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Business Research

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 34–53 | Cite as

Management Research on Reciprocity: A Review of the Literature

  • Markus GöbelEmail author
  • Rick Vogel
  • Christiana Weber
Open Access
Article

Abstract

Although reciprocity is fundamental to all social orders, management research offers few reviews of the concept’s theoretical origins and current applications. To help bridge this gap, we elucidate the dominant understandings of reciprocity, ask which areas of research emerge from them, and explore how they interconnect. Our bibliometric methodology detects four clusters of management research on reciprocity. Across these clusters, authors subscribe mainly to substantialist ontology, marginalize morally oriented motives consistent with relational ontology, and largely assume that benefit-oriented motives underlie reciprocity. We outline the advantages of a moral-oriented relationalist concept of reciprocity and discuss potential areas for its development in management research.

JEL classification

F38 K22 G52 

Keywords

benefit orientation bibliometrics bibliographic coupling citation analysis morality network analysis ontology practice theory reciprocity social exchange 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Organization and LogisticHelmut-Schmidt-University of HamburgGermany
  2. 2.Zeppelin UniversityGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Management and Organizational BehaviorLeibniz University of HannoverGermany

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