Business models for industrial symbiosis: A taxonomy focused on the form of governance

Luca Fraccascia, Ilaria Giannoccaro* (Corresponding Author), Vito Albino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
368 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of this paper is to propose a taxonomy of industrial symbiosis (IS) business models. Rather than to adopt a firm perspective, we take a system perspective and focus on the governance of the system made up of the firms implementing IS, being the latter considered an important factor influencing firm's competitive advantage. Four extreme IS business models are identified, characterized on the basis of two governance features: (1) need for coordination and (2) centralization of control. For each model, the main characteristics are presented and the main factors influencing firm value creation and value capture discussed. In doing so, our study contributes to clarify how and why firms applying IS practice can gain competitive advantage, a major gap in the current literature. Consequently, we contribute to the practical development of IS, which appears to be still not fully exploited by firms, despite its relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-126
Number of pages13
JournalResources, conservation and recycling
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Circular economy
  • Governance
  • Industrial symbiosis
  • Sustainable business models
  • Taxonomy
  • Centralization


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