Adoption of circular economy practices in small and medium-sized enterprises: Evidence from Europe and the UK

Dey, Prasanta Kumar and Malesios, Chrisovalantis and Chowdhury, Somyadeb and Saha, Krishnendu and Budhwar, Pawan and Debashree, De (2022) Adoption of circular economy practices in small and medium-sized enterprises: Evidence from Europe and the UK. International Journal of Production Economics. ISSN 0925-5273

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Circular Economy (CE) practices have the potential to enhance sustainability performance of organisations and thus help respond to United Nations Sustainability Development Goals. The aim of this research is to examine the adoption of CE in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and its impact on sustainability performance. We analyze the current state of CE practices and its impact on sustainability performance across key CE fields of action (design, procurement, production, distribution, consumption and recover) of SMEs in France, Greece, Spain and the UK A mixed-methods approach (survey, interviews, case studies) is adopted to collect data from around 100 SMEs in each country, employing resource-based view as the theoretical lens. Our findings reveal that CE adoption can result into superior environmental performance compared to economic and social performance. Moreover, the ‘design’ function contributes the most towards the adoption of CE in SMEs, whereas the ‘recover’ function contributes the least, considering the current state-of-practices. From a theoretical perspective, we outline the issues and challenges, impact of support from customers and policymakers, and self-motivation of SMEs to adopt CE. Based on the findings, we propose an implementation framework for SMEs to develop organisation wide strategic initiatives for CE adoption in business operations.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
27 March 2022Accepted
31 March 2022Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Circular economy, Sustainability performance, Small and medium sized enterprises, Closed loop supply chain, Resource-based view
Subjects: CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-01 - business and management (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School
Depositing User: Krish Saha
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2022 15:37
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2023 11:48

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