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A model for managing returns in a circular economy context: A case study from the Indian electronics industry

Choudhary, Divya and Qaiser, Fahham Hasan and Choudhary, Alok and Fernandes, Kiran (2022) 'A model for managing returns in a circular economy context: A case study from the Indian electronics industry.', International Journal of Production Economics, 249 . p. 108505.


The notion of a circular economy (CE) has recently gained significant attention, both in research and practice, due to increasing sustainability concerns and legislative requirements. Despite extensive research having been undertaken in this area, there is a paucity of research in developing decision-making models, which may consider life-cycle span of product returns while selecting an appropriate reprocessing option for value reclamation in CE. In this research, we have contributed to the CE literature in three ways. Firstly, we have developed a comprehensive decision-making model that makes a trade-off between different recovery alternatives while considering a wide range of significant criteria to determine the most optimal recovery option. Secondly, we propose a two-phase mathematical model combining the Interval 2-Tuple Linguistic (ITL) model and the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) to overcome issues related to uncertainty and incomplete information in decision-making. Thirdly, it is one of the first studies to investigate and compare the implementation of product recovery in CE for short life cycle (SLC) vs. long life cycle (LLC) electronic returns. We validate the industrial applicability of the proposed model using real-world data collected from the Indian electronics industry. Our results provide managerial insights, including a focus on repair strategy for SLC returns and on remanufacturing strategy for LLC returns for efficient and effective product recovery in CE.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo until 04 November 2023.
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
File format - PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:© 2022 This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Date accepted:08 April 2022
Date deposited:07 June 2022
Date of first online publication:04 May 2022
Date first made open access:04 November 2023

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