Assessing the contribution of leading mainstream marketing journals to the international marketing discipline

Leonidas C. LEONIDOU, Bradley R. BARNES, Stavroula SPYROPOULOU, Constantine S. KATSIKEAS

Research output: Journal PublicationsReview articleOther Review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Growing globalization in recent decades has been responsible for the emergence of a new stream of research focusing on international marketing. However, compared to domestic marketing knowledge, this field has received relatively less attention from mainstream marketing journals. The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a study that assesses the contribution of leading mainstream marketing journals to the international marketing discipline.

A total of 508 international marketing‐focused articles were identified from the top ten mainstream marketing journals during the period 1975‐2004. Each article was content‐analyzed in terms of six major aspects: article nature, authorship characteristics, research design, scope of research, research methodology, and thematic areas.

The paper revealed that: although there was an increase in the number of articles with an international focus over time, in most journals their share was limited; most of the articles were of an empirical nature, with an increasing trend over time; articles were mainly written by multiple authors, who were in most cases US‐based; research designs of the studies reported were increasingly more formalized and causal, as well as statistical and cross‐sectional; the scope of research provided a balanced coverage of country settings, product groups, and units of analyses; methodological aspects, especially sample sizes, response rates, and analytical methods, improved over time; and a wide array of thematic areas was examined, with issues pertaining to the macro‐environment, marketing mix, and buyer behaviour attracting heightened attention.

Although many insightful attempts have been made in the past to review, assess, and consolidate extant research on international marketing, this paper focuses specifically on the contribution of top mainstream marketing journals to the international marketing field. This can assist in identifying possible gaps in the international marketing literature that have to be filled by future research on the subject. It specifically helps: to reveal the actual involvement of these influential journals as outlets for publishing research that focuses on international dimensions of marketing; to identify the characteristics of scholars publishing international marketing articles in such journals; to evaluate the methodological content of these international marketing‐related articles; and to establish trends regarding the evolution of the international marketing field from the standpoint of leading mainstream journals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-518
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Marketing Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • International marketing
  • Marketing
  • Publications


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