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Purpose: This paper examines how scholarly research on corporate branding has evolved using bibliometric author co-citation analysis of articles published between 1969 and 2008 on corporate branding.

Design/methodology/approach: The bibliography was compiled using the ISI Web of Science database. We searched articles published between 1969 and 2008 that used terms in their title related to our research scope. Then we used citation mapping to visualize the relationships between and among key works in the field.

Findings: Our search resulted in 264 papers by 412 authors in 150 journals. The field is notably interdisciplinary, with articles published mainly in business, management, architecture, arts and communications disciplines. We found three main approaches to corporate branding research (internal, transactional, external) with seven core research streams: (1) product, service and sponsorship evaluation; (2) corporate and visual identity; (3) employment image and application; (4) corporate crime; (5) financial performance; (6) brand extension; and (7) corporate image. We also identified emerging fields such as corporate branding combined with corporate social responsibility.

Research limitations: This research is limited by the database and the terms used for the search. Self-citations were also included. We used citation mapping and content analysis to identify core research streams.

Originality/value: The article is singular in using bibliometrics by means of author co-citation analyses to identify, analyze and visualize key articles about corporate branding in the last 40 years. The results demonstrate the impact of selected institutions, journals, and key articles and authors on the research field.

Publication Title

European Journal of Marketing