Social sustainable supplier evaluation and selection: a group decision-support approach

Chunguang Bai, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong, Hadi Badri Ahmadi, Joseph Sarkis

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    Organisational and managerial decisions are influenced by corporate sustainability pressures. Organisations need to consider economic, environmental and social sustainability dimensions in their decisions to become sustainable. Supply chain decisions play a distinct and critical role in organisational good and service outputs sustainability. Sustainable supplier selection influences the supply chain sustainability allowing many organisations to build competitive advantage. Within this context, the social sustainability dimension has received relatively minor investigation; with emphasis typically on economic and environmental sustainability. Neglecting social sustainability can have serious repercussions for organisational supply chains. This study proposes a social sustainability attribute decision framework to evaluate and select socially sustainable suppliers. A grey-based multi-criteria decision-support tool composed of the ‘best-worst method’ (BWM) and TODIM (TOmada de Decisão Interativa e Multicritério – in Portuguese ‘Interactive and Multicriteria Decision Making’) is introduced. A grey-BWM approach is used to determine social sustainability attribute weights, and a grey-TODIM method is utilised to rank suppliers. This process is completed in a group decision setting. A case study of an Iranian manufacturing company is used to exemplify the applicability and suitability of the proposed social sustainability decision framework. Managerial implications, limitations, and future research directions are introduced after the application of the model.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages22
    JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
    Early online date7 Feb 2019
    Publication statusEarly online - 7 Feb 2019


    • sustainability
    • social sustainability
    • sustainable supply chains
    • best-worst method
    • BWM
    • TODIM


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