This study's purpose is to provide a comprehensive and systematic analysis on the diversity and nature of country image (CI) definitions in academic research. We used both qualitative content analysis and quantitative social network analysis to systematically analyse CI definitions. The study identified the key concepts that have been central to defining CI and the processes of CI formation. We also examined how the definitions have evolved over four decades. We found an increasing diversity in the academic definitions of CI. We identified several trends in the academic definitions to suggest that the conceptualization of CI has become broader and is no longer confined to the context of consumption. We also compared definitions from academia to those from the general population. With a few exceptions, academia and the general population did not agree on the popular concepts and mechanisms in CI definition.

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Journal of Business Research
Sprott School of Business

Lu, I, Kwan, E, Heslop, L.A, Thomas, R, & Cedzynski, M. (Marzena). (2019). The ivory tower and the street: How researchers defined country image over four decades and what consumers think it means. Journal of Business Research, 105, 80–97. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.07.030