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An analysis of keywords used in the literature on green supply chain management

Amulya Gurtu (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)
Cory Searcy (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)
M.Y. Jaber (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 16 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the keywords used in peer-reviewed literature on green supply chain management.

Design/methodology/approach

To determine the keywords that were used in this area, an analysis of 629 papers was conducted. The papers were identified through searches of 13 keywords on green supply chains. Trends in keyword usage were analyzed in detail focusing on examining variables such as the most frequently used journals/keywords, their frequencies, citation frequency and research contribution from different disciplines/countries.

Findings

A number of different terms have been used for research focused on the environmental impacts of supply chains, including green supply chains, sustainable supply chains, reverse logistics and closed-loop supply chains, among others. The analysis revealed that the intensity of research in this area has more than tripled in the past six years and that the most used keyword was “reverse logistics”. The use of the terms “green supply chains” and “sustainable supply chains” is increasing, and the use of “reverse logistics” is decreasing.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis is limited to 629 papers from the Scopus database during the period of 2007 and 2012.

Originality/value

The paper presents the first systematic analysis of keywords used in the literature on green supply chains. Given the broad array of terms used to refer to research in this area, this is a needed contribution. This work will help researchers in choosing keywords with high frequency and targeting journals for publishing their future work. The paper may also provide a basis for further work on developing consolidated definitions of terms focused on green supply chain management.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

An earlier version of this paper was presented at International Symposium on Supply Chain Management (September 30-October 2, 2012), Toronto, Canada. C. Searcy thanks the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). M.Y. Jaber thanks the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)-Canadian Environmental Issues for supporting his research. A. Gurtu thanks SSHRC, NSERC and Ryerson University for supporting his doctoral studies.

Citation

Gurtu, A., Searcy, C. and Jaber, M.Y. (2015), "An analysis of keywords used in the literature on green supply chain management", Management Research Review, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 166-194. https://doi.org/10.1108/MRR-06-2013-0157

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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