Developing an Instrument to Measure the Degree of Product Circularity

Marianna Conte & Regina Brogna

Student thesis: Master thesis


The circular economy has recently emerged as a possible alternative to the linear economic model based on the take-make-dispose paradigm. The circular economy might be a promising solution to the increasing environmental degradation and climate change. In this light, the purpose of this study is to develop an instrument to measure product circularity, considered as an initial stage for the implementation of the circular economy. This research aims to provide the academia with a tool which, combined with other sustainability measures, would enrich the existing literature on the circular economy. The research follows an exploratory sequential mixed methods approach to develop an instrument scale that measures the degree of circularity for technical – as opposed to biological – products, based on the parameters defined in the literature as catalysts of product circularity. The final result of the study is an instrument consisting of 32 items, representing five constructs categories: product design, business model, technological revolution, materials management, and promotion and customer involvement. The analysis of the results shows that an overall good level of validity was reached – indicating that the instrument covers all the items to reflect the definition of the circular economy. Future research might concern further improving the validity and assessing the reliability of the proposed instrument, by performing the final of the three stages of the instrument development process – the Instrument Testing stage. Considerations on additional determinants of product circularity (e.g., the manufacturing process), on biological cycles, and on the other systemic levels of the circular economy (i.e., macro, meso and micro) should be made.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages127
SupervisorsAndreas Wieland