Who is in charge? A review and a research agenda on the ‘human side’ of the circular economy

Charbel Jose Chiappetta Jabbour*, Joseph Sarkis, Ana Beatriz Lopes de Sousa Jabbour, Douglas William Scott Renwick, Sanjay Kumar Singh, Oksana Grebinevych, Isak Kruglianskas, Moacir Godinho Filho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

265 Citations (Scopus)


The adoption of the circular economy (CE) at the firm level has rarely intersected with human resource management (HRM) – here called ‘the human side of organizations’ – and these two fields remain largely separate areas of knowledge. While the literature on the CE is expanding, discussion of its implementation in organizations is, so far, rare, along with exploration of the necessary alignment of the CE with green human resource management (GHRM). In this article, we extend the state-of-the-art literature on CE business models through the inclusion of the ‘human side’ of such issues. This goal is met by offering an original integrative GHRM framework for organizations developing CE. The theoretical lenses of stakeholders' theory and the resource based view (RBV) form the foundation of this framework, which represents a ‘middle range theory’. We underline the practices and dimensions of the links between GHRM and the ‘ReSOLVE’ CE model. Through an exploration of this integrative framework, we propose a future research agenda along with original research propositions. Furthermore, the middle-range integrated theoretical framework we propose can serve both academics and practitioners in developing understanding of the human resource management (HRM) and change management aspects of the CE.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Cleaner Production
Pages (from-to)793-801
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 10.06.2019
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Circular economy
  • Green human resource management
  • Human resources
  • Change management
  • Sustainable supply chain

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoHP: Humanitarian and societal logistics


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