The Structure of Sustainability Research in Marketing, 1958-2008: A Basis for Future Research Opportunities
Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 39, No. 1, Forthcoming
46 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2010
Date Written: September 14, 2010
Recent changes in the business environment have prompted marketing scholars to pay particular attention to sustainability as a topic of inquiry. Despite the progress made in the study of sustainability, there is a paucity of research on the topic in premier marketing journals. To address this issue, we focus on marketing-related journals and assess the intellectual structure of sustainability research in detail. Drawing on social network theory, we perform an extensive co-citation analysis using multidimensional scaling to examine 76,342 citations made in 1,320 sustainability-focused articles from 36 journals over 51 years (1958–2008). This study specifies that the topics of citizenship behavior, stakeholder theory, corporate performance, and the triple bottom line are integral sustainability research areas. In addition, the results indicate five required topics for examining sustainability in the marketing context: external-internal focus, social-environmental emphasis, legal-ethical-discretionary intent, marketing assets, and financial performance. Supported by the capabilities-based resource perspective, the sustainability-focused typology and framework advanced provide directed structure for future research.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation