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Ethics and Information Security in Reverse Logistics

Technological advancement has played a significant role in support of firms’ growth as they focus on new markets globally. However, companies should ensure items timely reach the customers while in a good state. The increased advancements of the digital era have resulted in companies interacting with consumers through virtual platforms (Pinna & Carrus n.d). Consumers request some products through online platforms and some play on delivery. In such transactions, the company incurs all the transportation expenses and handles any losses that might result if the customer fails to accept the products. Effective logistics ensure a smooth transaction of the products from the seller to the end user. Additionally, it ensures that companies obtain information on the market structure and specific consumer needs. Market diversification and increased to enhance competition have contributed to embracing reverse logistics (Pinna & Carrus n.d). The process may occur to ensure recycling, reusing, or correcting defective items for clients. The paper focuses on identifying ethical and information security in reverse logistics.

Ethical responsibility and Considerations

Companies and firms consider security issues related to reverse logistics to maximize their customers’ experience. For example, reverse logistics in vehicle-related companies involves various aspects, including returning items, saving costs, protecting the environment, and item recall. Products provided to clients should meet required standards to minimize potential threats and dangers (Pinna & Carrus n.d). In the automobile industry, reverse logistics ensure defective automobiles return to the manufacturer for rectification. Consumers’ contentment is a major factor that companies consider. Governmental policies and regulations require the product manufacturers to be responsible for any adverse effects arising from their product use (Pinna & Carrus n.d). Therefore, reverse logistics ensures that consumers’ concerns about their security while using such items are handled effectively. The reverse logistics approach also ensures that end users make returns on time for a replacement.

Supporting a Sustainable Environment

Supporting a sustainable environment requires firms to uphold ethical responsibility in manufacturing. Companies dealing with vehicle assembly use components such as hazardous sprays in their operation. When the lifecycle of such automobile ends, products are disposed of in the environment leading to health concerns. Effective logistics approaches allow the products to get back to the manufacturers for recycling (Pinna & Carrus n.d). The waste products can be used in making new items for domestic purposes. The result is the decline in pollutants, where the components could damage the aesthetic appearance of the land. Additionally, when the products such as plastics end up in the water bodies, they negatively impact aquatic life. The reuse approach reduces overall waste on the environment, which can lead to adverse health impacts on the people. Heaps of waste on the land serve as an ideal site for the breeding of disease-causing micro-organisms. Defective automobiles also contribute to increasing the emission of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases lead to global warming (Makaleng & Lambert, 2022). This leads to famine, flooding, and desertification, which affects lives. Firms must serve as ambassadors of environmental sustainability by enhancing efficient and effective practices. Through the reverse approach, firms can monitor their products’ performance and make key improvements to attain conservational objectives.

Intra-Organizational Elements

Intra-organizational elements impact reverse logistics by requiring companies to establish a commitment to uphold ethical and environmental standards. The companies are therefore challenged to acquire an individual mandate to uphold philosophies promoting users’ safety (Makaleng & Lambert, 2022). However, logistics are not isolated and get shaped by stakeholders such as clients and suppliers. For example, the government has a relative influence on the policies that direct companies’ operations. The system can enact strict measures and policies forcing companies to recall or pay clients for cheap products. In product recall, companies should allocate adequate resources to correct poor-quality anomalies (Plaza-Úbeda et al., 2020). In some instances, the companies decide on refurbishing their returned items to enhance their aesthetic value and restore minimal challenges that may be there.

Ethical Commitment Promotion

Reverse logistics must ensure ethical commitment promotion by preserving jobs for the community. Although technological advancement can allow companies to look down on some logistic steps in reverse logistics, the ethical standards require them to avoid depleting jobs for the supply chain. Therefore, when a product passes through the process, its origin should be from the customer to the distributor. The distributor then has the responsibility of taking the item to the manufacturer. However, job maintenance for the individuals operating in the supply chain can lead to product damage. Before reaching the manufacturer, the long chain subjects the item to various handlings that can increase the damage (Makaleng & Lambert, 2022). Once an item is returned to the manufacturer, its value is lower due to mishandling. This leads to a dilemma between the firms and the supply chain stakeholders on whether to overlook them in returning defective items. Technological development has led to organizational processes being monitored at a central point. Therefore, product recall and obtaining returned products affect the company’s productivity. The system interprets any return as an additional expense to the firm (Pinna & Carrus n.d). Therefore, the manufacturers should offer funds to support the product movement through the supply chain. Ethically, companies must recall all cheap items from the market despite the added costs incurred. Ethical standards establish that firms must only provide clients with items that offer value to their monies. However, the main goal of firms is to maximize their shareholder value, and any other aspect that works contrary to it is not welcomed. Therefore, organizations face a dilemma regarding the practical approaches to balance profit and maximize consumer experience.

Information Security Concerns

There are diverse security issues facing reverse logistics, especially that concern tracing the reverse units’ value. The total returned item amounts can be significantly lower than those used for placement. Such incidences add to the company’s costs and minimize total profits. Defective products lack a precise value that the company adds to its records and books of account (Makaleng & Lambert, 2022). However, the value is not zero since there is a possibility of replacing some sub-components. Companies need to note the product’s relative useable status to enhance their security and tracing. Additionally, it is essential to ensure that third parties engaging in reverse logistics receive an adequate selection. In some incidences, suppliers offer product warrants based on the nature of the item (Pinna & Carrus n.d). However, the possibility of tracking secondary guarantees through reverse logistics supports establishing specific claims. The procedure ensures that customers do not make returns after lapsing the warranty time. Using modern technological software, firms can effectively claim payments for the returned items from suppliers. This often results when such defects are related to supplying poor quality materials from a certain supplier.

Working with Subcontractors

Complex security concerns exist in reverse logistics when a firm has to work with subcontractors interacting directly with customers. The software that guides logistics seeks to consider the quality and nature of the business connection between a company and its contractors. This is essential to support roles enhancing contractors to work on item repair without reaching the manufacturers (Plaza-Úbeda et al., 2020). The case minimizes the time and cost of transferring items from customers to the company. Additionally, receiving authorization to repair such items is necessary after receiving an official directive. The software helps track such replacements and products advanced to their dealers, and parts with defects are returned. It is essential to have specific days when such contractors transmit defective parts to the manufacturers. This offers ease to track and ensure a balance in the company’s inventory and proper alignment of financial statements.

Firms face the ethical issues of providing exchange items for faulty ones due to high incurred costs. In reverse logistics, firms should establish whether to be truthful in presenting or providing wrong information for their image upgrade (Plaza-Úbeda et al., 2020). It is common to find firms offering wrong information, such as their products’ significant role in environmental conservation. Additionally, some companies are tempted to change the packages of returned products and offer them to customers. The strategy focuses on lowering the cost that companies incur when providing new products for defective ones (Makaleng & Lambert, 2022). Though offering the correct information about a product is ethical, companies tend to provide contrary information to promote their products. Other companies fail to offer the side effects of their products. During the advertisements, the companies display their products as of high quality to convince consumers that they are worth the set prices.

Role of Enterprises

Enterprises should uphold professionalism to maintain high ethical standards and ensure their businesses obtain customer loyalty. Trust and respect play a significant role in a company’s success (Makaleng & Lambert, 2022). To ensure business success, different reverse logistics entities should treat each other with high trust and respect. Additionally, entities should ensure confidentiality to avoid information leakage concerning the company to third parties. Individual integrity is vital to support the reverse logistics chain to propagate loyalty (Plaza-Úbeda et al., 2020). Continuous improvement should be embraced, and enhancement to comply with local laws enhanced in ensuring items provided to the market are of the required standard. It is unethical for companies to channel faulty items to the market intentionally.


Reverse logistics allows end customers to return faulty items to the company of manufacture and supports firms in obtaining unused products from the consumer for reuse or recycling. The system allows customers to get the right items that attain the set standards. Additionally, reverse logistics support environmental sustainability through a reduction in overall pollution. Reverse logistics face various ethical and security issues, such as losing client loyalty. Companies unwilling to replace defective items are faced with the potential to lose clients. However, the companies can incur injuries when the items pass through the logistics chain. Concerns of tempering with the returned items are common, lowering their value before reaching the manufacturers. Replacing such items increases the companies’ costs, leading to an overall reduction in productivity. Firms that desire to remain competitive should remain ethical and support activities such as environmental conservation. Additionally, the supply chain workforce should embrace high integrity and professionalism.


Makaleng, M. S. M., & Lambert, K. (2022). Evaluation of Reverse Logistics in Challenges within the Manufacturing Pharmaceutical Companies.

Pinna, R. & Carrus, P. P. (n.d). Reverse Logistics and the Role of Fourth Party Logistics Provider.

Plaza-Úbeda, J. A., Abad-Segura, E., de Burgos-Jiménez, J., Boteva-Asenova, A., & Belmonte-Ureña, L. J. (2020). Trends and new challenges in the green supply chain: The reverse logistics. Sustainability13(1), 331.


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