The vast body of studies on inter-organizational networks suffers from a number of conceptual and methodological gaps which render some of the studies incompatible and hinder a greater understanding and coherence of the field. Part of the problem is that quite a number of the concepts, methods and theories used within the field of inter-organizational networks originate from research in inter-personal and/or intra-organizational networks where some of the methodological issues (e.g. unit of analysis and boundary specification) are more easily solved. This paper consists of a large-scale systematic literature review of the last 12 years' research on inter-organizational networks, with a focus on the methodological aspects. The findings of this paper is that few of the previous studies have used the full methodological (and thus theoretical) scope of the available data and that the most cited papers and those appearing in top-ranked journals are more prone to using Social Network Analysis than papers in general.
inter-organizational networks; social network analysis; literature review