Barriers to implementing circular economy learning processes in the construction sector: An analysis of Italian SMEs


  • Sara Scipioni University of Pisa
  • Lucio Todisco University of Naples Federico II
  • Federico Niccolini University of Pisa



Circular Economy, Business model, SMEs, barrier, Organizational Learning


This paper aims to understand the application of Circular Economy (CE) solutions to the Italian construction sector, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Specific attention is given to identifying the barriers that influence the effective implementation of circular business models (CBMs). Informed by grounded theory, the perceptions of top managers in Italian construction SMEs were investigated using a focus group methodology. The data obtained were subsequently explored and processed through iterative coding, using the theoretical insights found in the organisational learning (OL) and CE literature. The study highlights multilevel barriers across the construction sector, supply chain networks and individual organisations; it identifies culture as a critical barrier in the implementations of CBMs in Italy.

Author Biographies

Sara Scipioni, University of Pisa

Department of Economics and Management, PhD Candidate in Business Economics and Management

Federico Niccolini, University of Pisa

Department of Economics and Management, Associate Professor in Organization Studies


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How to Cite

Scipioni, S., Todisco, L., & Niccolini, F. (2021). Barriers to implementing circular economy learning processes in the construction sector: An analysis of Italian SMEs. Piccola Impresa / Small Business, (2).



Research Articles