Circular economy adoption barriers: An extended fuzzy best–worst method using fuzzy DEMATEL and Supermatrix structure

Kannan Govindan, Arash Khalili Nasr*, Farzane Karimi, Hassan Mina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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In the real world, there are complex decision-making problems in which a variety of intertwined factors and hierarchical structures exist, and it is difficult or impossible to solve these problems using classical methods. The prioritization of circular economy (CE) adoption barriers is one such complex problem that cannot be solved using current classical methods. Hence, in this paper, for the first time, a new method, namely, FBWDS, is developed. FBWDS derives from the combination of fuzzy best–worst method (BWM), fuzzy decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL), and Supermatrix structure. This proposed method establishes weights of the intertwined factors in hierarchical networks under uncertainty; these weighted factors and their interdependencies are calculated using the fuzzy BWM and fuzzy DEMATEL techniques, respectively. In addition, the Supermatrix structure is applied to integrate the results of these two techniques. The proposed approach efficiency is evaluated in the field of the CE adoption barriers using data from a cable and wire industry in Iran. The results showed that “high setup costs,” “financial limitations,” and “absence of public awareness about CE” rank as the most challenging barriers, and “lack of standards for designing recycled products” and “absence of standard system to evaluate performance” are the least important barriers to CE adoption in the cable and wire industry.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1566-1586
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • best–worst method
  • circular economy adoption barriers
  • fuzzy theory
  • multi-criteria decision-making


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