Information asymmetry is a condition wherein one party in a relationship has more or better information than another. The information asymmetry concept is widely diffused throughout management research, and its existence is a core assumption within leading theories on organizations. Despite information asymmetry’s central role, however, there have been no systematic reviews of the management literature using the concept. As a result, there is no established level of knowledge of information asymmetry as a management concept, nor is there a unified basis for directing future research leveraging the concept. In response, we review 223 relevant articles from leading management journals and develop a framework for organizing and assessing information asymmetry research. We consolidate understanding of information asymmetry’s meaning, conceptual applications, roles in different theoretical models, antecedents, and how focal actors’ self-interests influence the selection of mechanisms for managing it. Further, we highlight opportunities for extensions to core management theories and specify research prospects within several management subfields. Overall, the framework can help guide researchers as they work to advance understanding of one of the management field’s most ubiquitous concepts.

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Series ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal Journal of Management
D.D. Bergh (Donald), D.J. Ketchen (David), I. Orlandi (Ilaria), Heugens, P.P.M.A.R, & B.K. Boyd (Brian). (2019). Information Asymmetry in Management Research: Past Accomplishments and Future Opportunities. Journal of Management, 45(1), 122–158. doi:10.1177/0149206318798026