Dynamic development and execution of closed-loop supply chains: a natural resource-based view


  • Miemczyk Joe
  • Howard Mickey
  • Johnsen Thomas


  • Natural Resource-based View
  • Dynamic Capabilities
  • Closed-loop Supply Chains

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Purpose This research reflects on recent closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) practices using a natural resource-based (NRBV) and dynamic capabilities (DC) perspective. Design/methodology/approach Two empirical case studies of CLSC exemplars are used to discuss the theoretical relevance of these views. Findings Shows how strategic resources help companies in two sectors achieve successful CLSC designs. Strategic supply chain collaboration is an important success factor but also presents a number of challenges. The NRBV is used to explain the importance of new resources in technology, knowledge and relationships, and stresses the role of DCs to constantly address changes in the business environment to renew these strategic resources. Research limitations/implications This research elaborates on NRBV theory related to CLSCs and reinforces the inclusion of DCs. It specifies the application of NRBV in the context of textiles and carpet manufacture, and highlights the inherent conflicts in seeking value while moving toward sustainable development. Practical implications Investments in technical and operational resources are required to create CLSCs. Pure closed-loop applications are impractical, requiring relationships with multiple external partners to obtain supply and demand for recycled products. Originality/value Provides insights into the constituent resources needed for successful CLSCs. Helps move CLSC research from a tactical logistics problem to a problem of strategic resources and relational capabilities: what we term ‘dynamic supply chain execution’. Our paper develops a framework for transitioning towards CLSCs, underlining the importance of co-development and forging new relationships through commitment to supply chain redesign, co-evolution with customers and suppliers, and control of supply chain activities.

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