Keywords: interpretative approach, strategic challenges, residual material reclamation, industrial ecology, hyper-flexibility, qualitative research, Canada, materials management, marketing, sales, environmental management, human resources management, HRM, strategic management
Strategic challenges of creating value with residuals: what is inside residual material reclamation?
This article highlights the strategic challenges of creating value with residuals through residual material reclamation practices based on the experiences of 12 Canadian facilities. The study is grounded in managerial discourse and connotations from an interpretative approach. In all, 56 managers from 12 selected industrial facilities implementing the residual material reclamation practices participated in the study. In addition, three managers from three distinct companies that provided residuals support services to the selected facilities and a government official responsible for the development of industrial ecology activities were also interviewed. The analysis of data followed the guidelines of the grounded theory approach of Strauss and Corbin. The in-depth interviews disclose that reclamation of residual materials is associated with hyper-flexibility. This means residual material reclamation is an atypical and stochastic industrial activity with challenges across functional areas. Four types of challenges are identified: materials management, marketing/sales, environmental and human resource strategic challenges.