Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thirty-Five Years of Research on Business and the Natural Environment. Part 2: The 75 Seminal Articles of the Field

by Andrew J. Hoffman
University of Michigan


In this second of three essays, I continue my discussion of the boundaries and historical trajectory of the Business and Natural Environment (B&NE) field by offering a list of which are the seminal and most influential articles on which it is built.  
I compiled the bibliographies of all 38 chapters in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Business and the Natural Environment (edited by Tima Bansal and myself and due to be released in late 2011). The 65 chapter authors cover the gamut of disciplines found in any business school andwere asked to make their bibliographies as inclusive as possible of what they consider to be the seminal papers of the field in their particular discipline.  After separating papers dealing with B&NE, the list totaled 874 articles. This is being treated as a proxy for the corpus of research on B&NE.

I then collected citation counts (as a measure of influence) for every article using Googlescholar (again, ISI and Scopus did not list all the articles in the sample).  Articles were then sorted along two criteria: absolute citation counts and normalized citation counts by year.  The first measures the overall impact of the article.  The second takes into account the fact that older articles will gather more citations than more recent articles.  
Table 1 offers a list of the 75 most highly cited articles in Business and the Natural Environment ranked by normalized citations per year.  Those articles with a higher normalized rank than absolute rank may be considered to be up and coming articles relative to their peer set (presuming their citation trend continues).  Those articles with a higher absolute rank than normalized rank may be considered to be sun setting in influence relative to their peer set.  Ideally, one would also develop a measure for the yearly trends in citation counts to observe if an article is declining in influence.  
Immediately, readers may quibble over what constitutes an article in B&NE.  The first article appeared in Nature in 1997 and caused quite a stir when the 13 authors analyzed 17 ecosystem services and determined a value for nature estimated at between $16 and $54 trillion per year, with a likely figure of at least $33 trillion.  This is followed by more commonly cited B&NE journals (like Academy of Management Review, Organization Studies and Administrative Science Quarterly).  Remaining near the top of the list are seemingly classic articles on the topic by Michael Porter and Milton Friedman.  
As you peruse the list, you will be hard pressed to find articles from the fields of finance and information technology, notably low in B&NE coverage.  You will also be hard pressed to find articles from Business Strategy & the Environment, the Journal of Industrial Ecology or Organization & Environment, three specialized journals that feature a lot of B&NE research as measured by number of articles.  
Again, I offer this list and these questions merely as provocations for further discussion over the state of the field of Business and the Natural Environment.  I offer the same limitations of this list as I offered in the tables in Part 1.  Does this list of 874 articles offer a fair representation of the field? Can we compare citation counts between multiple disciplines (i.e. engineering, economics and management) in any absolute way? And, how do overall citation counts differ from citation counts within the field of B&NE? In terms of the creation of a B&NE field, how do we capture the common streams of discourse?  And is there even one stream of research represented by these articles?  Are we even talking to each other?



TABLE 1
The 75 Most Cited Articles in Business and the Natural Environment, 1975-2010

CITATION
GOOGLE SCHOLAR CITATION COUNT
GOOGLE SCHOLAR NORM. BY YEAR
COUNT
RANK
COUNT
RANK
Costanza, R., d'Arge, R., de Groot, R., Farber, S., Grasso, M., Hannon, B., Naeem, S., Limburg, K., Paruelo, J., O'Neill, R., Raskin, R., Sutton, P. and van den Belt, M. (1997). "The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital," Nature, 387: 253-260.
4461
1
318.64
1
Mitchell, R. K., Agle, B. R., & Wood, D. J. (1997). "Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts." Academy of Management Review, 22: 853-886.
2635
3
188.21
2
Clarkson, M. B. (1995). "A stakeholder framework for analyzing and evaluating corporate social performance." Academy of Management Review, 20: 92-117.
1979
5
123.69
3
Orlitzky, M., Schmidt, F. & Rynes, S. (2003). "Corporate social and financial performance: A meta-analysis." Organization Studies, 24(3): 403-441.
970
14
121.25
4
Porter, M. E. & van der Linde, C. (1995). "Toward a new conception of the environment-competitiveness relationship." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 94: 97-118.
1850
6
115.63
5
Porter, M. and C. Van Der Linde (1995), "Green and competitive:  Ending the stalemate," Harvard Business Review, September-October: 120-134.
1641
7
102.56
6
Margolis, J. D. & Walsh, J. P. (2003). "Misery loves companies: Rethinking social initiatives by business." Administrative Science Quarterly, 48(2): 268-305.
799
18
99.88
7
McWilliams, A. and Siegel, D. (2001). "Corporate social responsibility: a theory of the firm perspective," Academy of Management Review, 26(1):117-127.
901
16
90.1
8
Friedman, M. (1970). “The social responsibility of business is to increase profits,” The New York Times Magazine, September 13, The New York Times.
3675
2
89.63
9
Waddock, S.A., and Graves, S.B. (1997). ‘The corporate social performance-financial performance link’. Strategic Management Journal, 18: 303-319.
1132
11
80.86
10
Wood D. (1991)  “Corporate social performance  revisited” Academy of Management Review 16(4): 691-718.
1566
8
78.3
11
Russo, M. V. and Fouts, P. A. (1997). "A resource-based perspective on corporate environmental performance and profitability." Academy of Management Journal, 40: 534-559.
1092
13
78
12
Hart, S. L. (1995) “A natural-resource-based view of the firm,” Academy of Management Review, 20(4): 986-1014.
1229
9
76.81
13
Jaffe, A.B., Peterson, S.R., Portney, P.R., and Stavins, R.N. (1995) "Environmental regulation and the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing: What does the evidence tell us?". Journal of Economic Literature, 33: 132-63.
1160
10
72.5
14
Ostrom, E., (2009). "A general framework for analyzing sustainability of social-ecological systems."  Science, 325: 419-422.
143
191
71.5
15
Awaysheh, A. and Klassen, R. D. (2010), "Supply chain structure and its impact on supplier socially responsible practices," International Journal of Production and Operations Management, 30(12): 1246-68.
67
345
67
16
Matten D., and J. Moon (2008) “'Implicit' and 'explicit' CSR: A conceptual framework for a comparative understanding of corporate social responsibility,”  Academy of Management Review 33(2): 404-424
196
127
65.33
17
Carroll, A.B. (1979). "A three dimensional model of corporate social performance," Academy of Management Review, 4: 497-505.
2048
4
64
18
Aguilera, R.V., Rupp, D., Williams, C.A. and Ganapathi, J. (2007). "Putting the S back in corporate social responsibility: A multi-level theory of social change in organizations," Academy of Management Review, 32(3): 836-863.
256
104
64
19
Copeland, B.R. & Taylor, M.S. (2004). "Trade growth and environment." Journal of Economic Literature, 17: 7-71.
443
40
63.29
20
Garriga, E. and Melé, D. (2004). "Corporate social responsibility theories: Mapping the territory," Journal of Business Ethics, 53 (1-2): 51-71.
441
42
63
21
Hillman, A. & Keim, G. (2001). "Shareholder value, stakeholder management, and social issues: what's the bottom line?" Strategic Management Journal, 22:2: 125-139.
603
29
60.3
22
Cropper, M, and W. Oates. (1992). "Environmental economics: A survey." Journal of Economic Literature 30: 675-740.
1118
12
58.84
23
Hart, S. L. (1997).  “Beyond greening: Strategies for a sustainable world.” Harvard Business Review: January/February: 66-76.
817
17
58.36
24
Wapner, P. (1995) "Politics beyond the state: Environmental activism and world civic politics," World Politics, 47: 311-340.
933
15
58.31
25
Bansal, P. & Roth, K. (2000) "Why companies go green: a model of ecological responsiveness," Academy of Management Journal, 43: 717-736.
634
25
57.64
26
King, A. A. and Lenox, M. J. (2000). "Industry self-regulation without sanctions: The chemical industry's Responsible Care program," Academy of Management Journal, 43(4): 698-716.
632
26
57.45
27
Hoffman, A. J. (1999). ‘Institutional evolution and change: Environmentalism and the US chemical industry.’ Academy of Management Journal, 42(4): 351-371.
662
22
55.17
28
Matten, D. and Crane, A. (2005). "Corporate citizenship: toward an extended theoretical conceptualization," Academy of Management Review, 30 (1): 166-179.
328
70
54.67
29
Hong, H. and M. Kacperczyk (2009), "The price of sin: The effects of social norms on markets", Journal of Financial Economics, 93: 15-36.  
103
246
51.5
30
Griffin, J. & Mahon, J. (1997). "The corporate social performance and corporate financial performance debate: Twenty-five years of incomparable research." Business & Society, 36(1): 5-31.
669
20
47.79
31
Klassen, R.D., and McLaughlin, C.P. (1996). "The impact of environmental management on firm performance," Management Science, 42(8): 1199-1214.
715
19
47.67
32
Bhattacharya, C. B. & Sen, S. (2003). "Consumer-company identification: A framework for understanding consumers’ relationships with companies," Journal of Marketing, 67(4): 76-88.
378
55
47.25
33
Kollmuss, A. and Agyeman, J. (2002). "Mind the gap: Why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior," Environmental Education Research, 8(3): 239-260.
424
47
47.11
34
Sharma, S. & Vredenburg, H. (1998). "Proactive corporate environmental strategy and the development of competitively valuable organizational capabilities." Strategic Management Journal, 19(8): 729-53.
602
30
46.31
35
Scherer, A.G. and Palazzo, G. (2007). "Toward a political conception of corporate responsibility - business and society seen from a Habermasian perspective," Academy of Management Review, 32 (4): 1096–1120.
177
150
44.25
36
Bauer, R, K. Koedijk and R. Otten (2005), "International evidence on ethical mutual fund performance and investment style", Journal of Banking and Finance, 29: 1751-1767. 
261
101
43.5
37
Srivastava, S. K. (2007), "Green supply-chain management: A state-of-the-art literature review," International Journal of Management Reviews, 9(1): 53-80.
173
153
43.25
38
Eskeland, G. and A. Harrison. (2003). "Moving to greener pastures? Multinationals and the pollution haven hypothesis,"  Journal of Development Economics, 70: 1-23. 
339
63
42.38
39
Deegan, C. (2002). "The legitimising effect of social and environmental disclosures: A theoretical foundation," Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 15(2): 282-311.
373
57
41.44
40
Gray R.H., R.Kouhy & S.Lavers (1995) "Corporate social and environmental reporting: A review of the literature and a longitudinal study of UK disclosure"  Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal  8(2): 47-77.
659
23
41.19
41
Smith, A., Stirling, A., & Berkhout, F. (2005), "The governance of sustainable socio-technical transitions," Research Policy, 34: 1491–1510.
246
109
41
42
Kemp, R., Schot, J., & Hoogma, R. (1998). "Regime shifts to sustainability through processes of niche formation: The approach of strategic niche management," Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 10(2): 175 - 198.
527
34
40.54
43
Sharma, S. (2000). "Managerial interpretations and organizational context as predictors of corporate choice of environmental strategy." The Academy of Management Journal, 43: 681-697.
441
43
40.09
44
Clarkson, P. M., Li, Y., Richardson, G. D., and Vasvari, F. P. (2008). "Revisiting the relation between environmental performance and environmental disclosure: An empirical analysis," Accounting, Organizations and Society, 33(4-5): 303-327.
118
225
39.33
45
Gladwin, T. N., Kennelly, J.J., and Krause, T.S. (1995). "Shifting paradigms for sustainable development: Implications for management theory and research," Academy of Management Review, 20: 874-907. 
628
27
39.25
46
Aragón-Correa, J. & Sharma, S. (2003), "A contingent resource-based view of proactive corporate environmental strategy," The Academy of Management Review, 28(1): 71-88.
313
77
39.13
47
Zadek, S. (2004). "The path to corporate responsibility," Harvard Business Review, 82 (December): 125-132.
273
94
39
48
Maignan, Isabelle and O. C. Ferrell (2004), "Corporate social responsibility and marketing: An integrative framework," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 32 (Winter): 3-19.
272
95
38.86
49
Walley, N., and Whitehead, B. (1994). ‘It’s not easy being green’. Harvard Business Review, 72(3): 46-52.
657
24
38.65
50
Palmer, K., Oates, W., and Portney, P. (1995). "Tightening of environmental standards: The benefit-cost or the no-cost paradigm?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9: 119–32.
615
28
38.44
51
Henriques, I. & Sadorsky, P. (1999). "The relationship between environmental commitment and managerial perceptions of stakeholder importance." Academy of Management Journal, 42: 87-99.
452
38
37.67
52
Luo, X. and C. B. Bhattacharya (2006), Corporate social responsibility, customer satisfaction, and market value,” Journal of Marketing, 70(4): 1-18.
187
138
37.4
53
Lyon, T. and J. Maxwell. (2011).  “Greenwash: Corporate environmental disclosure under threat of audit,” Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, 20(1): 3-41.
36
480
36
54
Neu, D., Warsame, H., and Pedwell, K. (1998). "Managing public impressions: Environmental disclosures in annual reports," Accounting, Organizations and Society, 23(3): 265-82.
462
37
35.54
55
Thierry, M., Salomon, M., Van Nunen, J., and Van Wassenhove, L.N. (1995). "Strategic issues in product recovery management." California Management Review, 37(2): 114-35.
568
31
35.5
56
Hamilton, J.T. (1995). "Pollution as news: Media and stock market reactions to the Toxics Release Inventory data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 28: 98-113.
566
32
35.38
57
Buysse, K. & Verbeke, A. (2003). "Proactive environmental strategies: A stakeholder management perspective." Strategic Management Journal, 24: 453-470.
278
93
34.75
58
Stavins, R.N. (1998). "What can we learn from the grand policy experiment? Positive and normative lessons from SO2 allowance trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 12: 69–88.
448
39
34.46
59
Christmann, P. (2000). "Effects of 'best practices' on environmental management on cost advantage: the role of complementary assets," Academy of Management Journal, 43(4):663-680.
374
56
34
60
Gungor, A. and Gupta, S. M. (1999), "Issues in environmentally conscious manufacturing and product recovery: A survey," Computers and Industrial Engineering, 36: 811-853.
402
50
33.5
61
Dowell, G., Hart, S. & Yeung, B (2000). "Do corporate global environmental standards create or destroy market value?" Management Science, 46(8): 1059-1076.
367
58
33.36
62
Hart, S.L., and Ahuja, G. (1996), "Does it pay to be green? An empirical examination of the relationship between emission reduction and firm performance," Business Strategy and the Environment, 5: 30-37.
490
36
32.67
63
Margolis, J. D., Elfenbein, H. A. & Walsh, J. P. (2009), "Does it pay to be good...and does it matter?  A meta-analysis of the relationship between corporate social and financial performance." Harvard Business School working paper.
65
352
32.5
64
Shrivastava, P. (1995) “The role of corporations in achieving environmental sustainability,” Academy of Management Review, 20(4): 936-960.
514
35
32.13
65
Goldstein, N. J., Cialdini, R. B. and Griskevicius, V. (2008). "A room with a viewpoint: Using social norms to motivate environmental conservation in hotels," Journal of Consumer Research, 35: 472-482.
94
269
31.33
66
Unruh, G. C. (2000). "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, 28(12): 817-830.
337
67
30.64
67
Abrahamse, W., Steg, L., Vlek, C. and Rotenngatter, T. (2005). "A review of intervention studies aimed at household energy conservation," Journal of Enviromental Psychology, 25(3): 273-91.
183
144
30.5
68
Blevis, E. (2007). "Sustainable interaction design: Invention & disposal, renewal & reuse," in CHI 2007 Proceedings, San Jose, California: 503-12.
122
215
30.5
69
Konar, S. & Cohen, M. (2001). "Does the market value environmental performance?" Review of Economics and Statistics, 83(2): 281-89.
304
81
30.4
70
Harrison, J. S. & Freeman, R. E. (1999). "Stakeholders, social responsibility, and performance: Empirical evidence and theoretical perspectives," Academy of Management Journal, 42: 479-485.
364
59
30.33
71
Seuring, S. & Muller, M. (2008). "From a literature review to a conceptual framework for sustainable supply chain management," Journal of Cleaner Production, 16(15): 1699-1710.
91
276
30.33
72
Klassen, R. D. and Whybark, D. C. (1999), "The impact of environmental technologies on Mmanufacturing performance," Academy of Management Journal, 40(6): 599-615.
348
60
29
73
Ilgin, M. and Gupta, S. M. (2010), "Environmentally conscious manufacturing and product recovery (Ecmpro): A review of the state of the art," Journal of Environmental Management, 91(3): 563-91.
29
522
29
74
Maxwell, J. W., Lyon, T. P., and Hackett, S. C. (2000). "Self-regulation and social welfare: The political economy of corporate environmentalism," Journal of Law and Economics, 43(2): 583-619.
316
75
28.73
75
Khanna, M. and Damon, L. A. (1999). "EPA's voluntary 33/50 program: Impact on toxic releases and economic performance of firms." Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 37(1): 1-25.
338
66
28.17
76
Hackston, D. and Milne, M. J. (1996). "Some Determinants of Social and Environmental Disclosures in New Zealand Companies," Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 9(1): 77-108.
414
48
27.6
79
Henriques, I. and Sadorsky, P. (1996). "The determinants of an environmentally responsive firm: An empirical approach," Journal of Environmental Economics & Management, 30(3): 381-395.
401
51
26.73
84
Ullmann A.E. (1985) "Data in Search of a Theory: A Critical Examination of the Relationships Among Social Performance, Social Disclosure and Economic Performance of US Firms,"  Academy of Management Review 10(3): 540-557
664
21
25.54
90
Deegan, C. and Gordon, B. (1996). "A Study of the Environmental Disclosure Practices of Australian Corporations," Accounting and Business Research, 26(3): 187-199.
381
54
25.4
92
Shrivastava, P. (1995), "Environmental technologies and competitive advantage." Strategic Management Journal, 16(1), 183-200.
405
49
25.31
94
Aragón-Correa, J. 1998. 'Strategic proactivity and firm approach to the natural environment.' Academy of Management Journal, 41(5): 556-67.
321
73
24.69
101
Roberts R.W. (1992)  "Determinants of corporate social responsibility disclosure"  Accounting, Organizations and Society  17(6): 595-612.
429
46
22.58
114
Starik, M. and Rands, G.P. (1995). "Weaving an integrated web: Multilevel and multisystem perspectives of ecologically sustainable organizations," Academy of Management Review, 20(4): 908-935.
347
61
21.69
123
Hunt, C. B. & Auster, E. R. (1990), "Proactive environmental management: avoiding the toxic trap." Sloan Management Review, 31(2): 7-18.
435
45
20.71
131
Drumwright, Minette E. (1994), "Socially responsible organizational buying: Environmental concern as a noneconomic buying criterion," The Journal of Marketing, 58: 1-19.
344
62
20.24
137
Patten, D. M. (1992). "Intra-industry environmental disclosures in response to the Alaskan oil spill: A note on legitimacy theory," Accounting, Organizations and Society, 17(5): 471-475.
384
53
20.21
138
Baron, D. P. (1995), "Integrated strategy: Market and nonmarket components," California Management Review, 37(2): 47-65.
322
72
20.13
139
Hahn, R.W. and Hester, G.L. (1989). "Marketable permits: Lessons for theory and practice," Ecology Law Quarterly, 16: 361–406.
442
41
20.09
140
Hahn, R., and R. Stavins. (1991). "Incentive-based environmental regulation: A new era from an old idea." Ecology Law Quarterly 18(1): 1-42.
397
52
19.85
145
Shrivastava, P. (1995). "Ecocentric management for a risk society," Academy of Management Review, 20(1): 118-137.
316
74
19.75
147
Stewart, R.B. (1993), "Environmental regulation and international competitiveness," Yale Law Journal, 102: 2039-2106.
331
69
18.39
160
Burchell S., C. Clubb, A. Hopwood, J. Hughes & J. Nahapiet (1980) "The roles of accounting in organisations and society" Accounting, Organizations and Society 5(1): 5-27.
547
33
17.65
168
Tietenberg, T.H. (1990). "Economic instruments for environmental regulation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 6: 17-33.
338
65
16.1
195
Guthrie, J. and Parker, L. D. (1989). "Corporate social reporting: A rebuttal of legitimacy theory," Accounting and Business Research, 19(76): 342-356.
325
71
14.77
212
Dunlap, R., and W. Catton. (1979). "Environmental sociology." Annual Review of Sociology. 5: 243-273.
437
44
13.66
228
Elliott, E.D., Ackerman, B.A. and Millian, J.C. (1985). "Toward a theory of statutory evolution: The federalization of environmental law," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, 1: 313–40.
338
64
13
239
Wiseman, J. (1982). "An evaluation of environmental disclosures made in corporate annual reports," Accounting, Organizations and Society, 17(1): 53-63.
331
68
11.41
279


9 comments:

Joseph Sarkis said...

Nicely done! A difficult job, and you do mention a series of concerns related to doing something like this.

Some other concerns. A number of these highly referenced articles are literature reviews, easy to reference and easy to read!

Interesting observation about Information Technology. I think in 2010 there were two articles that finally published on sustainability in MIS Quarterly. Even though a number of articles have looked at IT issues (e-commerce) etc. The seminal article has still not been developed. Lots of sputtering but a solid stream may be forthcoming.

Reid Lifset said...

I agree with Joe and Andy that it is interesting that there isn't much on IT-related issues. This is a bit surprising because there is substantial discourse about IT as means of greening, e.g., substituting bits for atoms, or applying using technology to support environmental endeavors. Much, but not all of the literature is environmental assessment, e.g., does e-commerce really reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but some of the literature is in fact business/management focused.

See the special issues on ecommerce, the internet and the environment (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jiec.2002.6.issue-2/issuetoc>) and on environmental applications of IT (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jiec.2010.14.issue-5/issuetoc) in the Journal of Industrial Ecology for examples

Nigel said...

Hi Andy,

Thanks for analyzing the stats and presenting them here.

The IS discipline does indeed lag by any measure, or as you put it “information technology is woefully low.” At the same time, we are rapidly developing a robust stream of research. Perhaps it is not coincidental, given that your “third wave” of attention labeled “sustainability” in Figure 2 rises in sync with increasing “online everything” in organizations.

One research stream deals with the environmental impact of information and communications technologies, such as the source of electricity used for data centers.

Another research stream addresses the opportunities and challenges of applying information systems innovatively in organizations to enhance the natural environment, such as the use of social media to engage employees and grow communities of interest.

Here are a few special issues in IS journals in the ONE umbrella:

Special Issue of Journal of Strategic Information Systems (JSIS) 2010
Theme: The Greening of IT: Paradox or Promise?
Special Issue Editors: Bob Galliers, Brian Donnellan, Pierre Berthon


Special Issue of MIS Quarterly (MISQ) 2012/2013
Theme: Information Systems and Environmental Sustainability
Special Issue Editors: Arvind Malhotra, Nigel P. Melville, Richard T. Watson

Special Issue of Information Systems Frontiers (ISF)
Theme: Green Information Systems & Technologies: This Generation and Beyond
Special Issue Guest Editors: Joseph Sarkis, Chulmo Koo, Richard T. Watson,


All the best, Nigel

Joseph Sarkis said...

A little follow-up to the specific topic of seminal articles.

I know when I was getting into the field a bit in my supply chain and operations sustainability, one article that I found influential was:

Robert A. Frosch and Nicholas E. Gallopoulos: "Strategies for Manufacturing." Scientific American 261 (September 1989): 144-152.

Why didn't this appear on your list? I can offer a reason, this article would be of interest to operations, supply chain, manufacturing and engineering types. If the majority of people who were asked to provide insights were general management, strategy and organizational researchers, there would be a bias and this type of article would have slipped through, even though you had some operations people involved in your evaluation.

I bet that others with various interests will also find ones that they found influential that are not on your list. But, for me, it is always good to try to see where the field is coming from and where it is going.

Sara Soderstrom said...

I think it's interesting that of the top 10 journals, only 4 are non-specialized, mainstream journals. But of the top cited articles, the top 20 (norm by year) are all in mainstream journals.

So, what, if any distinctions exist between papers in the specialized vs. mainstream journals? It would be fun to take the citations of each and develop a map of who is citing them - do the mainstream articles bridge B&NE research with other research areas? And further, if we could integrate the key words (of the articles themselves and/or the articles that cite them), what would that concept map look like? Do the articles in the specialized journals become a niche? And what are the implications for the field? How might (should?) that change over time as the field continues to evolve?

As B&NE researchers, when do we target mainstream vs. specialized journals? How does that influence the impact we have?

Thanks for the analysis Andy - fun food for thought.

Tom Lyon said...

Very interesting stuff. Regarding information, one thing to note is that 7 of the top 75 articles actually deal with the impact of information disclosure on market and environmental performance. It's just that we don't yet have much work on the use of IT systems within the firm.

On a broader note, it does feel like a field that is still quite nascent. Articles like Milton Friedman's old op-ed piece in the NYTimes Magazine are still near the top of the list, even though they're not really scholarly work. But as Andy's first blog made clear, this is a field that only began to coalesce in the 1990s, so this shouldn't be too surprising.

One of the challenges facing us going forward is to learn how to communicate better across disciplinary boundaries. Sociologists and economists use very different language to explain how society responds to corporate environmental initiatives, but they have much to learn from one another. As we build a more integrated field of study, work across social science boundaries will doubtless be a great source of new ideas.

Thanks for kicking off a very provocative discussion, Andy, and for putting together such a nice Handbook.

Marc Orlitzky said...

Thanks, Andy, for Parts 1 and 2 of this great compilation.

What I thought was particularly interesting: Some in the North American B&NE community may not be regular readers of the UK/international and European journals in which the papers ranked first and fourth appeared. However, I bet most NA researchers are regular readers of the journal in which articles ranked second and third appeared. Overall, the data (in Part 1 and Part 2) suggest that B&NE is a truly international and interdisciplinary field of research (iin which it is important to be widely read). Unlike other business disciplines, B&NE is not a field dominated by a small group of core, mainstream journals. My prediction is that this healthy trend will continue.

Mike Toffel, Harvard Business School said...

Many doctoral students and faculty newly interested in academic research in the business and environment domain have asked me what they should read to get acclimated. I'm excited to have two terrific new resources to point them to -- this blog series and the handbook Andy mentions, Oxford Handbook of Business and the Natural Environment (full disclosure: I co-authored a chapter)

Tutor For Math said...

This has been a very interesting post. So, what, if any distinctions exist between papers in the specialized vs. mainstream journals? It would be fun to take the citations of each and develop a map of who is citing them - do the mainstream articles bridge B&NE research with other research areas? And further, if we could integrate the key words (of the articles themselves and/or the articles that cite them), what would that concept map look like? Do the articles in the specialized journals become a niche? And what are the implications for the field? How might (should?) that change over time as the field continues to evolve?