Sustainable supply chain management: continuing evolution and future directions

Craig R. Carter, Marc R. Hatton, Chao Wu, Xiangjing Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to update the work of Carter and Easton (2011), by conducting a systematic review of the sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) literature in the primary logistics and supply chain management journals, during the 2010–2018 timeframe. Design/methodology/approach: The authors use a systematic literature review (SLR) methodology which follows the methodology employed by Carter and Easton (2011). An evaluation of this methodology, using the Modified AMSTAR criteria, demonstrates a high level of empirical validity. Findings: The field of SSCM continues to evolve with changes in substantive focus, theoretical lenses, unit of analysis, methodology and type of analysis. However, there are still abundant future research opportunities, including investigating under-researched topics such as diversity and human rights/working conditions, employing the group as the unit of analysis and better addressing empirical validity and social desirability bias. Research limitations/implications: The findings result in prescriptions and a broad agenda to guide future research in the SSCM arena. The final section of the paper provides additional avenues for future research surrounding theory development and decision making. Originality/value: This SLR provides a rigorous, methodologically valid review of the continuing evolution of empirical SSCM research over a 28-year time period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-146
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 14 2020


  • Economic performance
  • Environment
  • Social responsibility
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable supply chain management
  • Systematic literature review
  • Triple bottom line

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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