Sustainable supply chain flexibility and its relationship to circular economy-target performance

Chunguang Bai*, Joseph Sarkis, Fengfu Ying, Yijie Dou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


The circular economy (CE) is an evolving economic and sustainable development model. In this new environment, companies face a more dynamic, uncertain, and complex market environment. These challenges arise from material closed-loop flows necessary for a functioning CE. It is important to build flexibility capabilities into sustainable supply chains to address CE operational challenges. Building this operational capability needs to occur without incurring performance degradation, increasing costs, or compromising product quality. Supply chain designers have recognised the importance of sustainable supply chain flexibility (SSCF) efforts for meeting CE-targeted performance. CE-targeted performance includes reuse of materials and energy, closed flow of materials, and pollution reduction. Exploration of relationships between SSCF efforts and CE-targeted performance is limited. An objective-DEMATEL method is used to evaluate the relationship between a new SSCF measures framework and CE-targeted performance. A field study helps to identify and refine significant SSCF measures (efforts) to effectively improve CE-targeted performance. Managerial implications and future research directions for sustainable supply chain flexibility within the CE environment are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Journal of Production Research
Publication statusPublished - 09.09.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Flexibility
  • sustainable supply chain
  • circular economy
  • environment
  • rough set theory

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoHP: Humanitarian and societal logistics


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