Purpose – In 2011, a governmental initiative driven by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills invited the British Standards Institute (BSI) to write and publish a publicly available specification (PAS) for the reuse of waste electrical and electronic equipment entitled PAS 141. The specification's ambitious goals, chief among them to reduce the amount of e-waste generated in the UK, has prompted debate as to whether they are realistic and the extent to which they can be influenced by the certification. The purpose of this paper is to propose a comprehensive framework that can be used in future research to enhance understanding of the mechanisms by which the introduction of PAS 141 certification could lead to the fulfillment of its goals, that is, successful uptake. The authors believe this framework can serve as a roadmap for those interested in the investigation of this novel certification and its effect on the market for reusable electrical and electronic products. Design/methodology/approach – This paper is based on interviews with reuse organizations and first hand experience as a participant in the steering group that elaborated the certification being investigated, i.e. PAS 141. Findings – It is uncertain whether PAS 141 will fulfill its promises, which are, in the view of the authors, rather ambitious, e.g. reduce e-waste. Furthermore, more research is needed to examine the effect that the introduction of the certification has on the materialization of its goals, and on the complex inter-relationship that exist between the goals and what the authors define as intermediary necessary conditions. Research limitations/implications – This is the first attempt the outline the research needs that arise from the introduction of PAS-141, and the authors believe that there are other equally important questions that are yet to be presented and examined. Practical implications – This paper proposes 28 hypotheses which will help future work to empirically establish: the possibility of PAS-141 attaining its goals and the main necessary conditions for that to happen. This information is pivotal to determine whether the certification is working and to pinpoint opportunities for improvement. Social implications – This works contributes to the understanding of the role of certification on the market of reused products, which employs a large number of people, and in particular, whose coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. Originality/value – Although certification in general has been widely investigated in prior research, scant attention has been paid to certification in the context of electronic products. To the best of the knowledge, this is the first paper of its kind, as it is the first to examine certification in that context.
Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 30, 2014
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