Management standards serve as an effective knowledge diffusion channel, considering that they offer comprehensive scientific and practical knowledge for many different stakeholders. This research aims to study the potential of management standards to diffuse knowledge, especially within the scientific community. Therefore, it analyzes the relationship between management standards and the academic literature. It focuses on international management standards, namely ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 and their ‘European counterparts’ EMAS and the EFQM Excellence model. We tested whether scientific publications, which address these international and European management standards, are more likely to lead to follow-up research than comparable scientific publications measured by the impact on average forward citations. Hence, we applied a negative binominal regression model on bibliometric data. Findings show that publications addressing ISO 14001 alone or in combination with other standards lead to higher average forward citations than the comparison group. In conclusion, international management standards foster the academic research progress of the topics addressed by the respective standard. Our research implies the importance of monitoring standards for the scientific community and suggests Standard Setting Organizations to foster actively the research progress.
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