Overcoming barriers to circularity for internal ICT management in organizations: A change management approach

Kathleen McMahon*, Ruth Mugge, Erik Jan Hultink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Circularity-conscious management of information and communications technology (ICT) owned by organizations is important to achieving a circular economy. However, changes in organizational management toward circularity has been met with multiple challenges. This study uses 11 semi-structured interviews with on-the-ground ICT decision-makers in organizations to determine what barriers prevent the development and implementation of circularity-related changes in organizational ICT management. We identified 13 barriers relating to information and knowledge transfer, access to circular equipment, finances and contracts, and prioritization over circularity. Barrier-based interventions were further structured by Lewin's 3-step change management model – unfreeze, change, refreeze – highlighting the role of information access, relationships with contracted partners, and internal accountability and priority structures. These results bridge a currently underdeveloped link between circularity and management research as well as provide policy makers, researchers, and ICT managers insight on facilitating ICT's impactful role in society's transition to circularity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107568
Number of pages11
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Information and communications technology\
  • (ICT)
  • Lifetime extension
  • circularity
  • Change management
  • Organizational change


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