Using artificial intelligence to make sustainable development decisions considering VUCA: a systematic literature review and bibliometric analysis

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2022 Jun;29(28):42509-42538. doi: 10.1007/s11356-022-19863-y. Epub 2022 Apr 4.


Sustainable development emergent subfields have been rapidly evolving, and their popularity increased in recent years. Sustainable development is a broad concept having numerous sub-concepts including, but not limited to, circular economy, sustainability, renewable energy, green supply chain, reverse logistics, and waste management. This polymorphism makes decision-making in this field to be an abstruse task. In this perplexing circumstance, the presence of VUCA conditions makes decision-making even more challenging. By taking advantage of artificial intelligence tools and approaches, this paper aims to study with a concentration on sustainable development-related decision-making under VUCA phenomena elements using bibliometric and network analyses which can propose numerous novel insights into the most recent research trends in this area by analyzing the most influential and cited research articles, keywords, author collaboration network, institutions, and countries that finally provides results not previously fully comprehended or assessed by other studies on this topic. In this study, an extensive systematic literature review and bibliometric analysis are conducted using 534 research articles out of more than 3600. From the content analysis part, four clusters have been found. The decision parameters, presumptions, and research goal(s) for each model are pointed out too. The findings contribute to both conceptual and practical managerial aspects and provide a powerful roadmap for future research directions in this field, such as how real-life multidimensionality can be considered in sustainable development-related decision-making, or what are the effects of the VUCA in sustainable development considering the circular economy and waste management intersection.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence; Bibliometrics; Decision-making; Sustainability; Sustainable development; Systematic literature review; VUCA.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Bibliometrics
  • Publications
  • Sustainable Development*
  • Waste Management*