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Paper info: How do managers mobilize others towards a circular economy: from activities to sustainability practices and tools


How do managers mobilize others towards a circular economy: from activities to sustainability practices and tools


Caroline Cheng
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Caroline Cheng and Tina Aune

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This paper adopts an IMP perspective to develop a framework of relevant management activities involved in mobilizing, involving and relating to significant others. Our research context has been inspired by two provisional comparative case studies (which are ongoing). One firm is involved in the development a digital energy system in the construction of a “smart chicken factory” which requires coordination with multi technology partners, from sensors and solar equipment to digital platforms. The digital energy system has the capability to measure and balance energy consumption patterns in this factory that is expected to serve as a model for the future to create positive environmental impacts. The other firm is involved in the development and installation of an “intelligent battery storage” connected to an offshore wind farm. The innovative aspects of this intelligent battery storage lie in its software solution with the possibility to teach the battery when to hold back and store electricity, and when to send power to the grid. Based on a literature review, we suggest that the relevant management activities for mobilizing others in extensive networks could be differentiated into externally oriented and internally oriented or hybrid ones. This paper is work-in-progress and in this version, we try to develop a preliminary framework to guide our ongoing empirical investigations to identify sustainability practices and tools for mobilizing others towards a circular economy. Results of this research are expected to provide a deeper picture of the “how” of business collaboration, often deemed as the Achilles´ heel in the building blocks towards the circular economy, and to increase the awareness of the importance of developing the internal network to match the scale and variety of the external network, especially in light of digital technologies and platforms in extensive networks. Results of this research can also be expected to inspire the development and dissemination of managerial tools relevant for mobilizing others, including peripheral actors in the surrounding network