Understanding interdependencies among social sustainability evaluation criteria in an emerging economy

Amin Vafadarnikjoo, Hadi Badri Ahmadi, Benjamin Thomas Hazen, James J.H. Liou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Organizations need to consider the triple bottom line (3BL) model of sustainability to maintain competitiveness in global markets. Of 3BL, environmental and economic sustainability pillars are more often discussed, as they are most directly related to a firm's bottom line and regulatory compliance. Unfortunately, social sustainability receives relatively little attention even though it remains a significant threat to organizational sustainment, particularly in emerging economies. This study builds upon a social sustainability evaluation framework to investigate the interrelationships among social sustainability criteria in an effort to better understand how to improve social sustainability performance. A unique hybrid of interpretive structural modeling (ISM) and hesitant fuzzy matrix of cross impact multiplications applied to classification (HF-MICMAC) methodology is introduced and employed to determine the interrelationships (drivers and dependences) among social sustainability criteria. Then, a manufacturing company is used as the backdrop to test the efficacy of the expanded framework. The findings can aid industry decision-makers, especially in developing countries, to better understand and manage social issues, improve social dimension of sustainability, enhance the sustainability in operations and shift towards sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1934
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Hesitant fuzzy set theory
  • ISM
  • Social sustainability
  • Sustainability


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