Journal of Circular Economy

An applied scholarly journal on circular economy

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You Can’t Go Circular Alone – A Stakeholder Approach to Circular Innovation

Anja Eisenreich, Johann Füller


Circular solutions in industrial companies strongly depend on an interlinked network of diverse stakeholders. Therefore, innovations in the field of a circular economy are difficult to achieve in traditional innovation processes. They rather require an open innovation approach involving internal and external stakeholders in co-creations. This perspective article gives first insights on which stakeholders to involve, how to involve them, and how to overcome barriers. Research- and practice-based experience shows that diverse stakeholders should be selected based on the needs of the specific innovation context and are best involved in a network approach, possibly combined with crowdsourcing. A three-step process is suggested to overcome organizational barriers and to successfully anchor circular innovations in the company. As most firms are not experienced in open circular innovation yet, this article aims at giving them first insights on the topic to support them on their way toward a circular economy.


Circular Economy; Open Innovation; Stakeholder; Network


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