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Future research avenues at the nexus of circular economy and digitalization

Serhat Burmaoglu (Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) (Department of Health Management, Izmir Katip Celebi University, Izmir, Turkey)
Dilek Ozdemir Gungor (Department of Health Management, Izmir Katip Celebi University, Izmir, Turkey)
Aynur Kirbac (Department of Business Administration, Izmir Katip Celebi University, Izmir, Turkey)
Ozcan Saritas (Laboratory for Science and Technology Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation) (Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 23 March 2022

Issue publication date: 30 October 2023

1112

Abstract

Purpose

The authors posit that one of the key enablers of the circular economy will be the digital transformation – in other words, “digitalization.” In this study, the authors examine and visualize the interaction of the circular economy and digitalization by using scientific publications. They explore possible synergies and future research avenues at this junction.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors first apply bibliometrics to explore and visualize the relationships between the circular economy and digitalization in the academic literature. Following the clustering of topics, they define key emerging factors for each cluster. Based on this analysis, they suggest future research avenues.

Findings

The authors find that there are four main clusters at the junction of circular economy and digitalization, including (1) sharing economy, (2) additive manufacturing, (3) business models and (4) industrial ecology and remanufacturing. They then dig deeper into these topics to better understand what factors would shape the future of the clusters. They conclude that sharing economy perspective and additive manufacturing may be enhanced by regulation-based and behavioral change-based approaches. Circular business models should be developed to maintain circularity in industry. Finally, digital manufacturing should be implemented within the framework of industrial ecology and remanufacturing principles to increase efficiency, productivity and traceability in the circular economy.

Originality/value

Digitalization offers significant potentials toward breakthrough sustainability by creating a circular economy. Hence, understanding the relationship between circular economy and digitalization is important to achieve sustainable development goals.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Prof. Ozcan Saritas’ contribution in this article is based on the framework of the Basic Research Program of the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

Citation

Burmaoglu, S., Ozdemir Gungor, D., Kirbac, A. and Saritas, O. (2023), "Future research avenues at the nexus of circular economy and digitalization", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 72 No. 8, pp. 2247-2269. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-01-2021-0026

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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