A systematic assessment of supplier selection literature–State-of-the-art and future scope

Wetzstein A, Hartmann E, Benton jr. W, Hohenstein NO (2016)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2016


Publisher: Elsevier

Book Volume: 182

Pages Range: 304 - 323


With the growth in outsourcing in various sectors, the selection of the right suppliers is increasingly critical to a firm's business success. However, a thorough analysis of the extensive spectrum of supplier selection literature has not yet been performed. To address this gap, we conduct a comprehensive and systematic literature review. The purpose is to examine in detail the evolution of the extensive body of research, its research streams and areas for further research. We developed a classification framework that contains six streams of research derived from the extensive literature comprising both a quantitative and qualitative content analysis. To this end, this paper contributes a structured, large-scale and longitudinal review of 221 papers published in leading journals from 1990 to 2015 and carefully elaborated research recommendations to further advance supplier selection. Results reveal tremendous scientific progress in the last two decades, a trend predicted to continue. Moreover, the findings show that particular streams have been strongly accentuated whereas other important aspects lack examination. Research on mathematical approaches clearly dominates the body of supplier selection. Green and sustainable as well as strategy oriented supplier selection are at an early stage of the research cycle and represent upcoming streams. Contextual perspectives, such as behavioral aspects, theoretical foundation, or multi-period/ longitudinal settings also require further attention.

Authors with CRIS profile

Involved external institutions

How to cite


Wetzstein, A., Hartmann, E., Benton jr., W., & Hohenstein, N.O. (2016). A systematic assessment of supplier selection literature–State-of-the-art and future scope. International Journal of Production Economics, 182, 304 - 323.


Wetzstein, Anton, et al. "A systematic assessment of supplier selection literature–State-of-the-art and future scope." International Journal of Production Economics 182 (2016): 304 - 323.

BibTeX: Download