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Waste reduction as ethical behaviour: a bibliometric analysis and development of future agenda

Muhammad Rafiq (UCSI Graduate Business School, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Omkar Dastane (UCSI Graduate Business School, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Rizwan Mushtaq (OCRE-Research Lab, EDC Paris Business School, Paris, France)

Journal of Global Responsibility

ISSN: 2041-2568

Article publication date: 18 April 2023

Issue publication date: 7 July 2023




The purpose of this study is to map the research landscape on the topic of waste management in the business and management domain, with a particular emphasis on pro-environmental ethical behaviour. The objective is to evaluate publication performance, identify key stakeholders, investigate major clusters, recognise the evolution of themes and offer a research agenda for the future based on bibliometric reflection.


Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis procedure was used to extract and choose a total of 609 publications from the Scopus database from 1985 to 2022. The research then does bibliometric analysis with the open-source R application bibliometrics. The authors used a number of tools and techniques, including a collaboration network, word dynamics, co-occurrence network, thematic map and strategy map.


The analysis identifies most prolific stakeholders, key clusters and evolving themes in the field. The motor themes, niche themes, basic themes and emerging themes of the field were identified, and future research agenda is proposed based on such identification.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first bibliometric study in the field of waste reduction, providing a comprehensive view of the research landscape by analysing more than 50 years of literature focussing on behavioural aspects. These findings could assist policymakers in identifying waste management/reduction priority regions and developing policy guidelines for a more sustainable waste practise. In addition to providing recommendations and future directions for academic research, this report also includes these elements.



Rafiq, M., Dastane, O. and Mushtaq, R. (2023), "Waste reduction as ethical behaviour: a bibliometric analysis and development of future agenda", Journal of Global Responsibility, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 360-379.



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