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The analytic hierarchy process supporting decision making for sustainable development: An overview of applications

Dos Santos, Paulo Henrique, Neves, Sandra Miranda, Sant’Anna, Daniele Ornaghi, Oliveira, Carlos Henrique de, Carvalho, Henrique Duarte
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.212 pp. 119-138
databases, decision making, sustainable development
The three-pillar concept of environmental, economic, and social sustainability is widely known in academia. Research on sustainable development has noted its complex nature, also reflected in the decision-making process, which requires structuration and systematization. To support decision making for sustainable development, many multi-criteria techniques, both isolated or integrated, have been used. Among them, the analytic hierarchy process stands out as the most often used. This study conducts a systematic literature review on the analytic hierarchy process's support for decision making for sustainable development, making it possible to identify gaps and future research pathways. To do so, it gathers, maps, analyzes, and summarizes the academic literature by reviewing 173 manuscripts published between 2014 and 2018, which are indexed by the Web of Science, Scopus, and Science Direct databases. The results, analysis, and discussion of the screened manuscripts are comprised of (a) a descriptive analysis, (b) mental mapping, (c) bibliometric data, (d) an in-depth analysis of the most cited literature, (e) an in-depth analysis of the most recently cited literature, and (f) the clustering of research evolution. The findings substantially elucidate the advancements in the state-of-the-art of the analytic hierarchy process for sustainable development. Implications for research and practice, as well as promising challenges for further research, are presented.