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A systematic map for classifying studies on barriers related to circular economy, sharing economy, collaborative consumption, and product-service systems.
The linear paradigm of take-make-dispose in production and consumption threatens global sustainability goals. Strategies for looping resources (e.g. as proposed in circular economy) have been discussed as a promising future, but not without a number of challenges or barriers in the transition phase. Consequently, barriers for realizing such strategies is a prominent topic in an increasing number of empirical studies. Following this trend, several of meta studies have compiled the barriers found in the literature, trying to summarize and generalize them; while others have cited or assumed the existence of a specific barrier and proposed a solution to overcome it. However, understanding of what type of barrier related to what type of circular strategy (e.g. reuse, remanufacture, recycle) is limited because scholars of emerging scientific areas use different concepts and language to frame their findings. Moreover, the fact that contextual factors may play an important role concerning the presence or absence of a specific barrier has been overlooked. Without a common framework to organize the findings, isolated knowledge does not cumulate. In this study, we developed a systematic map for classifying studies on barriers related to the emerging fields of circular economy, sharing economy, collaborative consumption and product-service systems. The purpose is to, first, classify and consolidate research knowledge in order to analyze the progress in these four research paradigms, and second, to provide a searchable database for future more rigorous systematic literature reviews. Five hundred and twenty-seven publications published between 2003 and January 2019 available in Scopus were reviewed and classified in a fine level of granularity, including whether barriers are the focus of the publication, how the barriers were identified by the publication (e.g. empirically, assumed, indirectly mentioned), whether the publication discuss or test a solution, the method used (e.g. case study, survey, interviews) and data source (primary, secondary). The systematic map helped to identify relevant contextual factors for one or a set of barriers in single empirical study, such as the circular strategy, geographical context, (i.e. country), level of analysis (e.g. business model, governance, product, user), and sector (e.g. accommodation, clothing, transport, electronics). Further, the map is an open source adaptive framework serving also as a digital database for researchers alike for extracting knowledge and contributing further to its development, through input and collaboration