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  INTERNATIONAL of Production Technology and Management (IJPTM), ISSN 0976 – 6383
                               MANAGEMENT 1, January-
    (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6391 (Online) Volume 3, Issue (IJPTM) December (2012), © IAEME

ISSN 0976- 6383 (Print)
ISSN 0976 - 6391 (Online)
Volume 3, Issue 1, January-December (2012), pp. 78-94                     IJPTM
Journal Impact Factor (2012): 1.5910 (Calculated by GISI)

                      ‘‘CLOSING THE LOOP’’

                           AJAY VERMA*, DR. ANSHUL GANGELE**
           * [Research Scholar] Department of Mechanical Engineering, Suresh Gyan Vihar
                                    University, Jaipur (Raj.) 302025
                  **Institute of Technology & Management, Gwalior (M.P.) 474001


            In this paper we report on results from a cross-sectional survey with pharmaceuticals
     manufacturers in Indian industries. Pharmaceuticals to evaluate the green supply chain
     management (GSCM) practices and relate them to closing the supply chain loop. Our
     findings provide insights into the capabilities of Indian organizations on the adoption of
     GSCM practices in pharmaceuticals industrial contexts and that these practices are not
     considered equitably across the industries.

     Keywords: Green supply chain management; Closed-loop supply chains; Empirical study


             Many industries have experienced increasing globalization and a shifting focus to
     competition among networks of companies. Supply chain management (SCM) has become an
     important competitive approach for organizations in this environment. Multinational
     enterprises have established global networks of suppliers that take advantage of country-
     industry specific characteristics to build this competitive advantage. [16]
     Logistics and supply chain managers have to balance efforts to reduce costs and innovate
     while maintaining good environmental (ecological) performance. [31] Green supply chain
     management (GSCM) has emerged as an approach to balance these competitive
     requirements. [30] GSCM and logistics efforts have caused organizations to consider closing
     the supply chain loop (closed loop supply chains (CLSC)). [6] Within CLSC and GSCM
     practices, recoverable product environments, and the design of these products and materials,
     have become an increasingly important segment of the overall push in industry towards
     environmentally conscious manufacturing and logistics. [22] Even though CLSC has
     significant environmental motivations, regulatory, competitive and economic pressures also

International Journal of Production Technology and Management (IJPTM), ISSN 0976 – 6383
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6391 (Online) Volume 3, Issue 1, January- December (2012), © IAEME
play roles in its adoption across industries. [18] Here, we specifically investigate the role of
environmentally based practices and pressures and what they mean to the management of
Indian enterprises have initiated implementation of a number of environmental practices due
to motivational drivers such as exports and sales to foreign customers, legislative and
stakeholder institutional pressures, many of which relate to institutional and stakeholder
theories. [11] Joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) has provided Indian enterprises
with additional opportunities to establish relationships with foreign enterprises further
integrating them into their supply chain. [52] This inclusion has also brought significant
challenges to Indian enterprises such as overcoming ‘green barriers’ and increasing their
international competitive ability. [33] Indian suppliers to develop environmental management
systems in compliance with ISO 14001, International laws in other regions such as the
Restrict of hazard substances (RoHS), Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
and Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) have led India to
increase organizational efforts for product recovery. [1]
In this study, we aim to examine the adoption levels of GSCM practices in India and to
determine pharmaceuticals industries in the GSCM practices with an emphasis on their
specific implications for CLSC management. Previous investigations completed an
exploratory analysis that identified factors of GSCM practices and performance. [1] These
factors were then examined for relationships between adoption of GSCM practices and
eventual performance outcomes incorporating moderating effects of quality management and
just-in-time practices. [54] In additional research, using similar data, an investigation
comparing quality management and environmental management was completed for
pharmaceuticals organizations. [55] Within these studies an industry effect seemed to exist
for the adoption of GSCM practices.
In this paper, we advance this line of study to logistics and supply chain management
research through a more in-depth comparative analysis of pharmaceuticals industries,
determining the implications on these industries and their enterprises to CLSC. While studies
investigating environmental management exist for pharmaceuticals industries, we contribute
to the body of knowledge by further investigating GSCM practices in a developing economy
and the determination of industry GSCM practices. Our study findings provide managerial
and theoretical approaching for industries in India focusing on a resource based capabilities
through knowledge transfer and inter-organizational/inter-industry learning to improve their
GSCM/CLSC practices adoption. [46] The findings also provide policy implications for the
Indian government in supporting GSCM/CLSC practices among different industries. The
results of this investigation are also useful for developed country organizations that have
invested or plan to invest in India, especially in the pharmaceuticals industries examined by
this study.
We will begin with a literature review in Section 2, introducing the relationship between
CLSC and GSCM as well as defining the study elements. It is followed by additional research
background of GSCM in India in Section 3, in which we will explain our selection of
industries and the theoretical grounding of our investigation in contingency resource based,
institutional, and stakeholder theory that help to further develop insights into these industry.
Section 4 describes the research design and measures developed for this study.
Data analysis and results are presented in Section 5. Section 6 discusses the results with an
evaluation of GSCM implementation in Indian manufacturing industries. Section 7 concludes
the paper by providing managerial implications and identifying areas for future research in

International Journal of Production Technology and Management (IJPTM), ISSN 0976 – 6383
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6391 (Online) Volume 3, Issue 1, January- December (2012), © IAEME

        The GSCM practices investigated in this study include internal environmental
management, green purchasing, customer cooperation with environmental concerns,
investment recovery, and eco-design dimensions. [54] Internal environmental management is
central to improving enterprises’ environmental performance. [8, 28] It is generally believed
that senior manager’s support is necessary and, often, a key driver for successful adoption
and implementation of most innovations, technology, programs and activities that senior
management’s confidence is the most influential factor for the development of their quality
management system. Similarly, cross functional programs encompassing GSCM and CLSC
practices are not for the ‘‘faint of heart’’ and require management’s support for successful
implementation. [21, 26, 36, 49] To ensure progress for environmental management, top
management must be fully committed. [35, 58] Support needs to also exist from mid-level
managers for successful implementation of environmental practices. [7, 8] GSCM crosses all
departmental boundaries within and between organizations, and this cooperation and
communication is important to successful environmental practices. [52]
External GSCM practices have become increasingly important for manufacturers. The first
external GSCM practice, green purchasing, is an emerging approach in Indian enterprises,
which focuses on the inbound or upstream segment of a product’s and organization’s supply
chain in a multinational investigation identified key factors for green purchasing including
providing design specification to suppliers that include environmental requirements for
purchased items, cooperation with suppliers for environmental objectives, environmental
audits      for    supplier’s    internal    management,     and     suppliers’     ISO14001
Put forward ten top environmental supplier evaluation criteria, among these, second-tier
supplier environmentally friendly practice evaluation was viewed as the second most
important criterion. In addition, large customers have exerted pressure on their suppliers for
better environmental performance, which results in greater motivation for suppliers to
cooperate with customers for environmental objectives. [34] Customer cooperation and green
purchasing fit process perspective, which concerns types of customer relationships that occur
in CLSC. [45] In India, research has also shown that customer pressure is a primary driver for
enterprises to improve their environmental image and practices. [11] Without green
purchasing and customer cooperation practices, product take-back and other product
reintroduction markets may not become as developed. [44]
Investment recovery typically occurs at the back end of the supply chain cycle or as a method
to ‘‘close the loop’’. Investment recovery fits process perspective which concerns the
different types of recovery processes that occur in CLSC. [45] Concerns for the end of life
products are motivated by legislation. Even in non-regulated markets, some manufacturers
have engaged in product recovery to reduce production costs, enhance brand image, meet
changing customer expectations, protect after markets, and preempt pending legislation or
regulations. [43] Sale of excess inventories and capital equipments are also aspects of
investment recovery. As an example, many firms, as part of their reverse logistics operations,
have started selling unwanted products in online sale. [42]
In India, investment recovery continues to grow; where pressures from the government have
shifted focus from resource subsidies to levying taxes. [1, 53] The other set of practices
defining the ‘‘back-end’’ of the supply chain includes the relationship with customers on
environmental issues. In many cases, international companies are now emphasizing the need
for their suppliers to maintain an environmentally benign position and requiring their many

International Journal of Production Technology and Management (IJPTM), ISSN 0976 – 6383
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6391 (Online) Volume 3, Issue 1, January- December (2012), © IAEME
Indian suppliers to comply so that these Indian organizations’ products are not boycotted due
to environmental reasons. [1, 33]
Most of the environmental influence of any product or material is ‘locked’ into the product at
the design stage of a product, when materials and processes are selected and product
environmental performance is largely determined. [25] Pioneering firms have learned that
making product returns profitable relies on good product design. [23] It has been argued that
for effective product stewardship and reverse logistics practices, eco-design is necessary. [44]
Thus, eco-design or Design for Environment (DfE) is an important and emerging GSCM
practice to improve companies CLSC. Eco-design practices best fit product perspective,
which concerns types of product oriented relationships that occur in CLSC. [45] In our
description here, eco-design is meant to address product functionality while simultaneously
minimizing life-cycle environmental impacts. The success of eco-design requires internal
cross-functional cooperation within the company and the external cooperation with other
partners throughout the supply chain.
In developed countries, organizations have put significant effort in optimizing their forward
SCM and logistics practices and are paying increasingly substantial attention to their reverse
logistics functions. [23] Though manufacturers in developing countries such as India have
made some progress on GSCM, both their forward and reverse SCM practices are generally
at early adoption stages. [54] This study represents one of few investigations on elements of
both forward and reverse SCM and the adoption of GSCM practices in developing countries
such as India. We also examine if industry types matter in the adoption of GSCM practices
across industries in India.


        Due to heterogeneous pressures from various stakeholder groups, industries have
variations, though commonalties may exist, in their adoption of GSCM and CLSC practices.
An explanation of similarities and differences may be derived from three theoretical
perspectives, i.e., the ‘contingent’ resource based view, institutional theory, and stakeholder
theory. First we will provide some reasoning for the industries selected in this study, and then
we will explain why we may theoretically expect differences in our investigation.

3.1. Emerging industrial issues in Indian supply chains
        We focus on the pharmaceuticals industrial supply chains: Indian pharmaceuticals
supply chain enterprises companies are traditional polluters and have experienced higher
environmental regulatory pressure. [51]
The pharmaceuticals industry has experienced some of the highest regulatory pressures. On
the other hand, the pharmaceuticals industry in India has a long-term history of international
business through export of products or as suppliers to multinational companies.
Pharmaceuticals industry in India seems to have adopted more environmental management
practices including CLSC. Experiences in this industry can be disseminated to other
industries in India.
Even though India’s burgeoning pharmaceuticals industry may lag on such activities it has
started to experience such pressures. In addition, the Indian government has specific stricter
environmental regulations on air, water, pollution with the rapidly increasing India
pharmaceuticals companies have started to learn from experiences improve their
environmental image. [33]

International Journal of Production Technology and Management (IJPTM), ISSN 0976 – 6383
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6391 (Online) Volume 3, Issue 1, January- December (2012), © IAEME
3.2. Theoretical characterizations of industrial variations
         The industrial GSCM practices may be accounted for by contingency resource based,
institutional, and stakeholder theories. The practical differences were presented in our previous
section. We now use various theories that support why these differences exist amongst industries.
Incident resource based theory, argues that industry uncertainty, complexity and munificence are three
key task environment factors which may affect the implementation of proactive environmental
strategies, e.g. GSCM and CLSC practices, enabling firms to build up their resource capacities. [2]
Managers facing uncertain business environments tend to be more proactive, take greater risks, and
use more innovative strategies than managers in less turbulent environments. [29, 32]
Pharmaceuticals industries face significant risks and uncertainties due to increasing and evolving
regulatory pressure, e.g. greenhouse gas emissions and hazardous waste regulations.
Thus, we argue that these two industries may have experienced more pressure to implement proactive
environmental strategies such as GSCM and CLSC practices anticipating these pressures persist in the
future. However, the supply uncertainty sometimes does not result in proactive environmental
practices such as establishing an alliance with suppliers because organizations prefer to minimize the
need due to scarce managerial resource allocation. Complexity in the business environment is
generally defined as production and diversity of factors and issues in that environment. [8, 15, 38, 40]
Less complexity can result in more proactive environmental practices. [2] The pharmaceuticals
industry may be more complicated, having less incentive to implement GSCM and CLSC.
Munificence is the degree to which the general business environment can support a sustained rate of
organizational growth or sales growth. [12, 39] We can also find that various industry forces may
exist in a single industry causing conflicting pressures.
Institutional theory provides another theoretical lens to account for the differences in GSCM practices
pharmaceuticals industries. The institutional process occurs through coercive, mimetic, and normative
mechanisms, and structural isomorphism is the consequence. [13] In this process, environmental
concerns driving early adoption will be replaced by a different set of determinants from later adopters.
Given the differences in the extent of regulatory and consumer pressures, the schedule for the
implementation of GSCM and CLSC practices may vary in industrial contexts.
Stakeholder theory places shareholders as one of the multiple stakeholder groups managers must
consider in their decision making process. [14] As a result of the supply chain complexity, the
adoption levels for GSCM and CLSC practices are expected to industries.
The above discussion industrial practices theoretical reasons to account for the adoption of GSCM
across the industries in India. Therefore, we hypothesize that:
Hypothesis: The adoption of the five GSCM practices is pharmaceuticals industries in India.


          The five dimensions of GSCM practices in this study where the twenty-two measurement
items were developed on the basis of opinions from industrial experts and the literature. [10, 54, 57,
Data collection occurred in three phases including a pilot test, convenience surveys and a random
survey, whose results were eventually aggregated.
(1) Pilot test: We initially completed a pilot test to validate and refine the measurement instrument,
i.e., a survey questionnaire. A pilot test was conducted the largest and the second largest industrial
zones in India according to gross domestic product. Based on the suggestions from 28 respondents,
we made minor modifications to the survey questionnaire.
(2) Convenience surveys: The second stage involved the application of convenience surveys. To
minimize the possibility of misunderstanding the questionnaire items by respondents.
To ensure respondents proper understanding of questionnaire items, a presentation about GSCM at
each training workshop was made. All the respondents during the site visits were also interviewed.
Within this stage, a total of 38 usable manufacturing enterprises responses were received.

International Journal of Production Technology and Management (IJPTM), ISSN 0976 – 6383
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6391 (Online) Volume 3, Issue 1, January- December (2012), © IAEME
(3) Random survey: The third stage of data acquisition was an administration of the survey
via postal mail with follow-up telephone calls. We carried out a random survey in this stage.
Due to the difficulties in data collection from all regions within India, the random survey was
conducted in pharmaceuticals, a typical pharmaceuticals industrial number of manufacturers
belonging to the four targeted industries of our study. The targeted respondent companies
were drawn from the list of pharmaceuticals Manufacturers identified earlier. Out of a total of
500 questionnaires mailed, 128 usable organizational responses were received from
manufacturing enterprises.
(4) Sample aggregation: Overall, a total of 284 responses were received. Multiple responses
from the same manufacturer were aggregated into one usable organizational response. The
targeted samples and respondents of this study possess managerial experience at the middle
and upper management levels (e.g. managers, directors, executives). There are advantages of
using this three step approach in data collection. First, the respondents in our convenience
samples are ‘‘key informants’’ on the environmental management practices that are being
planned or adopted in their companies. These groups of respondents are knowledgeable on
the topic of GSCM practices under investigation and help to ensure the quality of the data
collected in this study. Second, the random survey contributed to triangulation for helping
confirm the quality of the responses in our convenience samples allowing for more
generalizebility to the wider Indian pharmaceuticals manufacturing context.
We performed a Chi-square test to compare organizational characteristics of the two groups
of respondent manufacturers, i.e., the convenience samples and the mail survey samples to
test the potential respondent bias. The test results indicate that no difference, at a 5% level of
significance, exists between the two groups on ownership, firm size and questionnaire
responses on the items for measuring GSCM. It is therefore reasonable to combine the
samples collected from the three stages for data analysis. Our next step is to ensure the data
quality. To evaluate the potential non-respondent bias of the data collected, we divided the
128 returned organizational responses collected from the random survey into two groups
representing the theoretical ‘‘respondents’’ and ‘‘non-respondents’’, respectively. Before
proceeding to data analyses, we eliminated those organizational responses with missing
values on any of the 22 measurement items for the adoption of GSCM. After taking out the
responses with incomplete data, 171 usable organizational responses collected from the
pharmaceuticals industries remained for our subsequent data analyses. The demographic
profile of the usable organizational responses in this study is shown in Table 1.
               Table 1 Demographic characteristics of the respondent firms
                          Industry        Pharmaceuticals
                          Size (employees)
                          >3000           11
                          1000–3000       6
                          500–1000        12
                          <500            9
                          Total           38 (22.22%)
                          State-owned     29
                          Private         5
                          Joint ventures 4
                          Total           38 (22.22%)

International Journal of Production Technology and Management (IJPTM), ISSN 0976 – 6383
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6391 (Online) Volume 3, Issue 1, January- December (2012), © IAEME
        Table 2 provides the descriptive statistics, Cronbach’s alpha values, and item-total
correlations for the five GSCM factors amongst Indian pharmaceuticals manufacturers. The
high values of Cronbach’s alpha (>0.70) and of the item total correlation coefficients (>0.40)
for the five factors underlying GSCM suggest that all five latent GSCM factors fit the data
reasonably well.
    Table 2 Descriptive statistics, alpha values and item-total correction coefficients
  Construct/factors      No. of       Mean      SD     Cronbach’s       Range of item-
                         items                           alpha         total correlation
        GSCM                -          3.41    0.78       0.82                 -
  Internal EM (IEM)         7          3.65    1.05       0.95             0.78–0.91
   Green purchasing         5          3.05    1.07       0.87             0.68–0.74
       Customer             4          3.07    1.05       0.87             0.62–0.82
   cooperation (CC)
      Investment            3          3.49    1.03       0.83             0.66–0.69
     recovery (IR)
  Eco-design (ECO)          3          3.53    1.09       0.90             0.78–0.80

Note. Scales: 1 = not considering it, 2 = planning to consider it, 3 = considering it currently, 4
= initiate implementation, 5 = implementing successfully.
To validate the measurement scales for GSCM, a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) is
performed, hypothesizing that the five underlying GSCM factors, i.e., internal environmental
management, green purchasing, customer cooperation, investment recovery and eco-design,
would adequately fit the data collected. The results in Table 3 show that a five-factor
measurement model fits the data acceptably. All of the measurement items significantly
loaded on the constructs on which they were hypothesized to load. These results gave us
confidence that the measures are indeed valid and reliable.
After obtaining satisfactory results in both the reliability and validity tests, we calculated the
mean value for each of the five GSCM factors. As is apparent from Table 2, manufacturers in
our samples have on average initiated three GSCM practices, namely, internal environmental
management, investment recovery and eco-design with mean values of 3.65, 3.49 and, 3.53,
respectively. However, the sample manufacturers have on average only started to consider
green purchasing and customer cooperation practices with mean values of 3.05 and 3.07,
respectively, a bias to favor more internally focused practices in their adoption of GSCM.
Table 4 provides a summary of the means and standard deviations for all 22 measurement
items on the adoption of GSCM practices as reported by the sample companies in the
pharmaceuticals industries. It should be noted that all items on internal environmental
management have attained mean values over or close to 4.00 except for those sample
companies. In addition, all mean values of the GSCM practices, i.e., investment recovery and
eco-design, are between 3.00 and 4.00 for the pharmaceuticals industries.
We performed a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to determine if any significant
differences exist in the adoption of the GSCM practices, as perceived by the respondent
companies in the four industries. The F-test results in Table 5 show that GSCM and two
underlying factors, internal environmental management and green purchasing are
significantly different (at the 5% level) across the Indian pharmaceuticals industry.

International Journal of Production Technology and Management (IJPTM), ISSN 0976 – 6383
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6391 (Online) Volume 3, Issue 1, January- December (2012), © IAEME
                       Table 3 Results of confirmatory factor analysis

               Measurement items                                         Constructs
                                                         IE      GP       CC        IR     ECO
 Commitment of GSCM from senior managers               0.869a
 Support for GSCM from mid-level managers              0.876
 Cross-functional cooperation for environmental        0.830
 improvements (IEM3)
 Total quality environmental management (IEM4)         0.883
 Environmental compliance and auditing programs        0.822
 ISO 14001 certification (IEM6)                        0.678
 Environmental Management Systems exist                0.787
 Providing design specification to suppliers that               0.746a
 include environmental requirements for
 purchased item (GP1)
 Cooperation with suppliers for environmental                   0.795
 objectives (GP2)
 Environmental audit for suppliers’ internal                    0.765
 management (GP3)
 Suppliers’ ISO14000 certification (GP4)                        0.677
 Second-tier supplier environmentally friendly                  0.777
 practice evaluation (GP5)
 Cooperation with customer for eco-design (CC1)                          0.796a
 Cooperation with customers for cleaner                                  0.861
 production (CC2)
 Cooperation with customers for green packaging                           0.837
 Cooperation with customers for using less energy                         0.701
 during product transportation (CC4 )
 Investment recovery (sale) of excess                                             0.803a
 inventories/materials (IR1)
 Sale of scrap and used materials (IR2)                                           0.772
 Sale of excess capital equipment (IR3)                                           0.878
 Design of products for reduced consumption of                                             0.815a
 material/energy (ECO1)
 Design of products for reuse, recycle, recovery of                                        0.824
 material, component parts (ECO 2)
 Design of products to avoid or reduce use of                                              0.688
 hazardous of products and/or their manufacturing
 process (ECO3)
 Alpha                                                  0.95     0.87     0.87     0.83     0.90

International Journal of Production Technology and Management (IJPTM), ISSN 0976 – 6383
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6391 (Online) Volume 3, Issue 1, January- December (2012), © IAEME
a. Initially fixed at 1.0 for the purpose of estimation.
However, no significant difference exists in the other three GSCM factors, namely, customer
cooperation for environmental objectives, investment recovery, and eco-design. The
hypothesis that pharmaceuticals industries vary in the extent of their adoption of GSCM is
partially supported.


       Due to depleting resources and serious environmental problems, India’s governmental
bodies have introduced increasingly strict environmental regulations. With globalization,
especially after India’s entry into the

   Table 4 Means and standard deviations of the GSCM factors in the four industries
                Measurement items         Pharmaceuticals (n = 38)
                                             Mean          SD
                IEM1                          4.00       0.943
                IEM2                          3.76       0.863
                IEM3                          3.73       0.932
                IEM4                          4.00       1.042
                IEM5                          4.00       1.095
                IEM6                          3.65       1.252
                IEM7                          3.81       1.175
                GP1                           3.65       1.152
                GP2                           3.22       1.250
                GP3                           2.75       1.381
                GP4                           3.27       1.305
                GP5                           2.65       1.274
                CC1                           2.61       1.178
                CC2                           3.00       1.265
                CC3                           2.94       1.218
                CC4                           3.22       1.174
                IR1                           3.46       1.325
                IR2                           3.38       1.089
                IR3                           3.36       1.125
                ECO1                          3.59       1.257
                ECO2                          3.38       1.163
                ECO3                          3.54       1.145

Note. Scales: 1 = not considering it, 2 = planning to consider it, 3 = considering it currently, 4
= initiate implementation, 5 = implementing successfully.
Indian manufacturers have started to experience green barriers. Because of these two main
pressures, GSCM has become an emerging management approach for Indian manufacturers
to improve both their environmental and logistics performance, much of it directly motivated
by economic gains.
We have posited that due to extant issues facing various industrial sectors, which can be
generalized under contingent resource based, institutional, and stakeholder theories, the
adoption of these practices will tend to vary. Others have also argued for these indirect

International Journal of Production Technology and Management (IJPTM), ISSN 0976 – 6383
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6391 (Online) Volume 3, Issue 1, January- December (2012), © IAEME
environmental effects by emissions (toxic, harmful, and ozone depleting) and resources used
(electricity and fuels). Differing drivers and pressures as well as potential improvements that
companies can make has caused manufacturers in pharmaceuticals industrial sectors to adopt
GSCM practices at varying levels.
In our general findings we see that the adoption of GSCM practices based on contingency
resource based theory and a larger number of stakeholders based on the stakeholder theory.
Table 5 shows that the pharmaceuticals supply chain companies have considered and initiated
GSCM practices with mean values of 3.43, which may result from the high regulatory
pressures they have experienced. In India pharmaceuticals companies have international
business experiences, and many of them are joint ventures. According to institutional theory,
we can argue that pharmaceuticals supply chain companies have implemented GSCM based
on pressures

        Table 5 Means on the adoption of GSCM and its underlying factors in the
                              Pharmaceuticals industries

               Construct/factors             Pharmaceuticals (n = 38)
                                        Mean      SD     F      Significance
              GSCM                      3.43     0.564 5.02        0.003
              IEM                       3.88     0.836 7.06        0.000
              GP                        3.16     0.917 4.24        0.007
              CC                        2.94     0.943 1.41        0.243
              IR                        3.39     0.974 0.15        0.928
              ECO                       3.50     1.076 0.55        0.646

Note. Scales: 1 = not considering it, 2 = planning to consider it, 3 = considering it currently, 4
= initiate implementation, 5 = implementing successfully.
These differences point to the capabilities or motivation for furthering the CLSC practices of
India. Clearly, with covering GSCM practices, the pharmaceuticals industry may see the
barriers, due to lack of knowledge, systems, markets, technology, for closing the supply chain
loop. Implement these GSCM and CLSC practices in India pharmaceuticals industry by
finding early possible success stories should seek exemplary imitative processes and
practices. The pharmaceuticals industry has the potential to adopt these practices. Since the
pharmaceuticals industry is a growing sunrise industry, closing the loop in this industry will
eventually become a very important.

6.1. Internal environmental management
        Internal environmental management is one of the most important GSCM practices
organizations must adopt to improve their environmental performance. Table 5 indicates that
most of our respondent companies in India, except in the pharmaceuticals industry, attain a
high mean value for this specific practice, namely, 3.88. The pharmaceuticals industry
adoption of GSCM practices on internal environmental management. Many of these
pharmaceuticals companies also require suppliers, divisions, and partners to be ISO 14001
certified or have appropriate environmental management systems in place. It is likely that
internal environmental management in the pharmaceuticals industry will be influenced
through partner relationships demonstrated that quality management. [55]

International Journal of Production Technology and Management (IJPTM), ISSN 0976 – 6383
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6391 (Online) Volume 3, Issue 1, January- December (2012), © IAEME
6.2. External GSCM (supplier/customer relationship)
         Cooperation with both suppliers and customers has become extremely important for
closing the supply chain loop for organizations and products. Nevertheless, Table 5 shows
that all mean values of the GSCM factors on green purchasing and customer cooperation for
environmental objectives are the lowest compared to the other three GSCM factors in each of
the pharmaceuticals industries.
The pharmaceuticals industry had a mean value for green purchasing (3.16). This industry
also indicated a relatively mean value for customer cooperation (2.94), which is attributable
to their long-term international experiences and more advanced closed-loop supply chain
practices, leading these companies to face greater institutional pressures especially from
direct competitors (mimetic) and supply chain partners and the market (normative)
isomorphic pressures. Another reason may be that most of the respondents in this industry are
joint ventures or private companies, rather than state-owned facilities, which may allow them
to more easily, develop relationships without the additional weight of government
organization. These relationship characteristics support the contingent resource based
perspective of industrial influences, which include the complexity of these joint venture
relationships and lower uncertainty levels (having stronger relationships with a broad
knowledge of practices), implying greater adoption of green purchasing.
As international competition increases in the Indian market, it is expected that development
of other types of industry ownership, as is evident in the pharmaceuticals industry, will bring
about greater partnership opportunities. This evolving situation presents significant
opportunity for Indian automobile companies to learn from their international partners, as
they further develop supplier and customer collaborative relationships.

6.3. Investment recovery
         Table 2 showed that the mean value on investment recovery across pharmaceuticals
industries is relatively higher than the external supply chain practices with a mean value of
3.49 on investment recovery, higher than that of green purchasing (3.05) and customer
cooperation for environmental objectives (3.07). The implication is that investment recovery
seems to be completed internally, or for internal environmental reasons, than for supply chain
reasons. Even though investment recovery is more mature in India than other practices, it
does not mean that closing the loop across industries in India is actually occurring. Internally,
the investment recovery practices that we focused upon were for supply of these products for
the closed loop supply chain. Yet, Indian organizations have not fully developed the systems
to pull these products back into their system, which implies that normative and mimetic
institutional pressures are not as prevalent and would not cause industries to learn or require
changes in this GSCM practice.
Our results also indicate that the pharmaceuticals industries do not show a significant
difference in this GSCM practice.
To attract more investment, industrial zones in India provide subsidies for enterprises to
cover solid waste disposal. Since treatment for waste recovery can be expensive, many Indian
enterprises consider investment recovery such as material recycling and recovery as costly.
[54] Moreover, recycling and recovery sometimes are difficult in India due to the lack of
recycling systems and relevant technologies. Yet, the markets for such resource recovery can
be substantially larger since many of the resource recovery operations such as
remanufacturing, reuse, and reclamation, even in developed countries can be mainly manual
operations, which require significantly more labor costs. India, which has these lower labor

International Journal of Production Technology and Management (IJPTM), ISSN 0976 – 6383
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6391 (Online) Volume 3, Issue 1, January- December (2012), © IAEME
costs, may find that resource recovery across the supply chain may provide its industries with
a better competitive advantage.
Thus, potentially, we see this investment recovery across the supply chain as one that will
emerge and dominate, especially for internationally.

6.4. Eco-design
        Eco-design or design for environment (DfE) is a helpful, emerging tool to improve
companies’ environmental performance and help organizations close the supply chain loop
by addressing product functionality while simultaneously minimizing life-cycle
environmental impacts. One of key aspects for eco-design is to facilitate reuse, recycling and
recovery through smart design such as easy to disassemble used products, a critical design
characteristic for closed-loop supply chain management. The success of eco-design requires
internal cross functional cooperation among the entire company and the external cooperation
with other partners throughout the supply chain. Results in Table 2 show that eco-design has
received slightly more attention, across our investigated industries, than investment recovery.
Similar to investment recovery, all three activities are being considered or initiated with mean
values between 3.00 and 4.00 (Table 4). Table 5 indicates no significant difference of this
GSCM practice among the four industries.
Lagging eco-design practices continue to bring challenges to closing the supply chain loop in
India. Without further indications of the adoption of these eco-design practices, it will be
unlikely that this path will be altered. Moreover, none of pharmaceuticals industries has
shown significant initiative to implement better eco-design practices. Thus, it will probably
be through foreign knowledge infusion, normative and mimetic institutional pressures, from
international partners or counterparts for these practices to become more prevalent. The issue
of where in the supply chain these organizations fit, e.g. parts suppliers, original equipment
manufacturers, distributors, etc., may also influence the rate of adoption of the eco-design
Incorporating Indian industrial culture and characteristics into the eco-design aspects of
international partners may make closing the loop easier. Designing products and materials
such that an average worker in India can understand how to recover materials quickly and
accurately should be an objective for products that flow through or back into Indian markets
and organizations. Another emergent pressure is increasing scarcity of resources in India,
where materials and energy tend to be more expensive. As a result, products consuming less
materials and/or energy tend to be more profitable market share in India, which is consistent
with conclusions from our interviews.


        An increasing number of organizations in Asia engage in voluntary or mandatory end-
of-life product management. Moreover, since developments in product take-back are driven
by a mixture of environmental concerns and economic opportunities, the most promising
corporate end-of-life strategies create both economic and environmental values. [19] Many
opportunities still exist in many of the emerging countries, with no greater opportunities than
those that exist within India. We have argued and observed how many GSCM practices have
implications for effectively closing the supply chain loop. Adoption of these practices is
fundamental to India’s involvement in this critical industrial practice.
We have seen that adoption of many of these practices is in the initial stages in most of the
industries we investigated. Under pressure from foreign customers and partners and

International Journal of Production Technology and Management (IJPTM), ISSN 0976 – 6383
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6391 (Online) Volume 3, Issue 1, January- December (2012), © IAEME
increasingly strict domestic environmental regulations, Indian manufacturers will probably
further their adoption of the five major categories of GSCM practices. There is evidence in
the literature of significant environmental and economic benefits (win-win’s) that can be
accrued from the adoption of these practices. However, Indian manufacturers are still lacking
the knowledge, experience and tools to effectively and efficiently improve their
environmental performance from the adoption of these principles. With a relatively long-
history of international business experience, the pharmaceuticals industry in India has the
adoption of GSCM and seems best positioned to most rapidly innovate to close the
manufacturing supply chain loop there. This positioning is most evident in this industry’s
internal environmental management and external cooperation with suppliers and customers
Given increasingly high regulatory pressures and governmental scrutiny, pharmaceuticals
supply chain companies have also started adoption consideration of hopeful GSCM practices,
while their external GSCM implementation is still relatively weak. But, this lack of external
linkages and the necessity to close the manufacturing supply chain loop may not be seen as
necessary by management due to product and market characteristics. Internal manufacturing
and process emphasis on closing the ‘little’ loop of manufacturing may gain priority, with
such practices as recovery of energy, chemicals and fuels within the manufacturing process.
Yet, elements of these industries, e.g. the plastics divisions, will more likely be feeling the
brunt of pressures from customers and suppliers. These industry heterogeneity characteristics
and where these organizations operate within the supply chain will require further
To gain and keep their competitiveness within the international business arena and to avoid
green barriers, it is important for Indian manufacturers to improve their environmental image
through environmental tools such as the adoption of GSCM. Again, depending on the role
within the pharmaceuticals supply chain the level of adoption may vary. Arriving at the
diffusion of these GSCM practices throughout such supply chains needs investigation for this
industry as well.
In terms of all practices, investment recovery seemed to gain less attention in India,
especially when compared to developed countries. However, more Indian manufacturers have
realized the importance of GSCM including investment recovery due to potential regulatory
pressure in India as well as pending marketing pressure. Overall, lagging eco-design practices
seem to be one of the big challenges to close the supply chains in India and this is true for
pharmaceuticals industries. This overall lag may require further promotion by the Indian
government and related professional societies, as well as collaborative involvement and
There are several academic contributions of this study to the logistics literature. First, we
extend the ‘‘green’’ perspective research in logistics management. While there are studies on
measuring supply chain performance, the environmental aspect of supply chain management,
which is an important part of supply chain performance in contemporary business logistics,
has received less research attention. This study widens the avenue for further research in this
area with an empirical investigation of the adoption of GSCM in pharmaceuticals industries
in India. [24] Second, we examined the adoption of logistics practices, i.e., GSCM and CLSC
related practices. We found that contextual pharmaceuticals industries would lead firms to
embrace logistics practices at differing levels. Pharmaceuticals industry investigation in India
provide theoretical insights to logistics researchers on how and why the adoption of logistics
practices may vary in pharmaceuticals industrial. This study contributes to theory
development in logistics research on the adoption of logistics practices. For instance, under

International Journal of Production Technology and Management (IJPTM), ISSN 0976 – 6383
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6391 (Online) Volume 3, Issue 1, January- December (2012), © IAEME
what situations would companies in pharmaceuticals industries take GSCM or CLSC as a
way to pursue supply chain performance, or to meet the institutional or stakeholder
pressures? Will certain GSCM factors be more or less important in pharmaceuticals industries
circumstances? Answers to such questions are critical for advancing the knowledge in
logistics management research. Furthermore, we have introduced to the logistics literature the
varying aspects of GSCM and a validated scale for measuring the five different factors of the
GSCM construct. Our discussion on the construct of GSCM and its measurement provide
logistics researchers a useful conceptual and methodological reference to pursue further
studies in this under-explored logistics management research area.
Along this line of academic contributions, there are several limitations in our study and we
leave them for future research. First, motivations and barriers on why organizations do or do
not implement typical GSCM practices, and closing the supply chain loop, have to be
explored. Understanding such reasons can help governments to establish suitable regulations
to promote environmental practices in industries and aid industrial organizations to address
barriers they may face internally or through their supply chains. Second, relationships
between the adoption of individual GSCM practices and performance can be examined. With
such results, we can provide suggestions for pharmaceuticals industry on how to improve
their environmental performance and gain economic benefits as well through the adoption of
certain GSCM practices.
Other limitations are methodological. For example larger random samples that are broadly
dispersed throughout India will be required to get a more accurate representation of the
adoption of these GSCM practices.
Replication and cross-cultural/multi-national investigations can also support the
generalization of these findings.
Questions on whether Indian pharmaceuticals industry is truly lagging other countries
throughout the world need to be answered with replications of this study.
The dynamic nature of these GSCM practices and their early stages of adoption also call for a
longitudinal analysis of the results to truly determine whether these general GSCM practices
truly contribute to further adoption of explicit CLSC practices such as reverse logistics
throughout India. Investigation in a multinational setting (incorporating countries with more
advanced closed-loop systems), can help us to further investigate this relationship between
the adoption of GSCM and CLSC.


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