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Circular economy: a conceptual model to measure readiness for manufacturing SMEs

John Thorley (Computing and Engineering, University of Derby, Derby, UK)
Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes (Centre for Supply Chain Improvement, University of Derby, Derby, UK)
Anthony Anosike (Centre for Supply Chain Improvement, University of Derby, Derby, UK)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 26 August 2021

Issue publication date: 29 March 2022




Over the last decade, circular economy (CE) has gathered interest from both industrialists and academics alike. Whilst CE research is widespread in such areas as supply chain and larger organisations, there is limited research into how small to medium enterprises (SMEs) can prepare for adopting CE. There is no comprehensive readiness model for SMEs adopting CE. The purpose of this paper is to explore the literature on change readiness and generate knowledge to fill this gap by developing a conceptual model to measure change readiness for SMEs' adopting CE.


This study is based on a comprehensive literature review of change readiness models and frameworks. The paper reviews publications from Science Direct, Web of Science, Emerald, Scopus and Google Scholar. The readiness for change models and frameworks from the selected publications are evaluated and synthesised to develop a comprehensive conceptual model for change readiness for SMEs adopting a circular economy.


A readiness conceptual model is developed by incorporating several factors as precursors to readiness, i.e. individual/collective difference, structural, contextual factors and related barriers. Eleven factors make up the individual/collective difference. Three factors make up the structural and contextual factors.

Practical implications

This paper develops a conceptual model that can aid academics and practitioners in better understanding SMEs readiness to adopt CE.


This paper makes a unique contribution by proposing a comprehensive conceptual model of readiness for SMEs adopting CE.



Thorley, J., Garza-Reyes, J.A. and Anosike, A. (2022), "Circular economy: a conceptual model to measure readiness for manufacturing SMEs", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 1362-1390.



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