A paradox theory perspective on circular business model: empirical research on European companies.

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As the world is searching for ways to stop climate crisis, reduce waste and pollution, a circular economy might be the right solution. Altering the whole economy and convincing companies to change their business models, will be challenging. The research on circular business models and paradox theory is still very young. The empirical studies on transitioned businesses might convince the relevant actors to close the loops and invest in circularity. Based on the theoretical framework of De Angelis (2021), this study takes the paradox theory perspective and empirically reveals which paradoxes can be found in companies with circular business models and how they influence the value proposition, value creation, value capture and delivery. The empirical analysis of the interviews is conducted with employees of companies with circular business model. The study revealed that 3 out of 4 paradoxes can be observed: organizing, performing, and learning. Contrary to the theory the belonging paradox was not found due to employees’ and partners’ close alignment with company values. A new paradox not mentioned in the framework was discovered and described. The research contributes to paradox theory literature as well as circular business model literature providing better understanding of the paradoxes and their management. Key words: Circular business models – Circular Economy – Paradox theory – Value creation – Value loops – Climate reporting
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen