Purpose: This article aims to review critical thinking (CT) as a future skill in business.
Design/methodology/approach – The study employed two research methods: science mapping analysis based on bibliometric keyword co-occurrence data and systematic literature review following PRISMA guidelines. The application of two distinctive research methods meant that we could obtain a broad picture thematic overview as well as a detailed, fine-grained insight into the content of CT business research.
Findings – Research in CT in business studies is dominated by themes related to education, university and learning that far outweigh CT business application, which focuses on three research axes. These are specific business functions (e.g. accounting, marketing, human resources and identifying business opportunities), certain skills used in business (e.g. decision-making and creativity) and other business-related topics (including ethics, stakeholder relations and individual employee performance).
Practical implications – The article identifies new research gaps related to the link between CT and business performance, a firm’s ability to innovate and company characteristics. Moreover, the article highlights that CT positively influences business decision-making under the influence of cognitive biases and heuristics.
Originality/value – The article provides the first literature review on CT in business research. It uses a novel method of science mapping analysis to show unbiased algorithmic-based insight into the structure of the research, followed by a systematic literature review.