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Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Reputation: A Bibliometric Analysis

Authors: Songdi Li, Louise Spry, Tony Woodall


Nowadays, Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) is becoming a buzz word, and more and more academics are putting efforts on CSR studies. It is believed that CSR could influence Corporate Reputation (CR), and they hold a favourable view that CSR leads to a positive CR. To be specific, the CSR related activities in the reputational context have been regarded as ways that associate to excellent financial performance, value creation, etc. Also, it is argued that CSR and CR are two sides of one coin; hence, to some extent, doing CSR is equal to establishing a good reputation. Still, there is no consensus of the CSR-CR relationship in the literature; thus, a systematic literature review is highly in need. This research conducts a systematic literature review with both bibliometric and content analysis. Data are selected from English language sources, and academic journal articles only, then, keyword combinations are applied to identify relevant sources. Data from Scopus and WoS are gathered for bibliometric analysis. Scopus search results were saved in RIS and CSV formats, and Web of Science (WoS) data were saved in TXT format and CSV formats in order to process data in the Bibexcel software for further analysis which later will be visualised by the software VOSviewer. Also, content analysis was applied to analyse the data clusters and the key articles. In terms of the topic of CSR-CR, this literature review with bibliometric analysis has made four achievements. First, this paper has developed a systematic study which quantitatively depicts the knowledge structure of CSR and CR by identifying terms closely related to CSR-CR (such as ‘corporate governance’) and clustering subtopics emerged in co-citation analysis. Second, content analysis is performed to acquire insight on the findings of bibliometric analysis in the discussion section. And it highlights some insightful implications for the future research agenda, for example, a psychological link between CSR-CR is identified from the result; also, emerging economies and qualitative research methods are new elements emerged in the CSR-CR big picture. Third, a multidisciplinary perspective presents through the whole bibliometric analysis mapping and co-word and co-citation analysis; hence, this work builds a structure of interdisciplinary perspective which potentially leads to an integrated conceptual framework in the future. Finally, Scopus and WoS are compared and contrasted in this paper; as a result, Scopus which has more depth and comprehensive data is suggested as a tool for future bibliometric analysis studies. Overall, this paper has fulfilled its initial purposes and contributed to the literature. To the author’s best knowledge, this paper conducted the first literature review of CSR-CR researches that applied both bibliometric analysis and content analysis; therefore, this paper achieves its methodological originality. And this dual approach brings advantages of carrying out a comprehensive and semantic exploration in the area of CSR-CR in a scientific and realistic method. Admittedly, its work might exist subjective bias in terms of search terms selection and paper selection; hence triangulation could reduce the subjective bias to some degree.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, corporate reputation, bibliometric analysis, software data analysis.

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