Research orientations towards the 'management' of infrastructure assets: an intellectual structure approach

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In recent decades, research on the management of infrastructure assets has increased steadily. However, there are concerns raised about the contribution of studies to a coherent body of knowledge. There is a call for a more structured understanding of the knowledge that is emerging around the management of infrastructure assets. This paper attempts to answer this call through an empirical study based on the reference lists of over 8200 articles that present their study relevant to the management of infrastructure assets. In so doing, we apply recognised techniques from bibliometric and social network analyses to visualise and identify major and minor topics, where researchers have oriented and contributed. We find that managing infrastructure assets traditionally was object-oriented, such as pavements, bridges, water and utility networks, and that attention is only now emerging on the life-cycle decision-making and organisational aspects, although the latter remains weakly linked with technical aspects. We conclude with shared research orientations in ‘managing’ infrastructure assets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-96
Number of pages24
JournalStructure and infrastructure engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2015


  • METIS-298849
  • IR-90822


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