Disruptive technology as an enabler of the circular economy:What potential does 3D printing hold?

Holweg, Matthias (2018) Disruptive technology as an enabler of the circular economy:What potential does 3D printing hold? California Management Review. (Accepted)

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Abstract

3D printing has been widely identified as an emerging disruptive technology. In this study we investigate how this technology could enable the circular economy by disrupting the existing materials value chain. Specifically we ask whether this novel technology could be used to locally manufacture new goods from local sources of recycled plastic waste, thereby offering benefits for the efficiency and effectiveness of materials cycling. We use the London metropolitan area as our empirical setting for analyzing the system conditions already present – in the form of local material flows, technology and actors – and for assessing 3D printing's viability as an enabler of a circular economy at local level. Subsequent analysis of stakeholder perceptions identifies economic, technological, social, organizational and regulatory barriers to mainstream implementation, and their likelihood to be overcome. We conclude with implications for practice and policy.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Operations management
Subject(s): Operations management
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2018 15:17
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2018 15:17
Funders: N/A
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/6707

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