The Contributions of Knowledge Management to the Sustainable Development Goals

Daniela Costa, Leonor Pais, Paulo Nogueira Ramos


Purpose: This study aims to analyze the contributions of knowledge management to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A systematic literature review was carried out using the keywords “Knowledge Management” in the title and “Sustainable Development Goals” throughout the text on the B-On database.

Design/methodology/approach: A literature review was conducted in this study. In total, 31 articles were analyzed, most from developing countries. Just 11 of them were focused on only one goal. This was done by resorting to the PRISMA protocol and adapting the GRADE protocol.

Findings: The results show little investigation on knowledge management for sustainable development goals. However, there is an agreement among authors that knowledge management is essential for the present 2030 Agenda. It is necessary to invest in knowledge management in developing countries for them to make progress toward the SDGs.

Research limitations/implications: Only one database was used, Knowledge Management was identified as a global construct, and the resort to the expression “Sustainable Development Goals” can have a narrowing effect on the results. Future research may focus on the knowledge management processes or surveying each Sustainable Development Goal.

Practical implications: In this study, the contributions of knowledge management for poverty eradication, quality of health, drinkable water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, industry, infrastructure and innovation, and action for climate change are clear, which can be a starting point for future research and to intervene in this field.

Originality/value: As for originality, it is the first systematic literature review on knowledge management's contributions to achieving sustainable development goals within the United Nations 2030 Agenda framework. As for the value, which also stems from its originality, emphasis is placed on the possibility of making decisions based on evidence, in theoretical and practical terms, considering the results obtained.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Sustainability, Sustainable Development Goals, 2030 Agenda, Systematic literature review.



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