Comprehensive Review of the Marketing Ethics Literature: A Bibliometric Approach


In this study, it is aimed to draw the general view of marketing ethics literature by evaluating the field via trend analysis with the journal-based evaluations obtained from a bibliometric approach. SCOPUS was selected as the database to search academic studies published between 2000-2020 via the keywords “Marketing” and “Ethics”. After this process, which is called preliminary search, predetermined 55 topics related to marketing mix were searched among 6.254 articles and assigned to a specific concept list. Accordingly, 1.181 unique articles were analyzed to reveal the inferences of the marketing ethics literature. The results show that the publication trend of the marketing ethics field is rising over the fifty years. On the other hand, the increasing number of the published articles in the field needs an international journal named ‘marketing ethics’ for researchers to publish in a target-specific way. Additionally, the importance of some topics such as greenwashing, product design and safety, socially controversial products, sexuality advertising, and planned obsolescence come to the forefront with parallel to nowadays unethical behavior of practitioners. The findings also contribute to the Ethical Theory and Theory of Moral Development by identifying the ethical issues in the topic-specific level that match with the variables Perceived Ethical Problems, Ethical Intentions, and Corporate Ethical Values. In brief, the presence of unethical business practices in all areas of marketing makes ‘marketing ethics’ a substantial area for researchers.


Marketing ethics bibliometric analysis systematic review ethics literature marketing mix content analysis