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Tendencies in research on sustainable development in management sciences

HIGHLIGHTS•The number of research on sustainable development in management science is growing.•Utrecht University is the most dedicated center to research on SD.•“Journal of Cleaner Production” is the key journal in the field of SD.•On regional level, American and British research stand out the most.•Relevant topics: strategy, innovation, supply chain and social responsibility.ABSTRACTThe article aims to analyze scientific research on sustainable development (SD) in the field of management sciences. The main research question (what main trends can be identified in scientific research on SD in management sciences over the years) allowed to formulate six detailed research questions and carry out six partial analyses with the use of bibliometric method according to the following parameters: chronology, discipline, source, center, country and content. The final dataset consisted of articles from scientific journals published in the years 1974-2016. The analysis allowed to draw several conclusions. The dynamics of research on SD in management sciences in chronological terms are growing. The leading scientific areas are environmental science, social science and engineering. Management sciences proved to be an essential area of study. The most important institution contributing to the field is the Dutch Utrecht University. “The Journal of Cleaner Production” should be considered as the most focused journal on this kind of research. In geographical terms, the most prolific regions were American and British. Apart from central areas (SD and sustainability), the other main thematic areas of research are corporate social responsibility, corporate SD, supply chain management, theory of innovation and strategic management. It is worth emphasizing the originality of the research. There are no bibliometric analyses focusing strictly on scientific research on SD in management sciences and presenting a broad spectrum of trends or concentrations in terms of dynamics in time, scientific areas, research centers, journals, countries or thematic areas. Previous analyses tended to be conducted on smaller data sets, consisted of strictly profiled themes and usually included a broader range of documents (including non-scientific ones). The research results can be used by other scholars interested in SD as an inspiration for their own research and for seeking support or cooperation among leading institutions, authors, journals or countries. In addition, the results may facilitate the planning, designing, running and publishing of future research.


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