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The Collaborative Networks and Thematic Trends of Research on Purchasing and Supply Management for Environmental Sustainability: A Bibliometric Review

Wenwen Zhu () and Zhiqiang Wang ()
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Wenwen Zhu: School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China
Zhiqiang Wang: School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 5, 1-28

Abstract: Improving environmental sustainability through purchasing and supply management (PSM) has gained increasing attention from both industry and academia. However, few attempts have been made to summarize the research development of this field. This study aims to identify the major author collaborative networks and thematic trends of this field by conducting a bibliometric review based on 371 peer-reviewed articles published between 1998 and 2017 using CiteSpace. The results show that this field is an emergent and fast-growing field which has been recognized by multiple disciplines. In terms of authors, the top ten influential authors represented by Sarkis, J., Zhu, Q.H., Vachon, S., and Klassen, R.D. were identified. Further, the four largest collaborative networks with varying research topics such as green supplier selection/evaluation and sustainable sub-supplier management were found. As for the research themes, the six largest research themes were abstracted: green supplier assessment, sustainable supplier/supply chain management, green supplier management, green supplier selection, environmental purchasing, and green supply chain management (GSCM). Further, the research thread over time was summarized as four stages: infancy stage, grow-up stage, surging stage, and deep-going stage. Finally, future research directions were given. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first systematic review of this field using bibliometric analysis, comprehensively acknowledging the current research status of this field and that of the future.

Keywords: purchasing and supply management; environmental sustainability; bibliometric analysis; collaborative network; research themes identification; research themes evolution; CiteSpace (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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