Cardiff Metropolitan University
sustainability-15-04195-v2.pdf (1.03 MB)

Interpretive Structural Modeling: Research Trends, Linkages to Sustainable Development Goals, and Impact of COVID-19d Item

Download (1.03 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-04-25, 11:29 authored by Aswathy Sreenivasan, Suresh Ma, Prema Nedungadi, Raja Sreedharan, R. Raghu Raman

 Interpretive structural modeling (ISM) is widely used to understand the complex connections between different components. This study presents a bibliometric overview of ISM research, with a focus on its linkages to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the impact of COVID-19. The study analyzed 1988 publications on ISM published between 2012 and 2021, of which 1202 were directly mapped to the SDGs and 59 were related to COVID-19. The study identified key authors, institutions, countries, and journals involved in the research and their linkages to the SDGs. The results showed that ISM research is strongly linked to SDG 12 (on responsible consumption and production) and SDG 9 (on industry, innovation, and infrastructure). We also identified influential SDGs on the basis of centrality measures such as betweenness and eigenvector. The top four countries contributing to ISM publications were India, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The most frequently cited journals were Benchmarking: An International Journal, Sustainability, the Journal of Modelling in Management, and the Journal of Cleaner Production. Four main clusters were identified in the ISM research, including (1) integration with AHP and fuzzy logic for promoting sustainability alignment, (2) ISM-based strategy development for various stakeholders, (3) ISM-based decision-making in various fields, and (4) ISM-based risk evaluation. For the first time, studies that used the ISM approach to understand the epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19 were identified, and their key findings were discussed. The study also identified several emerging topics for future ISM research, such as blockchain and IoT, environmental management systems, climate change adaptation, smart cities, and humanitarian logistics and their potential linkages to the SDGs. 


Published in





  • VoR (Version of Record)


Sreenivasan, A., Ma, S., Nedungadi, P., Sreedharan, V. R., & Raman, R. R. (2023) 'Interpretive Structural Modeling: Research Trends, Linkages to Sustainable Development Goals, and Impact of COVID-19', Sustainability, 15(5), 4195.

Electronic ISSN


Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Management

Cardiff Met Authors

V. Raja Sreedharan

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Welsh Centre for Business and Management Research

Copyright Holder

  • © The Authors


  • en

Usage metrics

    Welsh Centre for Business and Management Research - Journal Articles



    Ref. manager