The purpose of the study is to analyse how green reverse logistics technology impacts agricultural entrepreneurial marketing firms’ operational efficiency and sustainable competitive advantage. Systematic literature review and meta-analytical methodology was adopted to execute the current study. Reverse Logistics Model has been used for the current study as the theoretical model grounding the study as it enables a quick reaction and finding resolution for the customer return whilst regaining the highest value that is possible on each returned item. Results indicate that green reverse logistics technology has a strong influence on agricultural entrepreneurial marketing firms’ operational efficiency and sustainable competitive advantage. The study further shows existing research gaps that can be closed by future research studies. The study has limitations which may affect the generalisability of the results since they can only be applied testing the validity and reliability of the developed conceptual model. The study adds to theoretical literature development by extending knowledge on the Reverse Logistics Model theoretical modelling framework since there is paucity of research that have directly applied the same model in agricultural inputs entrepreneurial marketing firms’ operational efficiency and sustainable competitive advantage. Practically, the study enhances the need for adoption of contemporary technologies to solve the current challenges facing agricultural inputs entrepreneurial marketing firms’ sustainable operational efficiency and competitive advantage in the marginalised areas, not only in developing and emerging economies, but also dotted around the world. The study contributes to the conceptual development, theoretical and practical policy directions applicable to any agricultural inputs entrepreneurial marketing firms. A model can be tested to prove its validity and reliability in future similar studies, using alternative methodologies.
Environmental concerns have affected how business is done world over (Alnoor, Eneizan, Makhamreh & Rahoma, 2018; Kiatcharoenpol & Sirisawat, 2020). This has caused agricultural entrepreneurial marketing firms to re-design and re-align their processes in such a way that they are environmentally friendly (Kariuki, Ngugi & Mburu, 2022; Kazancoglu, Ekinci, Mangla, Sezer & Kayikci, 2021). The need for agricultural entrepreneurial marketing firms and consumers to ensure the dismantling of used products in a bid to extract parts for reuse, recycling or alternatively to ensure safe disposal (Martín & Fernandez, 2022). This allows companies to seamlessly integrate value creating activities of different supply chain partners (Martínez, Carracedo, Comas & Siemens, 2021). Seamless integrating of value creating activities include the movement of end of useful life goods or products from consumers to agricultural entrepreneurial marketing firms for the purposes of recapturing value and or ensuring disposal in an environmentally friendly manner (Martínez, Puertas, Martín & Ribeiro-Soriano, 2022; Nyagadza, 2021). This process of moving goods or products from the consumers to the manufacturer for recapturing value or ensuring disposal in an environmentally friendly manner is known as reverse logistics (Hills & Hultman, 2013; Isernia, Passaro, Quinto & Thomas, 2019; Julianelli, Caiado, Scavarda & Cruz, 2020). Firms aim at attaining operational efficiency as they strategically manage the process of product returns (Guarnieri, Cerqueira-Streit & Batista, 2020; Alharthi, 2012; Hersleth et al., 2022). By gaining operational efficiency through strategic management of reverse logistics (RL) can result in the improvement of the agricultural entrepreneurial marketing firm's competitive position. Operational efficiency (OE) lead to improved competitive advantage of a firm (Job, Njihia, Maalu & Iraki, 2020). In many agricultural inputs industries RL costs tend to exceed the costs of production. Lack of an integrated supply chain strategy may in the long-term influence the agricultural entrepreneurial marketing firm's competitiveness (Nyagadza, Pashapa, Chare, Mazuruse & Hove, 2022).
Discussion and conclusion
With the perspective of the stated hypotheses, the modelling conceptual framework in Fig. 2 shows the antecedents of GRLT such as Reuse (X1), Repair (X2), Remanufacture (X3), and Recycle (X4), directly influence Operational Efficiency (OE) (M1) and Sustainable Competitive Advantage (SCA) (Y1 ) of the agricultural inputs entrepreneurial marketing firms. During the process of validating the structural modelling framework and its proposed hypotheses, future researchers need to make verifications of the absence of endogeneity through the simultaneity between Y1 and X1. If there is endogeneity on X1then an instrumental factor should be applied to have a solution for the problem under study.
Further to this, suppliers and other supply chain participants receive returned goods, materials, and sub-assemblies for remanufacturing (Beamon, 1999). The basic design of a product must account for disassembly processes. Having suppliers on board is crucial for creating environmentally friendly products (Wu & Dunn, 1995). A company's environmental impact can only be reduced by taking into account the entire system in which it operates (Andrushchak, 2018; Beamon, 1999; Richnák & Gubová, 2021). For widespread greening efforts, the green supply chain is the perfect emphasis since it reflects this comprehensive, systems-level perspective. The importance of constructing decision frameworks for reverse logistics processes for effective product take-back, reuse, and recycling of specific components and materials of end-of-life structures. The research also suggests effective choice approaches for reverse logistics vehicle routing (Lee & Lam, 2012; Kassem & Chen, 2012). Consequently, many experts in the field have proposed and executed several approaches to making decisions (Job et al., 2020). Recently, Chanintrakul, Coronado Mondragon, Lalwani and Wong (2009) provided a state-of-the-art review of the design of reverse logistics networks.