Sustainable supplier management - A review of models supporting sustainable supplier selection, monitoring and development

Konrad Zimmer, Magnus Fröhling, Frank Schultmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

330 Scopus citations


In the last two decades, pressure from various stakeholders has forced many companies to establish environmental and social improvements both in their company and their supply chains. The growing number of journal publications and conference proceedings confirms this change also in academia. The aim of this paper is to analyse and review scientific literature on sustainable supplier management (SSM) with a focus on formal models supporting decision-making in sustainable supplier selection, monitoring and development. For this purpose, a framework on SSM is proposed and a comprehensive content analysis including a criteria analysis is carried out. Beyond this, in total 143 peer-reviewed publications between 1997 and 2014 have been analysed to identify both established and overlooked research fields. Major findings are the rapidly growing interest of this topic in academia in recent years, the predominance of Analytic Hierarchy Process, Analytic Network Process and fuzzy-based approaches, the focus on the final evaluation and selection process step and the rare investigation of social and quantitative metrics. This review may be useful for practitioners and scientists as it outlines major characteristics in this field, which can serve as a basis for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1412-1442
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 3 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • decision support systems
  • evaluation criteria
  • literature review
  • purchasing
  • supplier selection
  • sustainability


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