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Pushing Forward the Transition to a Circular Economy by Adopting an Actor Engagement Lens

Posted on 2023-05-21 - 00:07

Circular business models (CBMs), such as product-service systems, are rapidly gaining traction in light of a transition to a more circular and sustainable economy. The authors call for a new approach to inform and guide the development and adoption of these CBMs. The main reason is that different actors in the service ecosystems or networks linked to these business models—such as firms, customers, and governmental bodies—may be reluctant to join or even impede the transition to a circular economy. Based upon an abductive analysis of 133 CBM papers with the Motivation-Opportunity-Ability (MOA) framework as organizing structure, the authors theorize about how to achieve “circular economy engagement” (i.e., an actor’s disposition to embrace CBMs). Specifically, they highlight and illustrate the role of (1) signaling and convincing as motivation-related practices, (2) matching and legitimizing as opportunity-related practices, and (3) supporting and empowering as ability-related practices. The authors provide illustrative cases for each of these practices along with a discussion of the theoretical and practical implications and the remaining challenges—all with the key aim to push the transition to a circular economy forward.

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