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The Voting Analytic Hierarchy Process revisited: A revised method with application to sustainable supplier selection

Pishchulov, Grigory; Trautrims, Alexander; Chesney, Thomas; Gold, Stefan; Schwab, Leila


Grigory Pishchulov

Professor of Computational Social Science

Stefan Gold

Leila Schwab


© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Civil society increasingly holds focal companies accountable for ensuring socially and environmentally sustainable production standards among their supply base. These standards entail increased levels of complexity to be addressed by appropriately designed tools, such as the Voting Analytic Hierarchy Process (VAHP) proposed by Liu and Hai (2005). This method of multi-criteria group decision making structures decision criteria in a hierarchical fashion as per Saaty's Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and employs data envelopment analysis (DEA) for deriving criteria weights from the ordinal preferences of the group members. Compared to AHP, the method permits a simpler application in a group decision context. However, its theoretical underpinnings have been questioned in the literature. This specifically concerns (i) the requirement of a strong convex order for the importance weights of ordinal rank gradations, and (ii) the choice of discrimination threshold for consecutive rank weights in the underlying DEA model. We propose a revised VAHP method that overcomes both issues (i) and (ii) by pursuing a game-theoretic approach to elicitation of criteria weights — so as to remove subjectivity from rank discrimination. We illustrate the application of the method on a real-world problem of sustainable supplier selection. We contribute to theory by proposing a more robust VAHP tool that helps supply chain and purchasing managers selecting suppliers based on a comprehensive set of criteria spanning all three sustainability dimensions (economic, environmental, and social), while coping with parsimonious input by group decision-makers.


Pishchulov, G., Trautrims, A., Chesney, T., Gold, S., & Schwab, L. (2019). The Voting Analytic Hierarchy Process revisited: A revised method with application to sustainable supplier selection. International Journal of Production Economics, 211, 166-179.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 20, 2019
Online Publication Date Jan 22, 2019
Publication Date May 1, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 23, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jul 23, 2020
Journal International Journal of Production Economics
Print ISSN 0925-5273
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 211
Pages 166-179
Keywords Management Science and Operations Research; Economics and Econometrics; Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering; General Business, Management and Accounting
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