Journal of Business Ethics 167 (2):299-331 (2020)

In recent years, researchers and practitioners have increasingly paid attention to food waste, which is seen as highly unethical given its negative environmental and societal implications. Waste recovery is dependent on the creation of connections along the supply chain, so that actors with goods at risk of becoming waste can transfer them to those who may be able to use them as inputs or for their own consumption. Such waste recovery is, however, often hampered by what we call ‘circularity holes’, i.e., missing linkages between waste generators and potential receivers. A new type of actor, the digital platform organization, has recently taken on a brokerage function to bridge circularity holes, particularly in the food supply chain. Yet, extant literature has overlooked this novel type of brokerage that exploits digital technology for the transfer and recovery of discarded resources between supply chain actors. Our study investigates this actor, conceptualized as a ‘circularity broker’, and thus unites network research and circular supply chain research. Focusing on the food supply chain, we adopt an interpretive inductive theory-building approach to uncover how platform organizations foster the recovery of waste by bridging circularity holes. We identify and explicate six brokerage roles, i.e., connecting, informing, protecting, mobilizing, integrating and measuring, and discuss them in relation to extant literature, highlighting novelties compared to earlier studies. The final section reflects on contributions, implications, limitations and areas for further research.
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-019-04160-5
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Ethical Decision-Making Theory: An Integrated Approach.Mark S. Schwartz - 2016 - Journal of Business Ethics 139 (4):755-776.

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