Conceptualizing a circular framework of supply chain resource sustainability

lenny koh, Angappa Gunasekaran, Jonathan Morris, Raymond Obayi, seyed Mohammad Ebrahimi

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In response to calls for conceptual frameworks and generic theory building toward the advancement of sustainability in supply chain resource utilization and management, the purpose of this paper is to advance a circular framework for supply chain resource sustainability (SCRS), and a decision-support methodology for assessing SCRS against the backdrop of five foundational premises (FPs) deduced from the literature on resource sustainability.

Taking a conceptual theory-building approach, the paper advances a set of SCRS decision-support criteria for each of the theoretical premises advanced, and applies the theory of constraints to illustrate the conceptual and practical applications of the framework in SCRS decision making.

This study uses recent conceptualizations of supply chains as “complex adaptive systems” to provide a robust and novel frame and a set of decision rules with which to assess the interconnectedness of environmental, economic, and social capital of supply chain resources from pre-production to post-production.

Research limitations/implications
The paper contributes to theory building in sustainability research, and the SCRS decision framework developed could be applied in tandem with existing quantitative hybrid life-cycle and input-output approaches to facilitate targeted resource sustainability assessments, with implications for research and practice.

The novel SCRS framework proposed serves as a template for evaluating SCRS and provides a decision-support methodology for assessing SCRS against the five theorized FPs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1520
Number of pages1540
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number10
Early online date2 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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