Sustainability at stake: incorporating circular economy into an organization

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Sammanfattning: Circular economy has been located as one solution to combat climate change, which puts large pressures on corporations. Earlier studies of circular economy have focused on what needs to be done but studies of how to incorporate it are scarce. This study addresses this gap and contributes to previous literature within the fields of circular economy and organizational studies. The aim is to examine how to incorporate circular economy into an organization, which might generate organizational change. A multinational consultancy firm has constituted the case study for the report, where interviews with respondents in three business areas have contributed to the majority of the data collection. Differences and similarities related to the incorporation of circular economy are visible between the business areas, which result in four conclusions. First, the concept of circular economy is incorporated into the organization through the process of translation among human and non-human actors. Second, social constellations, defined as communities of practice (CoP), have enabled the incorporation of circular economy as part of the translation process. Third, conclusions can be made regarding the importance of timing and context in relation to the translation process of incorporating circular economy. Fourth, the combination of bottom-up and top-down management approaches facilitates the incorporation of circular economy in the organization. The study shows how social group constellations, such as CoP, can affect organizational operations. Accordingly, the translation process, which occurs between human and non-human actors within CoP, becomes crucial for the networks’ cumulative knowledge to be realized in the rest of the organization and its practices. Thanks to motivated individuals interacting in CoP through visualization tools, together with timing and management support, the idea of circular economy is translated and incorporated into realized changes.

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