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

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

207 Citations (Scopus)


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
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number22
Pages (from-to)7046-7067
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 07.02.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • sustainability
  • social sustainability
  • sustainable supply chains
  • best-worst method
  • BWM

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoHP: Humanitarian and societal logistics


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