Evaluation of circular economy business models for SMEs using spherical fuzzy TOPSIS: an application from a developing countries’ perspective

Toker K., Görener A.


  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2022
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10668-022-02119-7
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, PASCAL, ABI/INFORM, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CAB Abstracts, Geobase, Greenfile, Index Islamicus, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-42
  • Bezmialem Vakıf University Affiliated: Yes


While the circular economy has recently been the subject of considerable theoretical debate, the discussion has yielded limited insight into how its implementation should look. Developing countries’ inadequate regulation and policy hinder the circular economy’s implementation in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with resource, strategy, and skill constraints. Therefore, circular economy business models (CEBMs) support SMEs in overcoming the risks of implementation. However, SMEs often struggle to decide which CEBM to use. This study aims to enable developing countries’ SMEs to choose the most appropriate CEBM using the spherical fuzzy TOPSIS method, which is an extremely new method for solving decision-making problems. The four main CEBMs most frequently encountered in the literature and practice have been extensively analysed. The results suggest that the resource recovery model is the most appropriate model for transitioning to a circular economy for SMEs in developing countries. Circular supply is the second suitable business model. Following these stages, after the organisation reaches a specifc level of CE maturity, the product life extension and the product–service system model should be applied at the last stage. A comparative assessment and a sensitivity analysis are conducted to test the proposed methodology’s robustness and reliability. The results opened up a space for discussion and for new thoughts that could improve the scope of the CEBMs theory. Using all CEBMs together, we concluded that the transition to CE will not be successful for SMEs. The order in which CEBMs should be applied in the transition to CE has been determined. Their scope, risks, and resources needed were correlated with these data from the feld. This practical implementation guide, which we recommend based on theoretical foundations, ofers administrators and future researchers original insights.