An integrated fuzzy intuitionistic sustainability assessment framework for manufacturing supply chain: a study of UK based firms

Alok Choudhary, Arijit De, Karim Ahmed, Ravi Shankar

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The increasing importance of sustainability has put pressure on organisations to assess their supply chain sustainability performance, which requires a holistic set of key performance indicators (KPIs) related to strategic, tactical and operational decision making of firms. This paper presents a comprehensive set of KPIs for sustainable supply chain management using a mixed method approach including analysing data from the literature survey, content analysis of sustainability reports of manufacturing firms and expert interviews. A 3-level hierarchical model is developed by classifying the identified KPIs into key sustainability dimensions as well as key supply chain decision-making areas including strategic, tactical and operational. A novel multi-attribute decision-making (MADM) based sustainability assessment framework is proposed. The proposed framework integrates value focussed thinking (VFT), intuitionistic fuzzy (IF) Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and IF Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) methods. The novelty of the research lies in (1) using a rigorous mixed method approach for KPIs identification and industrial validation (2) the development of a novel integrated intuitionistic sustainability assessment framework for decision making and (3) the innovative application of the proposed framework and associated methodologies in the context not explored before. The practical data on the performance ratings of various KPIs were obtained from the experts and a novel intuitionistic fuzzy TOPSIS was applied to benchmark the organisations for their sustainability performance. Furthermore, the case study shows the applicability of the proposed framework to evaluate and identify the problem areas of the organisations and yield guidance on KPIs by recognising the most significant areas requiring improvement. This research contributes to the practical implication by providing an innovative sustainability assessment framework for supply chain managers to evaluate and manage sustainability performance by making informed decisions related to KPIs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2021


  • Intuitionistic fuzzy analytic hierarchy process
  • Intuitionistic fuzzy TOPSIS
  • Supply chain management
  • Sustainability
  • Values focussed thinking


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