Building Digital Foundations: A Course of Action Towards a Circular Construction Industry : An Exploratory Case Study
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- Master Thesis 
This thesis aims to explore the potential for digital platform ecosystems to support the development of the circular economy in the Norwegian construction industry. While there is a general understanding among scholars and industry professionals that digitalization can enable circularity, the existing literature on the intersection of these two concepts is limited. Existing literature does not adequately address the potential for using digital platforms to promote circularity across industry value chains and achieve the goals of a circular economy. To gain a holistic perspective on this potential, the thesis is based on an exploratory case study involving clients, consultants, architects, and contractors in the construction industry. The study aims to contribute to existing literature by developing a conceptual framework linking the concept of a circular economy to digital platform ecosystems, as well as by exploring why and how such a platform ecosystem can support the transition to circularity in the construction industry. The study's findings are twofold. Firstly, the study suggests the need for an improved organization of the value chain actors on digital platforms to facilitate iterative collaboration on project-level. Particularly, we identified that the implementation of circularity in the industry depend on frequent involvement of contractors and consultants. Moreover, in order to succeed in the transition towards circularity, we argue that the industry needs an industrywide platform to create a market for reused materials. Therefore, our study suggests that the industry requires a multidimensional platform with both project-specific and industry-wide components. Secondly, we identified three fundamental attributes that need to be present on a digital platform ecosystem for circularity: flexibility, data accumulation, and interaction. Based on these findings, we reassess our preliminary framework linking the circular economy to digital platform ecosystems and describe how the fundamental attributes can support this relationship. Overall, our thesis contributes to a better understanding of how industry actors can be organized on digital platform ecosystems to support circularity. In addition, the thesis provides the fundamental attributes necessary to configure a digital platform ecosystem for circularity in the construction industry.