Deakin University

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Barriers to implementing reverse logistics in South Australian construction organisations

journal contribution
posted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by N Chileshe, R Rameezdeen, M. Reza HosseiniM. Reza Hosseini, S Lehmann
Purpose - This paper aims to present a survey of the perceptions of the barriers to implementing reverse logistics (RL) practices in South Australian (SA) construction organisations. Despite the extensive research on forward logistics and RL, there is a paucity of studies that examine the barriers to implementing RL particularly within the Australian construction industry. This study builds on the ongoing research being undertaken by the authors, entitled “Designing for reverse logistics (DfRL) within the building life cycle: practices, drivers and barriers”, which is examining the best practices and drivers that could be used as a “road map” for developing appropriate solutions for the successful implementation of RL. Design/methodology/approach - Data were collected by utilising a triangulated data collection approach, a literature review and 49 questionnaires. The review of the literature identified 16 barriers to implementing RL. The quantitative survey data were subjected to descriptive and inferential statistics with correlation analysis to examine the relationships between different pairs of variables comprising RL’s critical barriers. Findings - The following barriers were indicated as most significant: lack of incorporation of salvaged materials by designers; regulation restrictions to usage of recovered materials and components; potential legal liabilities; higher costs; and longer-time association with deconstructing buildings. The least ranked barriers were mostly drawn from the operational and industrial categories as being: organisational lack of support for deconstruction due to incompatible design; lack of organisational support for deconstructing buildings due to higher health and safety risks; and inadequate skills and experience for deconstruction (operational). The industrial barrier was related to “higher costs of salvaged materials in comparison to virgin products”. Research limitations/implications - First, the reported findings are focussed on one study that used questionnaire surveys within the construction industry; therefore, the results may not be generalisable to other contexts. Further, studies should be conducted and extended to other industrial sectors beyond the construction industry. Second, the quantitative study (n 49) used a smaller sample, and the survey items were based on the review of the literature. Practical implications - The identified barriers could be used as a “road map” for the development of appropriate solutions for the successful implementation of RL, and to improve the environment-related decision-making processes of contractors. Originality/value - This study makes a contribution to the body of knowledge on the subject of RL within a previously unexplored SA context. In addition, the study provides some insights on the contributory effects of the barriers to the implementation of RL. It is the first work undertaken to determine the barriers to the adoption of RL within the SA construction industry.



Supply chain management: an international journal






179 - 204


Emerald Group Publishing


Bingley, Eng.







Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, Emerald Group Publishing