Circular economy in Norway : a qualitative study of how collaboration across firms, industries and sectors act as an enabler of a circular economy in Norway
MetadataVis full innførsel
- Master Thesis 
Volatile resource prices, supply disruptions, economic losses and environmental strain has lead researchers and businesses to seek for an alternative to the linear production model. Circular economy has risen as a sustainable alternative, both economically and environmentally. Research has pointed to huge value gains both nationally and globally. However, circular business models are yet to be widespread among businesses. To address this scarcity of circular businesses in Norway, we look into strategic elements that could explain the situation today, as well as Norwegian industry’s way forward. Through this, we recognize collaboration as a competitive strategy that should be evident in a transition to a circular economy in Norway. We study 15 cases that all have incorporated principles of circular economy to varying degree. To assess the strategic elements of their business models, we conduct interviews on the subject of collaboration in relation to their circular operations. The Relational View created a basis for the structure of our interviews and the further discussion, as well as theory on value generation through collaboration. The thesis discusses interview findings relevant to the research on circular economy and Norwegian industry’s characteristics. Eventually, we map the 15 companies’ business models, and discuss this in relation to some of Norway’s comparative advantages. Our findings provoke the conclusion that collaboration is essential for how businesses transition to, and operate, circular business models. Moreover, Norwegian industry’s characteristics of trust and reciprocity generate favorable conditions for close collaborations. Collaborating in clusters and industrial parks further enhances the strategic benefits, as it is proposed to facilitate for specialization, knowledge-sharing, relation-specific investments, and utilization of complementarities. Lastly, increased involvement and risk-taking from the government’s side, is suggested as imperative for a circular economy to be feasible in a larger scale. Hereby, our thesis contributes to the emerging literature on circular economy and circular business models. Exploring this in the context of circular businesses in Norway, enables us to provide businesses and researchers with a comprehensive overview of the circular economy in Norway today, and in the years to come.