Modelling the cause and effect relationship risks in reverse logistics supply chains for demolition waste

Ruchini Senarath Jayasinghe, Raufdeen Rameezdeen, Nicholas Chileshe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The reverse logistics supply chain (RLSC) for demolition waste management (DWM) is a complex process that inherits significant interdependent risks. However, studies on the RLSC have not explicitly identified the risks of its inter-relationships by disentangling their effects on operational performance. Accordingly, this paper aims to identify and assess the inter-dependencies of the risks in the RLSC to improve quality-related operational performance. Design/methodology/approach: A sequential exploratory mixed-method research approach, consisting of qualitative and quantitative methods, was employed. The qualitative approach involved 25 semi-structured interviews, whereas the 18 subsequent structured interviews were conducted with stakeholders in the entire RLSC as part of the quantitative method. These were used to identify the cause and effect relationships of the identified risks. The data were analysed using thematic analysis, and the Bayesian belief network (BBN) technique was used to develop a conceptual risk model. Findings: In total 20 risks in four RLSC sub-processes, namely, dismantling and on-site process, off-site resource recovery process, marketing of secondary products and residue disposal, emerged. Among cause and effect relationships of identified risk factors, inferior quality of secondary products was found to have the strongest relationship with customer satisfaction. Under-pricing of dismantling job, improper landfill operations and inadequacy of landfill levy are independent risks that initiate other risks down the supply chain. The aggregate effects of these risks affect customer dissatisfaction of the end-product, as well as health and safety risks in on-site, off-site and residue disposal. Research limitations/implications: This study only identify the cause and effect relationships of the identified risks within the RLSC for DWM operations. It has not targeted a specific construction material or any secondary production, which could be practiced through a case study in future research. Practical implications: The results encourage the investigation of RLSC process quality by maintaining the relationship between recycler and customer to enable a safe workplace environment. Hence, the role of relevant practitioners and government is inseparable in supporting decision-making. Future research could discuss the impact of those inter-related risks in relation to time- or cost-related operational performance criteria. Originality/value: This study contributes to the field through presenting the first major study on the identification and assessment of the inter-dependencies of the risks in the RLSC in South Australia. The RLSC process mapping had been identified as a tactical and operational management approach. However, the risk management process is a strategic management approach. Therefore, the integration of both process mapping and the risk management approaches in one platform is germane to construction management research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4018-4044
Number of pages27
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2023


  • Cause and effect
  • Construction
  • Quality
  • Resources recovery
  • Reverse logistics supply chains
  • Risks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture


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