The Influence of Business Models for Sustainability on Organizational Field Change: Understanding field logic shifts towards circularity

Lori Divito, Erin Leitheiser, Charlotte Piller

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


We aim to understand how cognitive frames of business models for sustainability (BMfS) shift logics in organizational fields. We conducted a sector study of the fashion industry and focused on the circular economy logic that is emerging in the field. Circular business models offer alternative logics to linear models of take-make-use-dispose. Drawing on data from in-depth interviews and 331 news items during 2017-2020, we identified cognitive frames of circularity logic in the global fashion industry. Our findings show that cognitive frames associated with BMfS stemmed from sustainability orientations of entrepreneurs or founders and emerged in relation to other multiple circular logics in the organizational field. The meanings and understandings of circular logics, that co-exist, complement or conflict with other existing logics, were dynamic and continuously negotiated by field actors. Our study makes contributions to the literature on business models for sustainability, organizational field change and sustainable entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2021
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventDRUID21 Conference - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Duration: 18 Oct 202120 Oct 2021
Conference number: 42


ConferenceDRUID21 Conference
LocationCopenhagen Business School
Internet address


  • Business Models for Sustainability (BMfS)
  • Organizational field logics
  • Sustainable entrepreneurship
  • Industrial transformation
  • Fashion

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