This paper conducted a bibliometric analysis based on 4687 papers on supplier management from 1997 to 2017. Through a comparative analysis of the four stages using Bibexcel and Ucinet6 software, this paper explores the evolution of supplier management from the theme and cluster perspectives. The results show that supplier management research has made breakthroughs in both breadth and depth. Representative research themes, such as “sustainable supply chain”, “corporate social responsibility”, “knowledge management”, etc., have gradually penetrated into the field of supplier management. Research related to “supplier selection” and “supplier relations” have always been of the highest strategic importance, and themes in “supplier relations” cluster such as “trust” and “commitment” have gradually attracted more and more researchers’ attention. The “inventory” cluster has also been a research focus, and the structural stability and maturity of the cluster have gradually improved. The “innovation” cluster is a relatively “open” cluster, and its impact on the entire research filed of supplier management has been gradually increasing. More importantly, the “sustainability” cluster is an evolving cluster, research themes related to “sustainability”, such as “green supply chain”, “sustainable supply chain” and “green supplier selection”, will play an increasingly important role in the field of supplier management.
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