A decoupling perspective on circular business model implementation: Illustrations from Swedish apparel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Abstract Drawing on the concept of decoupling, from institutional theory in organizational studies, this paper explains how organizations mitigate demands for circularity. Seven Swedish apparel companies that have started collecting used clothes as a form of engagement with circular business models serve as case studies. The paper shows how outsourcing and internal separation allow these companies to buffer their business model and core way of creating value from emerging demands. It also shows how companies pro-actively work at influencing institutional demands for circularity by making these demands compatible with their own interests. The concept of decoupling thereby provides key insights into the development and implementation, or absence thereof, of circular business models.


External organisations
  • Umeå University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration


  • Circular business models, Circular economy, Decoupling, Sustainable business models, Institutional theory, Product-service-systems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-643
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue numberSupplement C
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch

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