This paper gives an extensive overview on the avenues academic research has taken in exploring the role of credit ratings. In doing so, it relies on a strict methodological approach for the collection and evaluation of relevant studies to address the criticisms on the lack of profoundness in prior literature reviews in business research. It provides therefore to both academics and practitioners an exhaustive compendium on the role and relevance of credit ratings for each key stakeholder over the past 40 years. Second, it pinpoints specifically to how credit ratings impact corporate strategy. In this matter, it suggests to focus on this underresearched aspect in future as it has become a critical factor in the decision-making of company boards.