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A Theoretical Foundation for Developing a Prescriptive Method for the Co-Design of Circular Economy Value Chains

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 July 2019


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In order to operate in line with the circular economy (CE) concept, companies and other stakeholders need to work together to enable the circulation and cascading of resources. Although the need for proactive stakeholder management is a common theme in recent work on CE, little work has been dedicated to creating prescriptive methods for the co-design of CE value chains (CEVCs) focusing on selecting strategic partners, when to engage them and in what capacity. Following calls to connect the emerging CE literature with literature from existing bodies of knowledge, this paper explores the theoretical foundations of a CEVCs co-design method. Specifically, this paper explores resource-base view (RBV); resource dependency theory (RDT); and actor-network theory (ANT), and synthesises an outline for the co-design process of CEVCs. Reflections on the process link it to the extant co-design literature and explain how the process can be used for method and tool development.

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