Transdisciplinary Research in Sustainable Operations – An Application to Closed-Loop Supply Chains


Correspondence to: Ramin Sahamie, University of Augsburg – Chair of Production & Supply Chain Management, Universitätsstr. 16 Augsburg 86159, Germany. E-mail:


This contribution provides implications for academic research and practitioners, as it identifies the lack, necessity and major benefits of transdisciplinary research and the collaboration of academics and industry in order to fulfill the goals of a sustainable supply chain. Closed-loop supply chain management is a major contributor to implementing sustainable operations. An essential prerequisite for successful realization is the expertise and cooperation of representatives from engineering, management and natural sciences as well as practice. We identify a need for transdisciplinary collaboration within two steps. First, a literature review points out that various research disciplines as well as practice mostly operate in isolation. Second, we develop a framework that highlights the benefits of collaboration between these research areas. This paper provides an overview to better understand current trends in this complex field, which is a rich area for research that is still in its infancy. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment