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International Journal of Logistics

Research and Applications

Special issue call for papers: 

Green Revitalization Post-Pandemic: The Role of Information Management and Emerging Technologies in Unlocking a Circular Economy

Submission deadline: 31st May 2021

Submit here

Guest Editors:
Dr. Shivam Gupta
Associate Professor,
Department of Information Systems, Supply Chain & Decision Making,
NEOMA Business School, France
Email: shivam.gupta@neoma-bs.fr [Managing Guest Editor]

Dr. Surajit Bag 
Associate Professor of Practice,
Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management,
School of Management, College of Business and Economics,
College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Email: surajitb@uj.ac.za

Dr. Angappa Gunasekaran
Dean and Professor, 
School of Business and Public Administration,
California State University, Bakersfield, USA
Email: agunasekaran@csub.edu

Overview of Special Issue:
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused economic shocks around the globe, and a green recovery has been defended as fundamental in a greener, post-pandemic world. However, the role of information management and emerging technologies in unlocking a truly green recovery has not been addressed by the state-of-the-art literature, and much more efforts from academics are necessary in this context (Lahcen et al., 2020). At the same time, end users and policy makers are right now planning their green recovery agendas; they need evidence-based research to guide their policies and initiatives (Barbier, 2020). 

A green recovery post-pandemic would only be achievable if information and technology are abundant and accurate (Lahcen et al., 2020). The industrial revolutions have brought comfort by meeting the human needs at a quick pace. Today we have the knowledge and economy that is fit for the 21st century. However, the practice of obtaining resources from the natural environment to manufacture goods, to meet our requirements, and dispose them after the end of its useful life, simply throwing them away is proving unsafe (Geng et al., 2012). This take-make-waste is known as a linear economy (de Sousa Jabbour et al., 2019). The entire world is focusing to achieve a sustainable future, and for that it is essential that we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030 (de Sousa Jabbour et al., 2020). The sense of urgence towards a greener economy is even stronger due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic (Barbier, 2020). The 17 SDGs are: no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry/innovation/infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace and justice, and partnerships. All these SDGs are interrelated (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/). 

However, the linear economy is disrupting the entire system which has caused a shift of attention of academicians, industry professionals and policy makers towards a greener, and more circular economy (CE) (de Sousa Jabbour, 2019). It is important to change our mindset and develop a new eco-friendly system to manage the product design, use of alternate raw material, cleaner methods in manufacturing, manage forward and reverse logistics to close the loop (de Sousa Jabbour, 2019; Bag et al., 2020c). The three principles that forms the foundations of the new CE system are: design out waste and pollution, keep goods and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems. This can benefit the surrounding environment and society and benefit everyone (https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/what-is-the-circular-economy).

Literature highlight that 10R (Refuse, Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Refurbish, Remanufacture, Repurpose, Recycle and Recover) is a very good perspective to guide adoption of green recovery efforts, and to translate the CE in practice (Bag et al., 2021). The new CE vision provides endless possibilities to create a thriving economy. Apart from business principles/concern for environment/appreciation, previous researchers indicated that profitability and cost reduction are the main drivers of CE. However, CE business models are long and complex and suffer from various uncertainties and risks (Bag et al., 2020c). The barriers of CE are unawareness, financial constraint, lack of expertise, lack of resources, inability to recycle, lack of visibility and poor return management (Agyemang et al., 2019). Institutional (coercive, normative and mimetic) pressures and resources of any country play a very influential role in adoption of CE (Bag and Pretorius, 2020). 
Govindan and Hasanagic (2018) have suggested that the CE can be promoted through laws, policies, risk reduction (through tax levies) and strict governance. However, in this fourth industrial revolution (4IR), businesses can leverage digital technologies like big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain, IoT, cloud computing to overcome the CE barriers that are mainly related to logistics and supply chain process (Saberi et al., 2019; Bag et al., 2020ab). 

The link between CE (regenerate, share, optimize, loop, virtualize, exchange) and big data (volume, variety, velocity and veracity) can be valuable for a firm (Jabbour et al., 2019). This relationship between these two concepts has been explained in detail by Jabbour et al. (2019). For instance, veracity of big data (Sivarajah et al., 2017) related to environmental impact assessment of inputs for production can be useful to select suitable sources of raw material that can enhance regeneration capabilities. Next, variety and velocity of sharing information is essential in developing robust CE strategies. Veracity also plays an important role in developing predictive maintenance plan depending on near and real time data.

Velocity, veracity and volume can change the loop’s model in CE system. The characteristic of virtualize is essential to keep track of changing customer preferences and consumption patterns. Lastly, a variety of information is essential for replacing old processes with new processes that can unlock CE (Jabbour et al., 2019). 

On the other side, AI has also proven useful in managing circular supply chain (Bag and Pretorius, 2020). Adoption of 4IR technologies (big data analytics-powered AI) has a positive relationship with CE capabilities (Gupta et al., 2019). These 4IR technologies are relatively new and the link between CE and 4IR require further investigation to extend the knowledge base (Jabbour et al., 2020). It would particularly be interesting to see how companies during and after the pandemic can effectively use 10R strategies by leveraging 4IR technologies and unlock CE.

This special issue calls for research that explores firms' innovative information management practices and leveraging emerging digital technologies to adopt 10R based CE business models and strategies to improve logistics and supply chain process during and after pandemic. It aims to attract scholars to bring many aspects of CE in one place and in a systematic manner. Empirical research focusing on information systems to eliminate CE challenges and solutions from any industries are encouraged, which will allow a more applied approach in research and thus, developing more practical implications to industry.

This special issue invites research on following themes, but not limited to:


  • Information management for a green recovery agenda in organizations

  • Large data to unlock a truly green and circular economy in the post-pandemic situation

  • Link organisational theories to empirical research in Industry 4.0, circular economy and sustainable development post-pandemic

  • Innovative circular economy business model for logistics and supply chain management post-pandemic

  • Leveraging automation and digitalisation to enhance a quick green recovery

  • Information systems management in global circular and greener logistics

  • Building flexibility and control for green recovery

  • Smart circular economy network design

  • Collaborative relationships and circular economy 

  • Technological advances in logistics and supply chain management for a green recovery post-pandemic

  • Individual and organisational responses in terms of new or changed digital practices

  • Work on digital information infrastructures for crisis management

  • Positive role of information systems in the pandemic

  •  Information sharing amongst key stakeholders to promote a quick, green, circular recovery post-pandemic

Important Dates:

The following important dates will guide the development of this SI:

  • Full paper submission by: 31 May 2021

  • First review outcome by: 31 July 2021

  • First revised manuscript submission by: 31 August 2021

  • Second review outcome by: 31 October 2021

  • Second revised manuscript submission by: 30 November 2021

  • Final decision outcome by: 31 December 2021


Submission Information
Papers will be subject to a rigorous review process under the supervision of the Guest Editors and Editor-in-Chief, and accepted papers will be published online before print publication. Regarding the submission guidelines and other details, authors should refer to the details on the journal website

Special Issue Guest Editors:
Dr. Shivam Gupta is an Associate Professor at NEOMA Business School, France with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in Statistics, Cloud Computing, Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Sustainability. Strong education professional with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) focussed in Cloud Computing and Operations Management from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur. Followed by PhD, postdoctoral research was pursued at Freie Universit€at Berlin and SUSTech, China. He has completed HDR from University of Montpellier, France. He has published several research papers in reputed journals and has been the recipient of the International Young Scientist Award by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in 2017 and winner of the 2017 Emerald South Asia LIS award.

Dr. Surajit Bag is an Associate Professor of Practice in Supply Chain Management at the Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He holds a PhD in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, India. He has got more than eleven years of industry experience. His areas of research interest are Industrial supply chain automation, Industry 4.0, Buyer-supplier relationship, Supply chain process optimization and Business excellence. He is the proud recipient of “AIMS-IRMA Young Management Researcher Award 2016” for his significant contribution towards management research. He has attended several National and International conferences and has published in ABDC and ABS listed journals like International Journal of Production Economics, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Annals of Operations Research, International Journal of Logistics Management, Information Systems Frontiers, Production Planning and Control, Journal of Enterprise Information Management, International Journal of Manpower and Computers and Industrial Engineering.
Dr. Angappa Gunasekaran is Dean and Professor for the School of Business and Public Administration, California State University at Bakersfield. Prior to joining the Roadrunner community, Guna, as he prefers, served as Dean of the Charlton College of Business from 2013 to 2017, as Chairperson of the Department of Decision and Information Sciences from 2006 to 2012, and is the founding Director of the Business Innovation Research Center (BIRC), from 2006 to 2017, at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Professor Gunasekaran has published over 300 articles in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. During his career, Dr. Guna has presented and published over 50 papers and articles in conferences and at a number of invited leadership talks across the globe. Dean Guna is on the editorial board of several journals and has organized numerous international workshops and conferences in the emerging areas of Operations Management and Information Systems.

About the Sustainable Development Goals, Retrieved from https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ on 13.9.2020 at 05:59 am

Agyemang, M., Kusi-Sarpong, S., Khan, S. A., Mani, V., Rehman, S. T. and Kusi-Sarpong, H. (2019), “Drivers and barriers to circular economy implementation”, Management Decision, Vol. 57 No. 4, pp. 971-994.

Bag, S. and Pretorius, J. H. C. (2020), “Relationships between industry 4.0, sustainable manufacturing and circular economy: proposal of a research framework”, International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOA-04-2020-2120

Barbier EB. (2020). Greening the post-pandemic recovery in the G20. Environmental and Resource Economics, Vol. 76 No. 4. pp. 685-703.

Bag, S., Gupta, S. and Kumar, S. (2021), “Industry 4.0 adoption and 10R advance manufacturing capabilities for sustainable development”, International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 231, 107844.

Bag, S., Gupta, S., Kumar, S. and Sivarajah, U. (2020a), “Role of technological dimensions of green supply chain management practices on firm performance”, Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEIM-10-2019-0324

Bag, S., Gupta, S. and Luo, Z. (2020b), “Examining the role of logistics 4.0 enabled dynamic capabilities on firm performance”, International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 607-628.

Bag, S., Wood, L. C., Mangla, S. K. and Luthra, S. (2020c), “Procurement 4.0 and its implications on business process performance in a circular economy”, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Vol. 152, 104502.

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Jabbour, C. J. C., Fiorini, P. D. C., Wong, C. W., Jugend, D., Jabbour, A. B. L. D. S., Seles, B. M. R. P. and da Silva, H. M. R. (2020), “First-mover firms in the transition towards the sharing economy in metallic natural resource-intensive industries: Implications for the circular economy and emerging industry 4.0 technologies”, Resources Policy, Vol. 66, 101596.


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