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Circular economy: laying the foundations for conceptual and theoretical development in management studies

De Angelis, Roberta 2020. Circular economy: laying the foundations for conceptual and theoretical development in management studies. Management Decision 10.1108/MD-05-2019-0587

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Purpose This article develops conceptual and paradigmatic clarity in the circular economy literature from a management studies perspective. Design/methodology/approach This article uses a systematic literature review for analysing how circular economy is currently understood. It also reflects on how to establish paradigmatic anchoring of the circular economy in the management field. Findings Multiple definitions of the circular economy exist, but they depict the circular economy narrowly and fail to incorporate aspects of competitiveness and profitability. Additionally, most of sustainability management research displays shortcomings in the way this literature frames the organisation–nature relationship. Research limitations/implications his article aims to support conceptual and theoretical development in the circular economy literature and highlights opportunities for enhanced competitiveness and profitability deriving from circular business model innovation. However, further research is welcomed to assess this connection. Practical implications The conceptualisation of the circular economy proposed in this study emphasises aspects of competitiveness and profitability, which is of relevance to management practitioners. Originality/value This study addresses current shortcomings in how the circular economy is conceptualised. As a result, it proposes a more comprehensive conceptualisation which also includes competitiveness and profitability aspects and, thereby, is relevant from a management studies perspective. It also provides paradigmatic anchoring to the circular economy concept by suggesting that the sustaincentric paradigm, which has received limited scholarly attention so far, is suitable to inform circular economy research and practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0025-1747
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 June 2020
Date of Acceptance: 29 May 2020
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2020 11:30

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