Special Issue of Sustainability.

Understanding Customer Experience, Engagement and Value in relation to Circular Business Models.

Guest Editors: De Keyser A., Verleye K., & Hazée S.

Deadline: 31 October 2021

This Special Issue aims to explore the concepts of customer experience, customer engagement, and customer value in light of a more sustainable and even circular economy. Indeed, the circular economy is increasingly considered as a condition for sustainability (Geissdoerfer et al. 2017), with many organizations pushing for business model innovation to live up to expectations.

To reach the economic, social, cultural and environmental goals of sustainability, though, researchers and practitioners increasingly acknowledge that (circular) business model innovation should be seen as a process of gaining acceptance not only among policy makers and (business) practitioners, but also among the end user—the customer (e.g., Fehrer and Wieland, 2020; Hazée et al. 2017; Vijverman et al. 2019).

Although recent review studies of the customer experience, engagement and value literature recognize the importance of sustainable consumption (e.g., De Keyser et al. 2020; Rasool et al. 2020; Zeithaml et al. 2020), little research attention is dedicated to their link with circular business models. Meanwhile, researchers have called for adopting a customer perspective on circular business models (e.g., Khitous et al. 2020), given the critical role of customers in the ecosystem (Camacho-Otero et al. 2018; Mostaghel and Chirumalla 2021).

Drawing from the circular business model literature (Lacy et al. 2014, McCarthy et al. 2018, Lüdeke-Freund et al. 2019), we identify five types of circular business models:
– circular supplies = business models centered on offering renewable, biodegradable and recyclable inputs;
– resource recovery = business models focused on transforming waste into value through recycling and upcycling;
– product life extension/remanufacturing model = business models aimed at extending the use period of products by maintaining, repairing, and remanufacturing;
– sharing platforms = business models centered around a platform to maximize the utilization of products or services;
– product as a service = business models wherein customers use a product by leasing or paying for use contracts

To connect the literature on the various circular business models with the customer experience, customer engagement, and customer value literature, this Special Issue welcomes conceptual and empirical contributions related (but not limited) to the following themes, and from a variety of disciplines:
– What is a sustainable customer experience?
– What is the impact of various circular business models on the customer experience?
– Under which conditions do customers engage (more or less) with circular business models and co-create value?
– What managerial strategies and processes engage customers in relation to different types of circular business models?
– Under what conditions do interactions with circular business models have negative repercussions for the customer experience?
– Under what conditions do circular business model generate customer value?
– How do customer experiences differ across different types of circular business models?

More info here.