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Supplier sustainability assessment for the UK defence industry

Oyetola Emmanuel-Ebikake (Business School, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK)
Rajkumar Roy (Department of Manufacturing and Materials, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)
Essam Shehab (Department of Manufacturing and Materials, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 4 November 2014




The purpose of this paper is to design a framework for assessing supplier sustainability (in terms of survivability) within the defence industry based on financial and operational dimensions.


The research employs a case study approach to identify a research gap in the area of supplier performance measurement and proposes five dimensions to assess supplier sustainability from the review of literature and industry practice while employing a systematic approach to generate measures for each dimension with suggested actions to improve sustainability.


The sustainability measures, dimensions and improvement actions developed were validated with industrial experts from three defence companies and implemented as a sustainability system. A case study was applied and the results were generated.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could include further case study application and application of dimensions and measures to other industries.

Practical implications

The paper offers managerial implications about the need to consider the survivability of suppliers in the long term, especially in the current economic climate and think about mitigation strategies to enable economic sustainability.


This paper adds to the existing knowledge in the supply chain area and proposes a novel approach to supplier performance measurement and management which is holistic.



The authors appreciate the support of EPSRC, UK for its support via the Cranfield IMRC, towards PSS Cost project which yielded the findings presented in this paper.


Emmanuel-Ebikake, O., Roy, R. and Shehab, E. (2014), "Supplier sustainability assessment for the UK defence industry", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 63 No. 8, pp. 968-990.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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