Corporate social responsibility in international marketing: review, assessment, and future research
AuthorEteokleous, Pantelitsa P.
Leonidou, Leonidas C.
Katsikeas, Constantine S.
SourceInternational Marketing Review
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Purpose – Although corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been an issue of major concern for marketers for more than half a century, only recently has it attracted the attention of international marketing researchers. During the last two decades, this body of research has experienced an increasing trend, which, however, is very fragmented and diverse. In response, the purpose of this paper is to review, assess, and synthesize extant research on the role of CSR activities in international marketing. Design/methodology/approach – The review and assessment covered the period from 1993 to 2013 and all relevant articles were traced, using both electronic and manual search methods. Altogether, the authors identified 132 studies published in 106 articles that appeared in 63 journals. Each article was content analyzed by two coders who worked independently from each other, using a structured coding protocol. Due to the nominal nature of the finalized codes, these were statistically analyzed taking the form of percentage frequencies. Findings – The results were organized in terms of theoretical, methodological, and empirical considerations. Theoretically, a third of the articles were not anchored on any theory, while the remainder employed various theoretical platforms, with stakeholder theory having a predominant role. Methodologically, this specific body of research is characterized by growing sophistication and rigor, with some room for improvement, especially as regards the use of longitudinal research, better sampling methods, wider geographic scope, and advanced statistical analysis. Empirically, a broad range of issues was covered, with the most widely studied being those focussing on the elements of international marketing strategy, external environmental influences, and CSR practices. Originality/value – The authors review and assess 21 years of research conducted on a crucial and contemporary dimension of international marketing, namely CSR. The findings provide useful insights for public policymakers, business managers, academic scholars, and marketing educators. The authors also provide detailed directions for future research, extracted from the articles reviewed. © 2016, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.