Special Issue "The Role of Innovation Catalysts in Business Model Re-Design for Circular Economy"
A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.
Interests: circular economy, innovation management, renewables, energy efficiency, smart ecosystems.
Interests: circular economy, technology business, innovation business, value creation, ecosystem approach
Interests: value-based strategies in B2B markets, sustainable value propositions, B2B services and solutions
Interests: circular economy, digital innovation
Circular Economy (CE) is gaining prominence from a strategic management perspective (Rosa et al., 2019). Accordingly, current research is calling scholars for investigating how existing firms re-design their business model while adhering to CE principles (Ranta et al., 2018). In particular, adopting a Circular Business Model (CBM) requires firms to rethink each of the three main dimensions of Business Model (BM) (Lewandowski, 2016): (i) value creation, that is, the set of resources and activities, as well as the relationships with the supply chain stakeholders (Urbinati et al., 2017, 2019), (ii) value delivery, that is, the ways through which firms promote and communicate their circular value propositions towards customers and other stakeholders (Ranta et al., 2019; Linder & Williander, 2017), and (iii) value capture, that is, innovative ways to generate economic and environmental benefits, such as pay-as-a-service mechanisms (Tukker, 2015), and new practices for managing the relationships with clients, such as take-back systems or product-service systems (PSSs) (Kjaer et al. 2019).
The transition towards CBMs therefore requires profound changes within the firm, but also in the broader business ecosystem (Frishammar & Parida, 2019), comprising business actors from suppliers to customers; universities and research centers developing new technologies and innovative solutions for circularity; and local and national governments fostering the social and regulatory environment supporting CE. These actors determine and shape the settings for creating and capturing value from circularity, and thereby they may contribute to companies’ business model re-design and change. We argue that such changes are triggered by specific CE innovation catalysts, that is, actors and/or their actions inside or outside firms (Tortoriello et al., 2014; Martin, 2011), which in practice drive the transitions towards CE.
However, current research is still lacking deeper insights into the roles of such innovation catalysts in CE. Therefore, more knowledge is needed to understand how different innovation catalysts enable, drive, and/or influence business model redesign in companies and the broader ecosystem.
The aim of this Special Issue is to welcome conceptual and empirical studies from scholars investigating the roles the actors of this broad ecosystem (within and outside the firm) play as innovation catalysts that have the potential to accelerate the adoption of CE along each of the dimensions of CBM.
In particular, this Special Issue is interested in including the following topics:
- BM re-design for CE;
- Innovation catalysts for CE;
- The roles of supply chain stakeholders in CE;
- Creation and capture of value in CE;
- Challenges and barriers of CBMs;
- Trends and opportunities of CBMs;
- Business and innovation ecosystems in CE and their role in CBMs.
Frishammar, J., & Parida, V. (2019). Circular business model transformation: A roadmap for incumbent firms. California Management Review, 61(2), 5-29.
Kjaer, L.L., Pigosso, D.C., Niero, M., Bech, N.M., & McAloone, T.C. (2019). Product/Service‐Systems for a Circular Economy: The Route to Decoupling Economic Growth from Resource Consumption?. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 23(1), 22-35.
Lewandowski, M. (2016). Designing the business models for circular economy—Towards the conceptual framework. Sustainability, 8(1), 43.
Linder, M., & Williander, M. (2017). Circular business model innovation: inherent uncertainties. Business strategy and the environment, 26(2), 182-196.
Martin, R.L. (2011). The innovation catalysts. Harvard Business Review, 89(6), 82-87.
Ranta, V., Aarikka-Stenroos, L., & Mäkinen, S. J. (2018). Creating value in the circular economy: A structured multiple-case analysis of business models. Journal of cleaner production, 201, 988-1000.
Ranta, V., Keränen, J., & Aarikka-Stenroos, L. (2019). How B2B suppliers articulate customer value propositions in the circular economy: Four innovation-driven value creation logics. Industrial Marketing Management.
Rosa, P., Sassanelli, C., Urbinati, A., Chiaroni, D., & Terzi, S. (2019). Assessing relations between Circular Economy and Industry 4.0: a systematic literature review. International Journal of Production Research, 1-26.
Tortoriello, M., McEvily, B., & Krackhardt, D. (2014). Being a catalyst of innovation: The role of knowledge diversity and network closure. Organization Science, 26(2), 423-438.
Tukker, A. (2015). Product services for a resource-efficient and circular economy–a review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 97, 76-91.
Urbinati, A., Chiaroni, D., & Chiesa, V. (2017). Towards a new taxonomy of circular economy business models. Journal of Cleaner Production, 168, 487-498.
Urbinati, A., Chiaroni, D., & Toletti, G. (2019). Managing the Introduction of Circular Products: Evidence from the Beverage Industry. Sustainability, 11(13), 3650.
Prof. Dr. Davide Chiaroni
Prof. Dr. Leena Aarikka-Stenroos
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Joona Keränen
Dr. Andrea Urbinati
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- circular economy
- innovation management
- technology business
- innovation business
- value creation
- ecosystem approach