. With origins in India, KPO is also now on the rise in new markets like Eastern Europe and expected to grow overall at CAGR of 23.12 percent over the period 2013-2018. Our purpose is to gauge the state of the art of academic research in this emerging area, and if there is any gap or potential avenues that may be explored for future research by surveying extant literature reviews, academic papers and industry reports on KPO. We conduct our exploratory literature review using a two-step method. First, we find our first set of relevant literature by querying the keywords “KPO”, “Knowledge Process Outsourcing”, “Knowledge Outsourcing” and “Outsourcing” in the Google Scholar web search engine and the Stevens Institute of Technology Library. Second, we looked for an additional set of literature using the references of the articles found in the first step. We find that there are different and evolving definitions between and among scholars and practitioners on what KPO services are and also that there are several views on a taxonomy to classify KPO services. Although we do not propose a common definition yet in this paper, we propose a way to reconcile these different taxonomies, we summarize and classify the current streams of research in KPO, and finally we suggest future paths for academic research.
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