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The future of sustainable supply chains: a novel tertiary-systematic methodology

Piera Centobelli (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy)
Roberto Cerchione (Department of Engineering, University of Naples Parthenope, Naples, Italy)
Livio Cricelli (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy)
Emilio Esposito (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy)
Serena Strazzullo (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 4 August 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, economic, environmental and social sustainability has become one of the fastest-growing research fields. The number of primary and secondary papers addressing the triple bottom line is growing significantly, and the supply chain (SC) management discipline is in the same wave. Therefore, this paper aims to propose a novel tertiary systematic methodology to explore, aggregate, categorise and analyse the findings provided by secondary studies.

Design/methodology/approach

A novel tertiary systematic literature review approach, including 94 secondary studies, is proposed and used to analyse sustainable SC literature. The papers have been analysed using a research protocol, including descriptive and content analysis criteria.

Findings

This tertiary study does not only provide an overview of the literature on the topic of sustainability in SCs but also goes further, drawing up a categorisation of main research areas and research perspectives adopted by previous researchers. The paper also presents a rank of research gaps and an updated and a prioritised agenda.

Originality/value

This paper provides a novel interpretation of the research topics addressed by the secondary studies and presents a new classification of the literature gaps and their evolution. Finally, a dynamic research compass for both academicians and practitioners is presented.

Keywords

Citation

Centobelli, P., Cerchione, R., Cricelli, L., Esposito, E. and Strazzullo, S. (2021), "The future of sustainable supply chains: a novel tertiary-systematic methodology", Supply Chain Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SCM-08-2020-0383

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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