Digital technologies as enablers of circular practices: an organizational perspective

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As the circular economy gains momentum, digital technologies (DTs) of Industry 4.0, including big data and analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), additive manufacturing (AM), and blockchain are emerging as powerful enablers of circular business models (CBMs). These technologies have the potential to enable new ways to perform circular economy practices at both the upstream and downstream levels and to generate significant organizational outcomes. Due to the novelty of the topic, more research is needed to delve deeper into how DTs enable circular practices and impact organizations. This study aims to fill this gap by empirically investigating how DTs 4.0 enable circular practices and exploring the organizational outcomes stemming from their adoption. Through the lens of Italian circular startups, we develop an empirical model that connects specific DTs with organizational outcomes. Our insights bolster the literature on circular entrepreneurship and organizational studies combining DTs and the circular economy.