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Zeiss, Roman; Ixmeier, Anne; Recker, Jan; Kranz, Johann (2020): Mobilising information systems scholarship for a circular economy: Review, synthesis, and directions for future research. In: Information Systems Journal, Vol. 31, No. 1: pp. 148-183
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One of today's grand societal challenges is to replace the current 'take-make-waste' economic model with a circular economic model that allows a gradual decoupling of economic activities from the consumption of finite virgin resources. While circular economy (CE) scholars have long lauded digital technologies such as sensors, distributed ledgers, or platforms as key enablers, our own community has not fully explored the potentials of information systems (IS) for a CE. Considering recent technological advances in software and hardware and our history of helping address wicked challenges, we believe the time is ripe to mobilise IS scholarship for a CE. Our findings from an interdisciplinary literature review show that research has primarily examined IS potentials for increasing efficiency of isolated intra-organisational processes while neglecting the larger sustainability potential of IS to establish circular material flows-that is, slow down and close material loops across entire product lifecycles. In response, we propose directions for IS research that develop our knowledge of how IS can help understand and enact circular material flows to intensify and extend use of products and components and recycle waste materials. Our directions offer pathways to building and evaluating the problem-solution pairing that could characterise a prolific CE-IS relationship.