A Taxonomy Framework for Circular Business Model Patterns from the Perspective of Circular Economy Strategies

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Prof., Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Prof., Department of Information Technology Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

3 Associate Prof., Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

4 Associate Prof., Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

5 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Business Management, Alborz Campus, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Circular business models are a good solution to the problems of current linear business models that cause excessive waste generation and resource scarcity. They also provide a good opportunity for businesses to gain a competitive advantage, obtain economic benefits and reduce environmental damage. To implement circular economy strategies at the business level and create a framework for better design of circular business models, the purpose of this paper is to propose a framework for identifying and classifying circular business model patterns that align with circular economy strategies.
In this research, a qualitative method was applied. Sandelowski and Barros 7-step meta-synthesis method was used to identify circular business models and Nickerson taxonomy development method was used to classify circular business model patterns.
This study drew up a comprehensive list of 29 circular business model patterns including their name, definition, and example(s). It also proposed a comprehensive taxonomy framework for circular business model patterns based on the circular economy strategies. Under this framework, 11 dimensions for classifying 29 business model patterns were identified, including patterns for 1) dematerialization, 2) consumption efficiency, 3) circular supplies, 4) optimal production, 5) reverse and optimal logistics, 6) long-life products, 7) extending the products and parts life cycle, 8) extending materials life cycle, 9) extending resource life cycle, 10) actors of main activities in the circular value network, and 11) facilitators of activities in the circular value network.
First, the current research identified various types of circular business model patterns for the development of businesses based on a circular economy. Second, by creating a framework for classifying strategies and circular business models, it showed how to make strategies and circular business models attuned. The results of this study can help companies that intend to implement circular economy strategies in their business to identify and apply appropriate circular business models. It should be noted that the strategy of the circular value network and the patterns of the circular business model based on it, which indicate various methods of cooperation between the actors of the circular value network, were introduced for the first time in the research.


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