IoT-enabled circular strategies: An expert study and framework of b2b practices
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
WK NAMA 2022 (Fall Conference 2022 of the Sustainability Management Section of the German Academic Association of Business Research)
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
The circular economy has been proposed as an alternative to replace the current linear system of production and consumption. Internet of Things technologies could enable the operationalisation of the circular economy and related circular strategies. Smart products and their amplified capabilities could deliver valuable data about the use phase and their life cycle, creating transparency and facilitating decision-making for circularity. However, extant literature has highlighted the lack of empirical research to deepen our knowledge about this emergent phenomenon. Against this background, we conducted an expert study of business practices in the B2B domain. We interviewed 43 experts from industry, consulting, and research organisations about how smart product in the Internet of Things could enable the circular economy. We propose a framework that represents business practices and processes across the base strategy smart use and the circular strategies. Our results suggest that the IoT provides new possibilities to enable and optimise maintenance and repair, reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling. For instance, product data drives innovation by providing feedback to R&D about how to improve circular product design. We have also identified smart-cross strategy capabilities as a relevant infrastructure to support the development of circular services. Finally, higher service degrees of business models offer advantages to operationalise smart circular strategies because of higher proximity to the customer, easier access to the product and product data, and higher synergies between circular strategies.