Macquarie University
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Barriers to circular entrepreneurship in Australia: an institutional perspective

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posted on 2022-11-02, 04:24 authored by Swati AwanaSwati Awana

The circular economy is increasingly becoming a popular mechanism for achieving environmental sustainability among scholars, practitioners, businesses, and policymakers. However, research related to the business and management aspect of the circular economy has only recently emerged in the literature. Barriers to the circular economy have been explored by various scholars, but few studies have explored the barriers from the perspective of circular entrepreneurship. Informed by the institutional theory, this research aims to explore the barriers to circular entrepreneurship and identify the distinct factors and actors that foster change in the current institutional context in support of circular entrepreneurship. To explore the barriers to circular entrepreneurship, this study adopts a qualitative approach by conducting 18 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with circular start-up enterprises in Australia. The study deploys the grounded theory analysis method (Corley & Gioia, 2011; Glaser & Strauss, 2017) to identify the barriers to circular entrepreneurship. The study derives 15 barriers that are categorized into the three dimensions of institutional theory: cultural–cognitive, normative, and regulative. The barriers are identified as cognitive, collaboration, cultural, human resource, market, novelty, strategy and planning, technology, economic, government, international business, logistics, process, research and development, and regulatory barriers. Empirical illustrations from the data provide a comprehensive picture of barriers to circular entrepreneurship and denote the interactions between them. 


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: introduction -- Chapter 2: literature review -- Chapter 3: research methodology -- Chapter 4: data analysis -- Chapter 5: findings -- Chapter 6: discussion -- Chapter 7: conclusion and implications -- Chapter 8: limitations and future scope -- References -- Appendix A: list of aggregate dimensions, themes and illustrative quotes -- Appendix B: interview protocol -- Appendix C: ethics approval letter

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie University, Macquarie Business School, Department of Management, 2021

Department, Centre or School

Department of Management

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Meena Chavan

Additional Supervisor 1

Max Ganzin


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130 pages

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