Organizing product recovery in industrial networks
Journal article, 2014
Purpose - Increasing attention to sustainability has made product recovery issues increasingly significant. Although several studies portray product recovery arrangements as networks, these constellations have not been analyzed with network models. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the organizing of product recovery networks.
Design/methodology/approach - Previous research highlighted the need for a holistic perspective on product recovery. Industrial network theory provides such a framework, based on three dimensions of business reality: activities, resources and actors. The research method applied is a qualitative case study approach of product recovery in the PC industry.
Findings - The most significant issues in the organizing of product recovery concern the coordination of interdependent activities and the combining of physical and organizational resources. Effective organizing is contingent on interaction and information exchange among firms. Furthermore, the sorting rules applied in the product recovery process are crucial for the performance in the activity chain from disposer to end-user.
Research limitations/implications - The study deals with product recovery of PCs, and needs to be supplemented with research in other empirical contexts.
Practical implications - The study offers companies broader perspective on their product recovery operations by illustrating how they are related to a wider network.
Originality/value - The study applies a novel perspective on product recovery. The analytical framework and the qualitative approach complement mainstream approaches.