Research into environmental marketing/management: A bibliographic analysis
AuthorLeonidou, Constantinos N.
Leonidou, Leonidas C.
SourceEuropean Journal of Marketing
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Purpose: This study seeks to identify, synthesize, and evaluate extant research on environmental marketing and management, with the ultimate aim of unveiling trends in this field. Specifically, it aims to focus on: the characteristics of authors and manuscripts written on the subjectthe methodological aspects of empirical studies, in terms of design, scope and methodologyand the thematic areas tackled, as well as the specific issues raised within each area. Design/methodology/approach: Relevant articles were identified using both electronic and manual bibliographic search methods. Altogether, 530 articles were identified in 119 academic journals published during the period 1969-2008. Each article was content-analyzed along six major dimensions, namely authorship profile, manuscript characteristics, research design, scope of research, research methodology, and topical area. Findings: Overall, it was revealed that this body of research has undergone a serious transformation, moving from an early stage of identification and exploration to a more advanced phase characterized by greater maturity and rigour. This is demonstrated by: the tendency for more multi-authored, cross-cultural, and inter-disciplinary collaborative effortsthe increasing length in manuscript size and number of references over timethe growing sophistication of research designs, gradually placing emphasis on formalized and causal structuresthe expanded scope of research, covering a wide range of countries, industries, and products, as well as firms of different status, size, and geographic focusthe tendency to use probability sampling designs, obtain high response rates, secure large sample sizes, and apply advanced statistical analysisand the great diversity and in-depth coverage of the topics examined. Research limitations/implications: Although a meta-analytical or bibliometric assessment could yield more quantitative insights, the fragmented nature of this type of research made the adoption of a bibliographic analysis a more appropriate approach. Various conceptual, methodological, and empirical implications are extracted from the study findings, while certain streams of research requiring further attention in the future were identified. Originality/value: Although research on environmental marketing/management has experienced an exponential growth in the last decades, as a result of intensifying government, public, and company concern, it has been criticised for being too fragmented, widely diverse, and non-programmatic to yield an all-round picture of trends in the subject. This study provides one of the few attempts to identify, consolidate, and evaluate extant knowledge on the subject in a systematic and integrative manner. In doing so, it would provide a reference point that could stimulate and guide future research on the subject, helping in this way the discipline's theoretical advancement and practical development. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.