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Understanding circular business models based on the value conceptualisation of circular collaborative actions

Leder, Nadine 2021. Understanding circular business models based on the value conceptualisation of circular collaborative actions. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The transition to a Circular Economy (CE) is considered the biggest revolution of environmental production and consumption methods. A successful transition requires systems change. Circular Business Models (CBMs) can foster this transition through their ability to decouple economic growth from extensive resource usage and consumption. Previous research focused on establishing the meaning of circularity and explored the variety of CBMs. However, it is important to understand how value is conceptualised in the variety of CBMs. This study contributes to the circular movement by understanding the value conceptualisation of CBMs. In doing so, the study examines the facilitation of circular actions in CBMs in the light of the contextual factors of policy, collaboration, and technology. The study follows a qualitative abductive approach. A theoretical framework is developed based on the findings of expert encounters and focus group discussions. The theoretical framework underlies Social Capital Theory (SCT) and is further developed throughout the empirical research phase. The empirical phase comprised a case study approach based on semi-structured interviews with organisations following different CBMs. Key findings highlighted the wide interpretation of circularity amongst different CBMs and grouped the influencing factors for organisations to join a CBM. The study demonstrated the importance of collaborative actions facilitated by the three contextual factors of collaboration, technology, and policy. It identified the role of technology, as well as a willingness for collaborative networks, e.g., to collaborate with competitors. Furthermore, the study identified the values achieved in CBMs and merged them with the triple bottom line (TBL), demonstrating that social value is a topic of growing interest. In addition, a variety of value measurement tools were identified, aiding in the conceptualisation of circular value. The study contributes to theoretical knowledge by merging Osterwalder and Pigneur’s (2010) business model canvas with the TBL values and applying SCT, which is a rarely applied theory in CE research. Managerial contributions emerge as the study closes the lack of empirical research claimed to be existent by aiding in a better value understanding in CBMs. Therefore, collaborative partners, value measurement tools, and the role of technology amongst different CBMs, were investigated.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Circular Economy; Circular Business Models; Value; Triple Bottom Line; Collaboration; Technology; Influencing Factors; Social Capital Theory
Funders: ESRC
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2023 01:30

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