A supply chain sustainability innovation framework and evaluation methodology

Simonov Kusi-Sarpong, Himanshu Gupta, Joseph Sarkis

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Sustainability is hinged on innovation. The importance of sustainable innovation management in sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) cannot be underestimated. Studies on SSCM have emphasised the need for sustainable innovation in achieving sustainability but none provide deep insights into sustainable innovation management in SSCM implementation. This lack of research depth stimulates this study to identify and investigate criteria for sustainable supply chain management innovation advancement. This paper proposes a sustainable innovation criteria framework for investigating sustainable supply chains in manufacturing companies. To exemplify the applicability and efficiency of the proposed framework, a sample of five Indian manufacturing companies are used to evaluate and prioritise the sustainable innovation management criteria, using the ‘best–worst’ multi-criteria decision-making (BW-MCDM) model. The criteria weights for all companies from BWM are aggregated, averaged and used for ranking. The respondent managers viewed ‘financial availability for innovation’ as the most important sustainable innovation sub-criteria. The results of the study will inform industrial managers, practitioners and decision-makers on which criteria to focus on during the implementation stage, to increase sustainability in manufacturing supply chains, and further advance corporate and supply chain sustainable development. The framework may also serve as a theoretical construct for a future empirical study on sustainable supply chain innovation in the manufacturing sector. This paper sets the stage for further research in sustainable innovation practices in the manufacturing sector and its supply chains.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Early online date8 Sep 2018
Publication statusEarly online - 8 Sep 2018


  • supply chain management
  • sustainability
  • innovation management
  • manufacturing
  • best worst method
  • environment


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