Conceptualizing a circular framework of supply chain resource sustainability

S. C.Lenny Koh, Angappa Gunasekaran, Jonathan Morris, Raymond Obayi, Seyed Mohammad Ebrahimi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Purpose: In response to calls for conceptual frameworks and generic theory building toward the advancement of sustainability in supply chain resource utilization and management, the purpose of this paper is to advance a circular framework for supply chain resource sustainability (SCRS), and a decision-support methodology for assessing SCRS against the backdrop of five foundational premises (FPs) deduced from the literature on resource sustainability. Design/methodology/approach: Taking a conceptual theory-building approach, the paper advances a set of SCRS decision-support criteria for each of the theoretical premises advanced, and applies the theory of constraints to illustrate the conceptual and practical applications of the framework in SCRS decision making. Findings: This study uses recent conceptualizations of supply chains as “complex adaptive systems” to provide a robust and novel frame and a set of decision rules with which to assess the interconnectedness of environmental, economic, and social capital of supply chain resources from pre-production to post-production. Research limitations/implications: The paper contributes to theory building in sustainability research, and the SCRS decision framework developed could be applied in tandem with existing quantitative hybrid life-cycle and input-output approaches to facilitate targeted resource sustainability assessments, with implications for research and practice. Originality/value: The novel SCRS framework proposed serves as a template for evaluating SCRS and provides a decision-support methodology for assessing SCRS against the five theorized FPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1520-1540
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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