Circular Moonshots: The Influence of Business Models for Sustainability on Field Change

Lori Divito, Erin Leitheiser, Charlotte Piller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


We aim to understand the interaction between shifting organizational field logics and field actors' responses to reconcile logic plurality and maintain legitimacy through business model innovation. Drawing on a multimethod, longitudinal field study in the fashion industry, we traced how de novo and incumbent firms integrate circular logics in business models (for sustainability) and uncover how productive tensions in field logics lead to experimental spaces for business model innovation. Our findings showed a shift in the discourse on circular logic that diverted attention and resources from materials innovation (e.g. recycling) to business model innovation (e.g. circular business models). By juxtaposing the degree of field logic tension and the degree of business model innovation, we derive four types of business model hybridization responses that actors engaged in to maintain legitimacy -- constrained, limited, integrated, and expanded. Our study generates new insights on business models for sustainability as vehicles for organizational field change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighty-second Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsSonja Taneja
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022: Creating a Better World Together - Seattle, United States
Duration: 5 Aug 20229 Aug 2022
Conference number: 82


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings

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