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Outsourcing and reverse supply chain performance: a triple bottom line approach

Saurabh Agrawal (Delhi School of Management, Delhi Technological University, Delhi, India)
Rajesh Kumar Singh (Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 27 November 2020

Issue publication date: 23 April 2021




Outsourcing has become a strategic decision for most of the organizations in the present context of globalization and circular economy. The objective of proposed study is to empirically investigate the relationship between the outsourcing benefits and triple bottom line (TBL)-based performance of reverse supply chain (RSC) comprising of economic, environmental and social factors.


In the present study, the partial least square path approach of structural equation modeling has been applied for testing hypotheses. A questionnaire was developed for collecting the information and responses from the experts of electronics industry, India. Measurement models were tested for ensuring the fitness of data for further applying partial least square path approach of SEM.


The results provide insightful information on outsourcing and RSC performance. It reveals that outsourcing decisions are important and have great influence on the economic, environmental and social performance of RSC.

Research limitations/implications

The study will provide useful guidance to the organizations for outsourcing decisions. One of the limitations of the study is that it has considered data collected from the Indian electronics industry. Therefore, results may not be generalized.


The third-party service providers have core competencies, and they are the experts of providing RSC services. It is also apparent from the exploration of past research and theoretical background that there are limited number of studies focusing on the impact of outsourcing decisions in RSC performance specifically from the TBL perspective. Hence, the proposed study is an effort to explore the impact of outsourcing RSC activities on the performance of RSC from a sustainability perspective.



Authors would like to express sincere thanks to Editor of the journal and reviewers for constructive suggestions in revising this manuscript.


Agrawal, S. and Singh, R.K. (2021), "Outsourcing and reverse supply chain performance: a triple bottom line approach", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 1146-1163.



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