Mapping organizational culture in the context of a circular economy: a case study for a Brazilian company




Circular Economy, Change Management, Culture, Circular Business Model.


Purpose – This study aims to answer the following question: “Which organizational culture is embedded in a company that adopts a circular business model?”
Theoretical framework – Although the circular economy is gaining a lot of attention from the academia recently, the literature has not been able to address the complexity inherent to this transition from the linear to the circular approach, regarding both a change in the organization and mindset.
Design/methodology/approach – The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) was chosen to identify the culture of the company and its values. The company selected was already in the CE100 network in Brazil so is a best-case scenario to be studied.
Findings – The findings show that this company can behave in a way to promote innovation and focus on product development, which are characteristics of the Adhocracy culture profile. The organization also shows a desire to let go of formal and structured processes and embrace behavior that enhance collaboration and teamwork, which are important features of circular businesses. The study concludes that the OCAI methodology was able to show tendencies related to circular businesses.
Research, Practical & Social implications – The study is limited since the OCAI method is only applied to one organization. As such, the authors suggest that other organizations be studied.
Originality/value – The study discusses the importance of organizational culture and its relationship with the circular economy.
Keywords: Circular Economy; Change Management; Culture; Circular Business Model.

Biografia do Autor

Camila dos Santos Ferreira, Centro de Recursos Hídricos e Estudos Ambientais, Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo – USP

Formada em bacharelado em Gestão e Análise Ambiental pela Universidade Federal de São Carlos. Mestra em Ciências pela Universidade de São Paulo na Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos vinculada ao Programa de Pós Graduação em Engenharia de Produção.Doutoranda no Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências da Engenharia Ambiental pela Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos - USP. Atualmente desenvolve pesquisas nos temas: economia circular, modelo de negócio, gestão da mudança, gestão ambiental e sustentabilidade.


BEER, M.; NOHRIA, N. Cracking the Code of Change. Harvard Business Review, 2000. Available in: <> Access on: 4 jun 2018.

BOCKEN, N. M. P. et al. Product design and business model strategies for a circular economy. Journal of Industrial and Production Engineering, v. 33, n. 5, p. 308–320, 3 jul 2016. <>. DOI:

BONCHEK, M.; LIBERT, B. 2017. To Change Your Strategy, First Change How You Think. Harvard Business Rewiew. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 3 nov. 2017.

BORRELLO, M., CARACCIOLO, F., LOMBARDI, A., PASCUCCI, S., CEMBALO, L. Consumers' Perspective on Circular Economy Strategy for Reducing Food Waste. Sustainability, vol. 9, n. 1, p.141, 2017. Available in: <>. Access on: 4 jun 2018. DOI:

BSI, 2017. BS 8001:2017. Framework for Implementing the Principles of the Circular Economy in Organizations – Guide. The British Standards Institution, London.

BUTMAN, J. Seven Tips for Shifting a Mindset in Your Organization. Harvard Business Review, 2013. Available in: <> Access on: 28 jun 2018.

CAMERON; K. S. QUINN, R. E. Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture: Based on the Competing Values Framework (3rd ed.), 2011. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Change Management Leadership Guide, 2011. Available in: <> Access on June, 2018.

Change Management Survey Report, 2007. Available in: <>. Access on June, 2018.

CHOI, Y. S.; SEO, M.; SCOTT, D.; MARTIN, J. J. Validation of the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument: Na Application of the Korean Version. Journal of Sport Management, v. 24, n. 2, pp. 169-189, 2010. Available in: <> Access on: 01 jul 2018. DOI:

DENNISON, D.R; SPREITZER, G.M. Organizational culture and organizational development: a competing values approach. Research in Organizational Change and Development, vol. 5, p. 1-21, 2001.

FISCHER, A., PASCUCCI, S. Institutional incentives in circular economy transition:

The case of material use in the Dutch textile industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, v. 115, p. 17-32, 2017. <>.

FUNDAÇÃO ELLEN MACARTHUR. 2017a. Uma economia circular no Brasil: uma abordagem exploratória inicial. Available in: <>. Access on: 26 jun 2017.

FUNDAÇÃO ELLEN MACARTHUR. 2017b. Economia circular. Available in: <>. Access on: 18 set 2017.

FUNDAÇÃO ELLEN MACARTHUR. 2017c. Building Blocks of a Circular Economy. Ellen Macarthur Foundation. Acesso em: 07 Out. 2017. Disponível em: <>.

GEISSDOERFER, M. et al. The Circular Economy - A New Sustainability Paradigm? Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network, 2017. Available in: <>. Access on: 11 out 2017.

GHISELLINI, P., CIALANI C., ULGIATI, S. A review on circular economy: the expected transition to a balanced interplay of environmental and economic systems. Journal of Cleaner Production, v. 114, p. 11-32, feb. 2016. Available in: <> Access on: 4 jun 2018. DOI:

GROYSBERG, B.; LEE, J.; PRICE, J.; CHENG, J.Y.; The Leader’s Guide to Corporate Culture. Harvard Business Review, p. 1-10, Jan-Feb 2018.

JESUS, A.; MENDONÇA, S. Lost in Transition? Drivers and Barriers in the Eco-innovation Road to the Circular Economy. Ecological Economics, v. 145, pp. 75-89, 2018. Available in: <> Access on: 4 jun 2018. DOI:

KERBER, K.; BUONO, A. F. Rethinking Organizational Change: Reframing the Challenge of Change Management, Organizational Development Journal, v.23, n.3, pp. 23-38, 2005. Avaiable in: <>.

KOPNINA, H. Sustainability in environmental education: new strategic thinking. Environment, Development and Sustainability, vol.17, n.5, p.987-1002, out. 2015. Available in: <> Access on: 4 jun 2018. DOI:

KUDRAY, L.M.; KLEINER, B.H. Global Trends in managing change. Industrial Management, vol. 39, no 3, 1997.

LACY, P; RUTQVEST, J. (2015). Waste to Wealth. Accenture. Palgrave Macmillan. Available in: <>. Access on: 26 jun 2017.

LAWRENCE, P. R. 1969. How to Deal With Resistance to Change. Harvard Business Rewiew. Available in: <>. Acesso em: 3 nov. 2017.

LINDER, M.; WILLIANDER, M. Circular Business Model Innovation: Inherent Uncertainties. Business Strategy and the Environment, v. 26, n. 2, p. 182–196, 1 fev 2017. Available in: <>. DOI:

LÜDEKE-FREUND, F. Towards A Conceptual Framework of Business Models for Sustainability. Knowledge Collaboration & Learning for Sustainable Innovation. ERSCP-EMSU conference, Delft, The Netherlands, October 25-29, 2010. Available in <>.

MACDONOUGH, W.; BRAUNGART, M. Cradle to cradle: Remaking the way we make things. DuraBook. 193 p. 2002.

MENTINK, B. Circular Business Model Innovation: A process framework and a tool for business model innovation in a circular economy. 2014. Available in <>.

MORAN, J.W; BRIGHTMAN, M.B. Leading organizational change. Career Development International, vol. 6, p. 111-119, 2001. DOI: 10.1108/13620430110383438 DOI:

NIERO, M., OLSEN, S. I. Circular economy: To be or not to be in a closed product loop? A Life Cycle Assessment of aluminium cans with inclusion of alloying elements. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, V. 114, p. 18–31, 2016. DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2016.06.023 DOI:

OMETTO, A. R. et al., Economia Circular: oportunidades e desafios para a indústria brasileira. Confederação Nacional da Indústria. Brasília, 2018.

PRIETO-SANDOVAL, V.; JACA, C.; ORMAZABAL, M. Towards a consensus on the circular economy. Journal of Cleaner Production, v. 179, p. 605-615, 2018. Available in <>. DOI:

QUINN, R.E.; ROHRBAUGH, J. A competing values approach to organizational effectiveness, Public Productivity Review, vol.5, n, 2, p. 122-140, jun 1981. Available in , Access on: 11 jun 2014. DOI:

QUINN, R.E.; ROHRBAUGH, J. A spatial model of effectiveness criteria: towards a competing values approach to organizational analysis, Management Science, Vol. 29, n.3, p.363-377, mar 1983. Available in <>. DOI:

QUINN, R.E.; SPREITZER, G.M. “The psychometrics of the competing values culture instrument and an analysis of the impact of organizational culture on quality of life”, in Woodman, R.W. and Pasmore, W.A. (Eds), Research in Organizational Change and Development, Vol. 5, JAI Press, Greenwich, CT, 1991, pp. 115-142. Available in <>.

RITZÉN, S., SANDSTRÖM, G. Ö. Barriers to the Circular Economy – integration of perspectives and domains. In: The 9th CIRP IPSS Conference: Circular Perspectives on Product/Service-Systems, Copenhagen, 2017. DOI: 10.1016/j.procir.2017.03.00 DOI:

RIZOS, V., BEHRENS, A., van der GAAST, W., HOFMAN, E., IOANNOU, A., KAFYEKE, T., FLAMOS, A., RINALDI, R., PAPADELIS, S., HIRSCHNITZGARBERS, M., TOPI, C. Implementation of Circular Economy Business Models by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs): Barriers and Enablers. Sustainability, vol.8, n.11, 2016. Available in: <> Access on: 4 jun 2018. DOI:

SARAYREH, B.H; KHUDAIR, H.;BARAKAT, E. Comparative Study: The Kurt Lewin of Change Management. International Journal of Computer and Information Technology, vol. 2, 2013. Available in <>.

SCHAFFER, R. H. All Management Is Change Management. Harvard Business Review, 2017. Available in: <> Access on: 4 jun 2018.

SCHAFFER, R.H. All Management is Change Management. Harvard Business Review, 2017. Available in <>.

SCHEIN, E.; Coming to a new awareness of organizational culture. Sloan Management Review, v. 25, n. 2, p. 3-16, winter 1984. Available in <>.

SCHEIN, E.; Culture: the missing concept in organization studies, Adm Science Quarterly, v. 41, n.2, p 229-240b, Jun 96. Available in <>. DOI:

SCOTT, J.T. The Sustainable Business a Practitioner’s Guide to Achieving Long-Term Profitability and Competitiveness, 2nd ed.; Greenleaf Publishing: Sheffield, UK, 2015.

STREBEL, P. 1996. Why Do Employees Resist Change? Harvard Business Rewiew. Available em: <>. Acesso em: 3 nov. 2017.

THARP, B. M. Four Organizational Culture Types. Organizational Culture White Paper. Haworth, 2009. Available in <>.

ZOTT, C., AMIT, R., MASSA, L. “The Business Model: Recent Developments and Future Research”. Journal of Management, v. 37, n.4, p. 1019-1042, July 2011. DOI: 10.1177/0149206311406265. DOI:

YEUNG, A.K.O., BROCKBANK, J.W. AND ULRICH, D.O. “Organizational culture and human resources practices: an empirical assessment”, in Woodman, R.W. and Pasmore, W.A. (Eds), Research in Organizational Change and Development, Vol. 5, JAI Press, Greenwich, CT, 1991, pp. 59-81.

YIN, R.K. Estudo de caso: planejamento e métodos. 3. ed. Porto Alegre: Bookman, 2005.




Como Citar

Ferreira, C. dos S., Gomes, G. M., Natalense, J. C., Roiz, G. A., Ometto, A. R., & Gerolamo, M. C. (2022). Mapping organizational culture in the context of a circular economy: a case study for a Brazilian company. Revista Gestão Da Produção Operações E Sistemas, 17(1), 18.




Artigos mais lidos pelo mesmo(s) autor(es)