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Circular economy and social responsibility : a study on the Dutch SME construction sector

Wegdam, J.L. (2020) Circular economy and social responsibility : a study on the Dutch SME construction sector.

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Abstract:The construction sector uses many resources and produces much waste. The circular economy has been recognized as an upcoming term that can disunite economic growth from negative societal impact and natural resources. This research examines what motivates Dutch SME construction firms to implement circular economic activities. Furthermore, it explores how circular economic activities can improve these firms’ social responsibility. Conducting an explorative multiple case study, the circular economy and social responsibility were examined among seven firms during semi-structured interviews to gain in-depth insights. Data was analysed within and across the cases to find similarities and differences. Findings show that competitiveness is the most important motivation for the implementation of circular economic activities. Other important reasons were environmental, financial or client based. It has been recognized that firms had different perspectives on how circular economic activities could improve their social responsibility. Most mentioned was that using fewer materials would put less pressure on the environment and future society. Besides, circular economic activities can, for example, create awareness among the environment. Firms that were focusing on circular economic activities had also social responsibility practices in place. The thesis offers insights for theory on how further research can spur implementation of circular economic activities in SME construction firms to improve their social responsibility. Practically this can give firms insight in how circular economic activities can improve their social responsibility and how they can further implement circular economic activities. Implicated is that SME construction firms should delve deeper into the circular economy and invest in the future to stay competitive.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/81862
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