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Luk Van Wassenhove
Emeritus Professor of Technology and Operations Management
Professor of Technology and Operations Management
Sustainable Operations; Circular Economy; Business Models; Product Design
Agrawal V., Atasu A., Van Wassenhove L. (2019). New Opportunities for Operations Management Research in Sustainability Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 21(1), pp. 1-12.
Operations management (OM) research has made several important contributions to environmental sustainability over the last two decades.In this article, the authors point to a new opportunity on the horizon — the circular economy movement, which is gaining significant traction in practice. The authors introduce the concept and highlight the building blocks behind it.The authors also explain why this trend in practice can provide an opportunity for the OM community. To do so, the authors describe four companies that have been positioned as prime examples of implementing the circular economy concept and discuss the operational challenges faced by them.The authors draw on them to identify several promising and open questions for OM research and explain why an operations perspective is critical in this context.