Who is in charge? A review and a research agenda on the ‘human side’ of the circular economy

Charbel Jose Chiappetta Jabbour (Lead / Corresponding author), Joseph Sarkis, Ana Beatriz Lopes de Sousa Jabbour, Douglas William Scott Renwick, Sanjay Kumar Singh, Oksana Grebinevych, Isak Kruglianskas, Moacir Godinho Filho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

235 Citations (Scopus)


The adoption of the circular economy (CE) at the firm level has rarely intersected with human resource management (HRM) – here called ‘the human side of organizations’ – and these two fields remain largely separate areas of knowledge. While the literature on the CE is expanding, discussion of its implementation in organizations is, so far, rare, along with exploration of the necessary alignment of the CE with green human resource management (GHRM). In this article, we extend the state-of-the-art literature on CE business models through the inclusion of the ‘human side’ of such issues. This goal is met by offering an original integrative GHRM framework for organizations developing CE. The theoretical lenses of stakeholders' theory and the resource based view (RBV) form the foundation of this framework, which represents a ‘middle range theory’. We underline the practices and dimensions of the links between GHRM and the ‘ReSOLVE’ CE model. Through an exploration of this integrative framework, we propose a future research agenda along with original research propositions. Furthermore, the middle-range integrated theoretical framework we propose can serve both academics and practitioners in developing understanding of the human resource management (HRM) and change management aspects of the CE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-801
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date6 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2019


  • Change management
  • Circular economy
  • Green human resource management
  • Human resources
  • Sustainable supply chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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