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Did reverse logistics practices hit the triple bottom line of Chinese manufacturers?


  • Lai, Kee-hung
  • Wu, Sarah J.
  • Wong, Christina W.Y.


Reverse logistics (RL) practices represent an important and emerging trend in China's manufacturing practices. An increasing number of Chinese manufacturers have integrated RL practices in their operations to develop sustainable competitive advantage. There are six broad aspects of practicing RL which include waste management, recycling, reuse, reprocessing, materials recovery, and design for RL. The literature remains unclear, in particular Chinese manufacturing context, as to how these RL practices are related to organizational bottom line with respect to operational, financial, and social performance outcomes. Using survey data collected from Chinese export-oriented manufacturers, we applied seemingly unrelated regressions to determine if these six RL practices contribute to these three performance parameters simultaneously. The theory of production frontier is used to characterize the RL practices adoption and the performance implications. Our results indicate that the adoption of RL practices by Chinese manufacturers generates substantial environmental and financial gains, but not social benefits. This study extends the frontier of managerial knowledge for Chinese manufacturers by highlighting the emerging trends in RL practices and providing evidence on the business value of adopting RL practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Lai, Kee-hung & Wu, Sarah J. & Wong, Christina W.Y., 2013. "Did reverse logistics practices hit the triple bottom line of Chinese manufacturers?," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 106-117.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:146:y:2013:i:1:p:106-117 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2013.03.005

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Subramanian, Nachiappan & Gunasekaran, Angappa, 2015. "Cleaner supply-chain management practices for twenty-first-century organizational competitiveness: Practice-performance framework and research propositions," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 216-233.
    2. Geng, Ruoqi & Mansouri, S. Afshin & Aktas, Emel, 2017. "The relationship between green supply chain management and performance: A meta-analysis of empirical evidences in Asian emerging economies," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 183(PA), pages 245-258.
    3. Lai, Kee-hung & Wong, Christina W.Y. & Venus Lun, Y.H., 2014. "The role of customer integration in extended producer responsibility: A study of Chinese export manufacturers," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(PB), pages 284-293.
    4. Sgarbossa, Fabio & Russo, Ivan, 2017. "A proactive model in sustainable food supply chain: Insight from a case study," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 183(PB), pages 596-606.
    5. Govindan, Kannan & Soleimani, Hamed & Kannan, Devika, 2015. "Reverse logistics and closed-loop supply chain: A comprehensive review to explore the future," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 240(3), pages 603-626.
    6. Elia, Valerio & Gnoni, Maria Grazia, 2015. "Designing an effective closed loop system for pallet management," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(PC), pages 730-740.
    7. Esfahbodi, Ali & Zhang, Yufeng & Watson, Glyn, 2016. "Sustainable supply chain management in emerging economies: Trade-offs between environmental and cost performance," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 181(PB), pages 350-366.
    8. Gu, Wenjun & Chhajed, Dilip & Petruzzi, Nicholas C. & Yalabik, Baris, 2015. "Quality design and environmental implications of green consumerism in remanufacturing," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 55-69.


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