New business models in circular economy: A multiple case study into touch points creating customer values in health care

P.J.M. (Paul) van Boerdonk, H.R. Krikke*, W.D.B.H.M Lambrechts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Web of Science)


Circular Economy strives for economic, social and environmental value creation in every part of the system. In Healthcare, both environmental and economic values are seen as the most important values for a manufacturer. Little is known about customer values in a circular economy and the underpinning environmental, economic and service benefits. This study shows that customer value creation and -activities must be connected within a circular business model. These relationships built on six moments when customers and manufacturers can make choices to participate in a circular economy coined as Circular Touch Points. In our approach, Circular Touch Points are developed as pivot points between customer values (proposition part of business model) and supplier offerings (fulfilment part of business model, i.e. circular activities) resulting in (multiple) value creation. Our empirical study focuses on the customer perspective, and shows that customer values are paradoxical in a Circular Economy and need to be studied per Circular Touch Point. In addition, customers have to prioritize Circular Touch Points hierarchically. Economic value is measured, environmental value is more perceptive and service value proves to be unimportant. This research can be used by medical suppliers to better understand customer values. Hospitals as customers can use this research to develop their circular strategies. Further research can elaborate on the role of the insurer and the government. Also the supplier side of the business model could be further investigated in practice. Other sectors and other target groups can also be looked at, as well as perceived versus actual values for both suppliers and buyers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125375
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date3 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Circular activities
  • Circular business models
  • Circular economy
  • Circular economy activities
  • Circular touch points
  • Customer values
  • Economic values
  • Environmental values
  • Healthcare
  • PAY
  • Value creation


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