A systematic literature review of sustainable purchasing and supply research: Theoretical perspectives and opportunities for IMP-based research


  • Johnsen Thomas
  • Miemczyk Joe
  • Howard Mickey


  • Systematic literature review
  • IMP
  • Sustainable purchasing and supply

document type



This paper evaluates and compares the theoretical lenses that underpin sustainable purchasing and supply management research. In particular, our interest is on evaluating the extent to which the IMP Interaction Approach is used to underpin or influence the focus of existing research and exploring the opportunities for further research into sustainable purchasing and supply guided by an IMP perspective. The methodology employed is a systematic literature review (Tranfield et al., 2003). A systematic search process is used to identify 1899 papers that are gradually reduced through a filtering process to 276 papers. The theoretical perspective of each paper is identified and recorded in a database along with methodology, unit of analysis and reported findings. We find that a significant proportion of sustainable purchasing and supply management papers adopt stakeholder theory, institutional theory and resource-based perspectives, however, relatively few papers rely on an IMP Interaction Approach.We evaluate the rationale for the typical theoretical perspectives adopted and discuss the potential for the IMP Interaction Approach to underpin studies of sustainable purchasing and supply management. The paper concludes by outlining future avenues of research that specify how the IMP Interaction Approach can underpin and further advance sustainable purchasing and supply research

more information