Environmental, Social And Governance (ESG): A Bibliometric Review Study


  • Thiago de Luca Ribeiro Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de São Paulo (IFSP), São Paulo
  • Anderson Antônio de Lima Universidade Nove de Julho-UNINOVE, São Paulo




Environmental, Social and Governance, ESG, Corporate Social Responsibility, Stakeholder Theory


Objective: The aim of this study was to map and analyze the main basic and frontier theoretical currents about international research in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). Additionally, we also analyzed which authors, journals and countries are most active in international ESG research.

Method: We performed a bibliometric analysis focused on co-citation and bibliographic coupling analysis, with exploratory factor analysis techniques and graphic mapping through clustering. Our sample included 405 articles published until December 2021 and indexed in the Web of Science database.

Results: Through co-citation analysis, we identified 5 research streams, being a) Influence of Organizational Theories on ESG; b) Organizational competitiveness; c) Impact of ESG on financial performance; d) Corporate Social Responsibility; and e) Stakeholder Theory. Through the pairing analysis, we identified 6 theoretical frontier currents, namely: a) sustainable investments; b) Transparency and administrative council; c) Effects of ESG; d) Relationships between financial performance and corporate social performance; e) Relationship between shareholders and ESG; and f) Risks and ESG.

Originality: As far as we know, this is the most complete bibliometric study on ESG research, covering both basic and frontier theoretical currents.

Theoretical/methodological contributions: We identify in this work 5 theoretical currents that helped to found and develop ESG research as a scientific (historical) field and point out 6 emerging theoretical currents that help to understand where ESG research is advancing today (border).

Author Biographies

Thiago de Luca Ribeiro, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de São Paulo (IFSP), São Paulo

Doutorado em Administração de Empresas pelo Programa de Pós-graduação Stricto Sensu - Universidade Nove de Julho - UNINOVE, São Paulo, (Brasil). professor de administração do IFSP e consultor de dados da empresa Mkt4edu.

Anderson Antônio de Lima, Universidade Nove de Julho-UNINOVE, São Paulo

Doutorando em Administração de Empresas pelo Programa de Pós-graduação Stricto Sensu - Universidade Nove de Julho - UNINOVE, São Paulo, (Brasil).


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How to Cite

LUCA RIBEIRO, T. de; ANTÔNIO DE LIMA, A. Environmental, Social And Governance (ESG): A Bibliometric Review Study. ESG Law Review, São Paulo (SP), v. 6, n. 1, p. e01571, 2023. DOI: 10.37497/esg.v6i1.1571. Disponível em: https://esglawreview.org/convergencias/article/view/1571. Acesso em: 21 apr. 2024.



Scientific paper