Behavioral strategy: mapping the trends, sources and intellectual evolution

Jamil Anwar*, Aqsa Bibi, Nisar Ahmad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper presents a comprehensive review of academic research dedicated to the field of Behavioral Strategy. Based on a series of Bibliometric and network analyses, the paper identifies the prominent trend and growth patterns pertaining to the evolution of this important strategic management subfield; it documents which particular journals, articles and authors have most influenced its development, and it maps the intellectual structure and network of authors, publications and countries. Finally, the paper considers the substantive research themes emerging from the analyses reported, in terms of their implications for future work. Design/methodology/approach: The authors undertook a series of Bibliometric and network analyses of 217 relevant articles, published between 1975 and 2020, in journals listed in the Scopus database, using R-studio and VOSviewer. Articles incorporated in the study were selected based on relevant key terms searched from the title, abstract and list of keywords associated with each publication. Findings: The results demonstrate that behavioral strategy has enjoyed robust and sustained growth, with widespread impact across many areas of the heterogeneous business and management field as a whole. Three distinct periods are identified: an infancy stage (prior to 1999); a steady growth stage (1999–2010); and a take-off stage (2011 onwards). The top three journals in terms of content coverage, based on the number of relevant articles published in relation to behavioral strategy, are Strategic Management Journal, Advances in Strategic Management (AiSM) and the Journal of Management, while the top three most influential journals, in terms of citations pertaining to Behavioral Strategy, based on an analysis of citations in the Scopus database, are Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Perspectives and Journal of Management Studies. Gerard P. Hodgkinson and Thomas C. Powell are the most prolific authors. The emerging themes based on intellectual structures have been identified as Behavioral Strategy, Behavioral Theory of Firm; Strategic Leadership and Dynamic Capabilities; and Strategic Cognition and Decision Making. Practical implications: The study contributes to knowledge advancement concerning Behavioral Strategy by opening new possibilities to discover important research areas. Originality/value: The study is the first of its kind on Behavioral Strategy providing a comprehensive systematic literature review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-168
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Strategy and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2 2021


  • Behavioral strategy
  • Bibliometric analysis
  • Co-citation analysis
  • Network analysis
  • Systematic literature review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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