Analyzing foreign expansion and corporate reputation: review and future research agenda
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Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on corporate reputation and internationalization to identify key research theories, contexts, characteristics, methodologies, applications, limitations and opportunities for future research on the interlinks between these two complex constructs. Design/methodology/approach Elements of systematic literature review and bibliometric analysis were used to analyze theories, contexts, characteristics, methodologies and opportunities for future research based on 90 articles published in 50 journals over 27 years. Findings The findings suggest that this is a contemporary yet expanding research field explored from a variety of theoretical, methodological and empirical standpoints, which hinders broad conclusions and warrants further research. More specifically, this paper identifies three broad research streams that link international expansion and corporate reputation and suggests avenues for future studies: cross-national institutions, strategic decisions and corporate reputation; international marketing, consumers and brand credibility; and corporate image, international trade and investment flows. Originality/value Reputation and internationalization are constructs with multiple applications and interpretations. The way companies build, maintain and extend their reputation and legitimacy, and the drivers, motives and difficulties faced by them when expanding operations internationally have been widely studied separately. This manuscript reviews the nascent and promising linkage between these two elements that have recently drawn the attention of business practitioners and scholars alike.