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Emergence of circular economy research: a systematic literature review

Swapnil Lahane (Mechanical Engineering Department, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat, India)
Himanshu Prajapati (Mechanical Engineering Department, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat, India)
Ravi Kant (Mechanical Engineering Department, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat, India)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 17 February 2021

Issue publication date: 11 May 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the current status and trends in circular economy (CE) research. The state of CE research is assessed by critically examining the field by considering diverse dimensions.

Design/methodology/approach

The systematic literature review (SLR) of CE research articles is analyzed using the content analysis methodology. The articles are selected from the Scopus database containing the keyword “Circular economy” in its title, abstract and keywords. In total, 587 research articles published on CE in various reputed peer-reviewed journals over 15 years (2005–2020) are selected for review.

Findings

The research in the domain of CE is in the beginning phase. It has numerous quantitative modeling opportunities, value creation and propositions aspects and application in real-life case problems. One of the significant findings is that the CE research field is more inclined toward the implication of the empirical qualitative research. The identified research gaps and future opportunities could provide further direction to broaden CE research.

Research limitations/implications

The review focuses on publications published in peer-reviewed journals in the English language only. It restricts the recognition of relevant articles published in conference proceedings and languages other than English.

Originality/value

This research study will provide a deeper understanding of CE research's existing status and highlights the research trends, gap and its applicability in real-life case problems and setting up future research directions in the CE field.

Keywords

Citation

Lahane, S., Prajapati, H. and Kant, R. (2021), "Emergence of circular economy research: a systematic literature review", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 575-595. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-05-2020-0087

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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