Purpose This paper aims to analyze the benefits of the blockchain to the circular economy (CE), which is composed of both closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) systems and reverse omnichannel solutions. By ensuring transparency, traceability, visibility and security, the blockchain allows firms to acquire operational capabilities through a CLSC and service capabilities through a reverse omnichannel, which can boost business performance considerably. The related network of relationships can be reinforced by establishing incentives, which entail both smart contracts in the blockchain and active return approaches in CE. Design/methodology/approach After identifying the boundaries of the theoretical framework, several research hypotheses are developed according to the literature review and emerging gaps. These gaps link to the impact of the blockchain on CE systems (CLSC and reverse omnichannel), as well as the influence on business performance. The hypotheses are then tested using structural equation modeling and adopting a partial least squares-path modeling technique on a dataset composed of 157 firms. Finally, multigroup analysis is used to test the impact of incentives on the research hypotheses. Findings The blockchain facilitates a more efficient CE system, although reverse omnichannel solutions seldom bring any benefits to performance. The shift from a passive to an active return approach must be carefully evaluated. The CLSC network can benefit from an active return approach by developing appealing incentives for collectors and enhancing the positive effects of the blockchain. In contrast, consumer incentives can have detrimental effects on the blockchain. Various combinations of incentives can only bring a few business performance increases, while collector incentives are vital to reinforce the CE system's operational and service capabilities. Originality/value This paper takes a new approach toward the study of CE, which considers a dual circular system composed of a CLSC and a reverse omnichannel. The research explores whether the adoption of blockchain technology enables better return processes by improving the operations in CLSC and services in reverse omnichannel. Finally, this is the first empirical work to evaluate the benefits emerging from incentives, which can activate smart contracts in the blockchain and enable active return approaches in CE.

Leveraging the circular economy with a closed-loop supply chain and a reverse omnichannel using blockchain technology and incentives / De Giovanni, Pietro. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OPERATIONS & PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT. - ISSN 0144-3577. - 42:7(2022), pp. 959-994. [10.1108/IJOPM-07-2021-0445]

Leveraging the circular economy with a closed-loop supply chain and a reverse omnichannel using blockchain technology and incentives

Pietro De Giovanni
2022

Abstract

Purpose This paper aims to analyze the benefits of the blockchain to the circular economy (CE), which is composed of both closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) systems and reverse omnichannel solutions. By ensuring transparency, traceability, visibility and security, the blockchain allows firms to acquire operational capabilities through a CLSC and service capabilities through a reverse omnichannel, which can boost business performance considerably. The related network of relationships can be reinforced by establishing incentives, which entail both smart contracts in the blockchain and active return approaches in CE. Design/methodology/approach After identifying the boundaries of the theoretical framework, several research hypotheses are developed according to the literature review and emerging gaps. These gaps link to the impact of the blockchain on CE systems (CLSC and reverse omnichannel), as well as the influence on business performance. The hypotheses are then tested using structural equation modeling and adopting a partial least squares-path modeling technique on a dataset composed of 157 firms. Finally, multigroup analysis is used to test the impact of incentives on the research hypotheses. Findings The blockchain facilitates a more efficient CE system, although reverse omnichannel solutions seldom bring any benefits to performance. The shift from a passive to an active return approach must be carefully evaluated. The CLSC network can benefit from an active return approach by developing appealing incentives for collectors and enhancing the positive effects of the blockchain. In contrast, consumer incentives can have detrimental effects on the blockchain. Various combinations of incentives can only bring a few business performance increases, while collector incentives are vital to reinforce the CE system's operational and service capabilities. Originality/value This paper takes a new approach toward the study of CE, which considers a dual circular system composed of a CLSC and a reverse omnichannel. The research explores whether the adoption of blockchain technology enables better return processes by improving the operations in CLSC and services in reverse omnichannel. Finally, this is the first empirical work to evaluate the benefits emerging from incentives, which can activate smart contracts in the blockchain and enable active return approaches in CE.
Circular economy, Blockchain, Closed-loop supply chain, Reverse omnichannel, Incentive mechanisms
Leveraging the circular economy with a closed-loop supply chain and a reverse omnichannel using blockchain technology and incentives / De Giovanni, Pietro. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OPERATIONS & PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT. - ISSN 0144-3577. - 42:7(2022), pp. 959-994. [10.1108/IJOPM-07-2021-0445]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11385/223279
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