Essays on sustainable operations
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With the increased attention of different stakeholders on the environmental performance of businesses, several firms are increasingly focusing on product recovery and reuse activities which are not only profitable but may also help to reduce the environmental impact of their operations. This dissertation focuses on managerial challenges associated with such value-added recovery and reuse activities. The first essay examines how a firm should bring a product to market, in particular, whether to lease or sell products. Motivated by claims that leasing can be an environmentally superior to selling, we analytically investigate if either leasing or selling can be both more profitable for a monopolist and have a lower total environmental impact. The second essay first experimentally examines the effect of remanufactured products on the perceived value of new products. This effect is then incorporated to analytically investigate an OEM's strategy in the presence of competition from third-party remanufacturers. In the third essay, motivated by a major IT company, we investigate the optimal product recovery and remanufacturing strategy for a firm that can offer trade-in rebates to achieve price discrimination. We also consider the effect of potential entry of third-party remanufacturers on the firm's recovery and remanufacturing strategy.