A Bibliometric Analysis of Ethical Investments (EI) Research: Alternative Investments

A Bibliometric Analysis of Ethical Investments (EI) Research: Alternative Investments

Christos Lemonakis (Hellenic Mediterranean University, Greece), Marios Nikolaos Kouskoukis (European University Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus), Alexandros Garefalakis (Hellenic Mediterranean University, Greece), Constantin Zopounidis (Technical University of Crete, Greece & Audencia Business School, France) and Marianna Eskantar (Technical University of Crete, Greece)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2436-7.ch012

Abstract

This chapter presents the evolution of academic research in Ethical Investments (EI) research between 1990 and 2019. The chapter analyzes the most influential journals in EI research by searching for papers, which were published on the Scopus database. Results show a steadily increasing rate of EI research during the past 30 years. The chapter reports the top academic journals that permanently publish articles about EI research. The main contribution of this work is to develop a general overview of the leading journals in EI research, which leads to the development of a future research agenda for bibliometric analysis. The survey covers all main areas of Social Sciences, Business, Management and Accounting, Economics, Econometrics, and Finance as well as Decision Sciences and its connections with other analytical fields.
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Introduction

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) or Ethical Investment (EI) is broadly defined as an investment process that integrates not only financial but also social, environmental, and ethical (SEE) considerations into investment decision making (Cabello et al., 2014). SRI has grown rapidly around the world in the last two decades and has emerged into an en vogue investment strategy or philosophy that combines profit maximization with social endeavors (Puaschunder, 2019). In general, SRI is reflecting investors’ growing awareness of social, environmental, ethical and corporate governance issues (De Oliveira et al., 2017). Socially conscientious investors search for both economic and social value maximization by integrating social, environmental, and financial aspects in investments. The importance of communicating corporate social responsibility (CSR) not only to socially responsible investors, but also to the mainstream of the financial community is gaining importance in a more competitive capital market environment (Fieseler, 2011). The data suggest that social responsible issues are becoming more and more part of mainstream investment analysis.

According to (Chamorro-Mera & Palacios-González, 2019) SRI is a way of promoting the social responsibility of companies. Specifically, socially responsible screenings are bottom line analyses of corporate economic performance and social responsibility, in which socially conscientious investors integrate CSR in the financial decision making and allocate financial resources based on the societal impacts of the funded entities (Puaschunder, 2019). Moreover, ethical financial products can be considered as a tool that drives the financial institutions CSR and also companies indirectly try to acquire financial resources through them (Chamorro-Mera & Palacios-González, 2019). Due to the global increase of social conscientiousness, varied national legislations and regulations have led to different SRI practices, which are worldwide recognized by the United Nations (UN).

This book chapter is trying to find a practical way, in order to analyze SRI and EI research over a period of 30 years by using bibliometric indicators. Bibliometrics is the field that quantitatively studies bibliographic material (Broadus, 1987). Bibliometric studies are becoming more and more popular in the scientific literature and they are strongly encouraged by the access to bibliographic data. Α substantial amount of bibliometric analysis have been developed in a wide range of areas by different authors, such as management (Podsakoff et al., 2008), economics (Coupé, 2003), accounting (Merig_o et al., 2016), entrepreneurship (Landström et al., 2012) and innovation (Merig_o et al., 2016).

The research field of SRI or EI has grown remarkably over the past 30 years compared to other disciplines. Having the access to the location of the most cited papers, the citation structure underlines the citation level that this field has reached till nowadays. Furthermore, it reflects the number of papers, which have lower levels of citations, including those that have not been cited yet. The book chapter also develops an analysis of journals, which identifies the top-tier ones in the field. In particular, this work points out journals that have high number of citations, despite that they publish a large number of articles in SRI or EI research, such as the Journal of Business Ethics, the Journal of Banking and Finance and the Journal of Economics Psychology. Moreover, this work highlights, which journals have been the most influential throughout the period 1900-2019.

Having these in mind, this book chapter provides sufficient background information and literature review regarding its topic. Specifically, the authors have analyzed and assessed the field of SRI or EI in depth, since the content of this research is complete and based scientifically on the worldwide data and methods.

The proposed approach of this chapter is based partially on Cancino et al. (2018) research work that analyzes the most influential journals in Venture Capital research literature. They put emphasis in presenting the evolution of the relevant academic research between the years 1990 and 2014, analyzing research papers which were published on the Web of Science database.

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