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Business models and closed‐loop supply chains: a typology

Peter Wells (Centre for Automotive Industry Research, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff, UK)
Margarete Seitz (The Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 1 September 2005




To delineate typologies that capture the relationship between closed‐loop supply chains and value‐added business models, and thereby to suggest a research agenda for the transition to sustainable business.


Develops four new theoretical categories or typologies of closed‐loop systems and applies them to the context of the automotive industry. Conceptual, rather than empirical.


That hybrid closed‐loop systems can be combined with innovative non‐linear value configurations to enable the transition to more sustainable production and consumption.

Research limitations/implications

Identifies research agenda to explore how novel business models can integrate with various closed‐loop systems. Theoretical, but grounded in research into the automotive industry.

Practical implications

That closed‐loop systems are best implemented outside traditional linear value added structures.


Places closed‐loop systems at the heart of the (redesigned) business model rather than as an accessory that must be adapted to the demands of existing approaches. Suggests scholars should be part of this innovative process, not merely observers.



Wells, P. and Seitz, M. (2005), "Business models and closed‐loop supply chains: a typology", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 249-251.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited