Elucidating a holistic and panoptic framework for analysing circular economy

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Circular economy (CE) has been proposed as a concept to help address sustainability issues. CE was first proposed in 1928 as a way of understanding causal relationships in the economic sphere. Recently, CE has been focused, mainly, on environmental issues main typically represented by closing material loops through recovery. Literature on CE has been increasing during this time, where a number of bibliometric analyses have been carried out with, mainly, descriptive outputs. This paper uses a nested approach, with grounded theory's constant comparative analysis as the overarching one and bibliometric analyses within it. A total of 4,045 documents from CE during the period 1999–2019 were analysed against an initial framework composed of economic issues, recovery and CE levels. The results helped to improve the economic category, to change the level category into a scope one and to add two categories (collaboration and themes). The results were then integrated to propose the holistic and panoptic framework for analysing circular economy, which can help to understand the economic, environmental and scope interlinkages of CE literature, in order to better position CE theory and practice and to detect gaps that should be addressed. For CE to achieve its potential in helping societies become more sustainable, theory and practice must take a holistic approach that integrates the economic and environmental dimensions, the scope of CE, and collaboration.
Bibliometric analysis, Circular economy, Economic issues, Grounded theory, Holistic framework, Recovery
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Lozano, R., Bautista‐Puig, N., & Barreiro‐Gen, M. (2021). Elucidating a holistic and panoptic framework for analysing circular economy. Business Strategy and the Environment, 30(4), 1644–1654.