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The determinants of remanufacturing practices in developing countries : evidence from Thai industries

Chaowanapong, Jirapan and Jongwanich, Juthathip and Ijomah, Winifred (2017) The determinants of remanufacturing practices in developing countries : evidence from Thai industries. Journal of Cleaner Production. ISSN 0959-6526

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Remanufacturing represents a significant End-of-Life (EoL) process for gaining environmental and economic advantages by extending product longevity, whilst reducing raw material consumption. Due to paucity of relevant empirical studies, this study aims to bridge the gap in remanufacturing knowledge by investigating the significant factors influencing firms' decisions to conduct remanufacturing in three Thai industries, namely automotive parts, photocopiers and agricultural machinery. This research combined qualitative and quantitative approaches involving the use of semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. Our results show that across all three industries, the most powerful determinant driving the decision making of firms constitute factors within the area of business feasibility, followed by elements in a firm's strategic factors and policy factors. Environmental regulations comprise the least important variable. Among the subordinate factors, financial aspects are ranked as the most crucial factor for conducting remanufacturing and acquiring cores matters for remanufacturing firms to increase their profit margins. All industries perceive product maturity, especially in terms of product lifespan, technological change and complexity, as the second most crucial factor in remanufacturing. As the industries under consideration are labor-intensive, skilled workers are needed and this is ranked as the third most influential factor to expedite remanufacturing. The firm's characteristics and the structure of particular industries are important in identifying the impact of influencing factors. A comprehensive development of policies and strategies and robust governmental support are needed to develop remanufacturing in Thailand.