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Role of Industry 4.0 in circular supply chain management: a mixed-method analysis

Mohd Nishat Faisal (Department of Management and Marketing, College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Article publication date: 6 October 2022

Issue publication date: 27 January 2023




The major purpose of this study is to investigate the role of Industry 4.0 in circular supply chain management (CSCM). The study also identifies variables that positively influence circular performance of a supply chain and examines the relationships among them.


This research uses a novel mixed-method exploratory methodology with sequential design. To understand the relationships among the enablers and the role of Industry 4.0 in circular performance of supply chain, a qualitative method (interpretive structural modeling) was utilized. Following the qualitative phase, a questionnaire based quantitative study was conducted and the hypothesized mediating relationships were evaluated through smart-PLS structural equation modeling tool.


The findings of interpretive structural modeling (ISM) model revealed the hierarchical relationships among the enablers of circular supply chain management based on their relative importance. The variables were clustered in three groups of driver, dependent and linkage variables. The results of the structural model indicated that Industry 4.0 play a mediating role between the driver and dependent variables that influence circular performance in a supply chain.

Practical implications

The research offers practical insights for supply chains moving in the direction of zero waste by highlighting the important variables that require actions from different stakeholders. The research also reveals the importance of integrating Industry 4.0 technologies in restorative and regenerative cycles of circular supply chain.


The originality of the research stems from the scarcity of research on circular supply chain management. The authors argue about the critical role that Industry 4.0 can play in achieving circularity in supply chains.



The author would like to express his sincere gratitude to the Editor-in-Chief Prof. Zahir Irani, Associate Editor Dr. Muhammad Mustafa Kamal and esteemed reviewers. Their discerning comments and constructive critiques have resulted in considerable improvements in the manuscript over its earlier versions.


Faisal, M.N. (2023), "Role of Industry 4.0 in circular supply chain management: a mixed-method analysis", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 303-322.



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