Developing Countries in the Transition towards Circular Practices: Opportunities and Challenges

A special issue of Administrative Sciences (ISSN 2076-3387).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 6634

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Department of Economics, Epoka University, Tirana 1032, Albania
Interests: growth economics; economic theory; economic development; poverty analysis; economic analysis; economics of education; foreign direct investment; income inequality; sustainable development strategies; economic growth; regional economics; quality evaluation; higher education quality; economic policy analysis; economics analysis; applied macroeconomics; academic development; sustainable development education
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Department of Innovation Engineering, Università del Salento Piazza Tancredi, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: innovation; smart tourism; e-business; social media; intellectual capital
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Department of Statistics and Applied Informatics, University of Tirana, Rruga Arben Broci, 71, 1010 Tirana, Albania
Interests: computer science; informatics; information systems

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Department of Statistics and Applied Informatics, University of Tirana, Rruga Arben Broci, 71, 1010 Tirana, Albania
Interests: e-learning; entrepreneurship; human resource management

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Department of Statistics and Applied Informatics, University of Tirana, Rruga Arben Broci, 71, 1010 Tirana, Albania
Interests: information systems; mobile; security; big data

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Among the major issues of international research and practice, the issue of circular economy has become increasingly central to addressing the current needs of society, and innovative solutions for the future are required (Hysa et al., 2020). It has been argued that, currently, the impact of economic activities on our planet has become unsustainable, and therefore there is an urgent need for new development models and approaches to help the world transition towards sustainable development based on decarbonization, energy efficiency, the use of renewable sources, and a progressive reduction in carbon emissions.

In this scenario, the circular economy (CE) has emerged as a new paradigm of society and as a possible solution to various problems, such as global warming and resource scarcity. CE is defined as an “industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. It replaces the ‘end-of-life’ concept with restoration, shifts towards the use of renewable energy, eliminates the use of toxic chemicals, which impair reuse, and aims for the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems, and, within this, business models” (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2015). The CE aims to guide society towards a sustainable model by radically transforming the way we use resources to generate value by introducing closed production systems and replacing previous linear production and consumption models based on ‘take, make and dispose’ with a closed-loop model where no waste exists (Urbinati et al, 2020; Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2015). The central idea behind the circular approach is imitating the behavior of nature, in which there is no concept of waste, and each element becomes an input for another process (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2020; Urbinati et al, 2017).

While there are relevant challenges to the initiation of this transition, it is worth noting that this new economic model presents significant opportunities for optimizing the efficient use of resources and products and for reducing production and consumption, as well as related greenhouse gases emissions, while offering competitive advantage opportunities for businesses (EMF, 2020). The relevance of this new paradigm is also evidenced by recent EU policy and recovery packages (EU Commission, Recovery and Resilience Plan, 202; EU, 2019;), international and national governmental agenda, business reports, and an increasing number of scientific articles (Brennan et al., 2015).

The implementation of practices related to CE business models is being considered critical (Ndou, 2021) and relevant due to the promise of an “integrative and instructive framework for encouraging more sustainable practices” (Manniche at el., 2021, p. 2). Practices of reusability, recycling, and reduction are also being used in all sectors in tourism, food, construction, packaging, manufacturing, etc. (Urbinati et al, 2021; Ndou, 2021, Del Vecchio et al. 2020). In addition, different actors and players are adopting and implementing circular economy business models. Studies have exploded recently in attempts to demonstrate the potential of such models and their positive social, economic, and environmental impact on our ecosystem (Panaiti et al., 2022).

Even though scientific works on circular economy are increasing, research on circular economy practices and initiatives in developing countries and non-EU countries are still in early infancy. Many additional efforts are needed to understand the approaches and mechanisms required to adopt circular economy principles and to overcome the barriers that developing countries may encounter in this transition.

Accordingly, this Special Issue aims to collect contributions that bring forth research and case studies focused on practices and initiatives of the CE in developing countries. More specifically, we aim to collect contributions focusing on:

  • The role of technologies for CE;
  • Circular economy in tourism;
  • Circular economy in agrifood;
  • The CE entrepreneurship opportunities;
  • Education on theCE;
  • Circular economy through innovation;
  • Sharing economy and circular economy;
  • Innovation through frugal economy;
  • Key technological enablers for circular economy;
  • Circular economy and big data;
  • Circular economy and artificial intelligence;
  • Digital industryand Industry 4.0 for circular economy;
  • Circular economy impact indicators and statistics.

Dr. Eglantina Hysa
Dr. Valentina Ndou
Dr. Kozeta Sevrani
Dr. Nevila Baci
Dr. Kreshnik Vukatana
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • circular economy
  • sharing economy
  • entrepreneurship opportunities

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 1615 KiB  
Article
How Do the Labour Force Characteristics Encounter COVID-19 Economic Consequences—A Canadian Experience
by Arsena Gjipali, Valbona Karapici and Nevila Baci
Adm. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci13090209 - 19 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1209
Abstract
This paper draws on a current international analysis of pandemic consequences in the labour market and on the way different segments have been impacted. The purpose is to provide a critical investigation of the facts and arguments regarding how and why the consequences [...] Read more.
This paper draws on a current international analysis of pandemic consequences in the labour market and on the way different segments have been impacted. The purpose is to provide a critical investigation of the facts and arguments regarding how and why the consequences of the same health epidemic are differently faced at an uneven socio-economic burden. The objectives are twofold: First, we aim to explore on an international level the inequality settings that COVID-19 has highlighted, focusing on the most affected economic pillars such as the labour market. Second, we provide an empirical analysis of the likelihood of Canadian labour force participants to be unemployed before and after COVID-19, as one of the measurable effects of the pandemic. We assess how the likelihood of the working-age population falling into the unemployment pool varies before, during and immediately after the pandemic restrictions ease, using Canadian Labour Force Survey microdata. The findings indicate that mainly immigrants and youth suffered the most, pointing out their probably higher participation in precarious jobs and calling for policy initiatives to fix the structural faults in the labour market. Full article
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12 pages, 284 KiB  
Article
Creating Value via the Circular Economy: Practices in the Tourism Sector
by Mirdaim Axhami, Valentina Ndou, Veronica Milo and Paola Scorrano
Adm. Sci. 2023, 13(7), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci13070166 - 14 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2404
Abstract
Among major international research and practice issues, the issue of the circular economy has emerged recently as “an alternative economic paradigm” to address the current needs of the present and to search for innovative solutions for the future. The objective of this paper [...] Read more.
Among major international research and practice issues, the issue of the circular economy has emerged recently as “an alternative economic paradigm” to address the current needs of the present and to search for innovative solutions for the future. The objective of this paper is to explore the initiatives and practices of the circular economy that could be actuated by tourism firms with the aim of understanding the value that could be created and its contribution to sustainable development based on decarbonization, energy efficiency, and the use of renewable sources. To achieve this objective, an in-depth, qualitative case study of a tourism resort is presented and analyzed to identify the key CE practices activated, with the aim of creating greater value and contributing to sustainable production and consumption. The results show that the main CE practices implemented focus primarily on enhancing resource efficiency, reducing emissions, and minimizing environmental impacts. This research also emphasizes the benefits that the CE provides in terms of economic, environmental, and social efficiency. The study enriches the relevance of CE and the sustainability approach for the tourism sector by highlighting the main value opportunities that tourism firms could grasp from the application of CE. Also, the paper contributes to providing practical suggestions regarding possible initiatives and practices that tourism managers could adopt for deploying CE practices. Full article
28 pages, 1999 KiB  
Article
Investigating Accounting Factors through Audited Financial Statements in Businesses toward a Circular Economy: Why a Sustainable Profit through Qualified Staff and Investment in Technology?
by Enkeleda Lulaj, Blerta Dragusha and Eglantina Hysa
Adm. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci13030072 - 01 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2100
Abstract
This study examines the investigation of accounting factors through audited financial statements in businesses by analyzing the qualified staff and investment in technology for sustainable profit. Therefore, the main goal is to analyze whether qualified staff and investment in technology affect the sustainability [...] Read more.
This study examines the investigation of accounting factors through audited financial statements in businesses by analyzing the qualified staff and investment in technology for sustainable profit. Therefore, the main goal is to analyze whether qualified staff and investment in technology affect the sustainability of profit in businesses through the investigation of accounting factors in the audited financial statements toward a circular economy, more specifically in these financial items: total assets (TASS), and intangible assets (IASS), total liabilities (TLIA), total income (TREV), and net financial income (NFI), based on questions about which financial items businesses should take care of, as well as businesses that do not invest in technologies and skilled staff: does this hinder profit sustainability? Therefore, for this study, data are collected from the financial statements (balance sheet and income statement) of (N = 800) businesses according to their activity (manufacturing businesses = 256, service businesses = 192, and distribution businesses = 353) during the period (2020–2022). The results show that each of the variables and factors had a significant impact on sustainable profit through the circular economy in (N = 800) businesses. However, to have a sustainable profit in business, it is strongly recommended to pay attention to these findings: businesses should (a) be careful with total liabilities, (b) increase the performance of total assets, (c) increase the performance of net financial income, (d) increase the performance of total business income, and (e) increase and develop the skills of workers, as well as improve technology (equipment, machinery, etc.). With implications and limitations, it was difficult to access some of the financial statements; there are only a limited number of variables, so the same models can be analyzed for other businesses, variables, and countries. Full article
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