E-Waste Trading Zones and the Economy of Greening : Imbricating Computer Sourcing in the Pre- and Post-WEEE Directive Era

Stowell, Alison Frances and Brigham, Martin Patrick (2019) E-Waste Trading Zones and the Economy of Greening : Imbricating Computer Sourcing in the Pre- and Post-WEEE Directive Era. Society and Business Review, 14 (2). pp. 155-173. ISSN 1746-5680

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In the context of the environmental impacts caused due to the increasing volumes of discarded technologies (e-Waste), this article critically evaluates whether environmental policy, the Waste of Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) legislation in particular, can contribute to a shift in logic from neo-liberal growth to green growth. Drawing upon empirical research we show how three computer waste organisations evolve through the imbrication of pre- and post- policy logics in collaborative and heterogeneous ways to create an economy of greening. Extending the concept of a fractionated trading zone, we demonstrate the heterogeneous ways in which computer sourcing is imbricated, providing a taxonomy of imbricating logics. We argue that what is shared in a fractionated trading zone is a diversity of imbrications. This provides for a nuanced perspective on policy and the management of waste, showing how post-WEEE logics become the condition to continue to pursue pre-WEEE logics. Our research focuses on three organisations and the EU 2003 and UK 2006 versions of the WEEE legislation. We conclude that our research findings have important implications, more specifically, for how e-waste policy is enacted as an economy of greening in order to constitute the managerial and organisational adaptation needed to create a sustainable economy and society. Our paper's contribution is threefold. First, theoretically, we extend the literature on trading zones and imbrication by considering how they can complement one another. Our focus on imbrication is a ‘zooming in’ on the managerial and organisational implications and dynamics of a trading zone. Second, we add to the literature on imbrication by identifying a diverse range of imbricating logics that can be used to discern a more nuanced understanding of the translated effects of policy. Last, we ground these ideas in a relevant empirical context – that of e-waste management in the UK, providing a deeper knowledge, over time, of specific actors’ translations of policy into organisational practices.

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Journal Article
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Society and Business Review
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10 Sep 2018 14:14
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 16:30