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Hospitality SMEs and the circular economy: Strategies and practice post-Covid

Bowen, Robert ORCID:, Dowell, David and Morris, Wyn 2023. Hospitality SMEs and the circular economy: Strategies and practice post-Covid. British Food Journal 10.1108/BFJ-10-2022-0932

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This research evaluates specific circular economy issues in relation to the hospitality sector. This is investigated in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, considering the impact that the experiences of UK hospitality SMEs had on their circular economy activities. Viewed through a resource bricolage lens, for some this was a consequence of the challenges of the pandemic, while others were proactive in pursuing circular economy strategies. A sequential mixed methods research design is established based on a pragmatic worldview. The first phase analyses secondary data from the Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) to evaluate circular economy aspects on hospitality businesses in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Phase 2 collects and analyses qualitative semi-structured interview data from directors of hospitality SMEs to investigate the experiences of businesses in this research context. Results point to a desire for hospitality SMEs to engage in circular economy activities, especially as a means of achieving financial efficiency, however this is sometimes constrained by increased costs. Resource bricolage theory underlines potential advantages for SMEs to engage with the local community to support circular economy activities and bring mutual benefits. This research contributes to the under-researched topic of circular economy issues in hospitality SMEs. The focus on SMEs is significant as small businesses are more resource-constrained than larger businesses. The context of the post-Covid period is also notable due to changing attitudes towards circular economy aspects from the experiences of the pandemic.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0007-070X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 February 2023
Date of Acceptance: 28 January 2023
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2023 17:32

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