First-mover firms in the transition towards the sharing economy in metallic natural resource-intensive industries: Implications for the circular economy and emerging industry 4.0 technologies

Charbel Jose Chiappetta Jabbour, Paula De Camargo Fiorini, Christina W.Y. Wong, Daniel Jugend, Ana Beatriz Lopes De Sousa Jabbour, Bruno Michel Roman Pais Seles, Marco Antonio Paula Pinheiro, Hermes Moretti Ribeiro da Silva

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The dilemma between consumption and preservation of natural resources has been repeatedly highlighted in recent literature, and is still an open discussion. The emerging concept of the circular economy brings new opportunities and business models for firms, such as the sharing economy. These new concepts are capable of promoting sustainable practices which aim to optimize and ameliorate basic resource consumption, especially in industries which are intensive in metallic natural resources. However, this topic remains relatively unexplored, especially considering genuine case studies in countries with emerging economies. There have been calls for more qualitative research in operations management to investigate real-world cases of companies transitioning from linear manufacturing towards the sharing economy. Addressing these contemporary knowledge gaps, this work unveils drivers, challenges, and opportunities for the sharing economy based on original evidence gathered from exemplary, “first-mover” cases in the Brazilian manufacturing industry which use metallic natural resources. The main contributions of this study can be summarized thus: (i) there is no homogeneity in companies' understanding of the sharing economy's potential as a win-win approach; (ii) transitioning towards the sharing economy relies on radically changing the way firms develop and upgrade their portfolio of products; (iii) transitioning towards the sharing economy is more complex – due to its challenges, drivers, and barriers – than has been reported by the literature; (iv) more advanced companies in terms of sharing economy operations management practices have mastered the capability of combining key principles of the circular economy and key elements of the sharing economy, creating an important synergy between the circular economy and the sharing economy; (v) emerging industry 4.0-related technologies seem to play a vital role in unlocking the sharing economy, as applied to product development. This work offers novel implications for both the theory and practice of operations management for the sharing economy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101596
JournalResources Policy
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Circular economy
  • Industry 4.0
  • Sharing economy
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable operations management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law

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