Key Competencies for Circular Manufacturing

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Marta PinzoneMarco Taisch

Abstract: The transition towards circular economy represents a major challenge faced by manufacturing companies and society alike. One key enabler of this transition is the availability of a skilled workforce, as new competencies are needed for the adoption and implementation of circular strategies, processes and practices (Jabbour et al., 2019, Bertassini et al., 2021, Marrucci et al., 2021). However, the ‘human side’ of the circular economy and the role of people-driven factors are still underrepresented in the research literature (Mies and Gold, 2021; Walker et al., 2021). The present study aims at contributing to fill this gap and supporting manufacturing stakeholders by identifying and describing key competencies for circular manufacturing.Design/methodology/approach – To achieve the above.mentioned objective, a review of the scientific and grey literature was carried out as first step. Subsequently, key competencies were validated by means of semi-structured interviews with experts from manufacturing companies and academia.Results – Seventeen key circular manufacturing competencies were identified. Technical-managerial competencies refer to those competencies enabling the main processes and activities characterizing circular manufacturing (e.g., Design and management of multiple product-service life cycles, Development and use of digital solutions as an enabling factor for the circular economy, etc.). Transversal competencies are key knowledge, skills and attitudes linked to lifelong learning, creativity, teamwork, taking initiative and responsibility. (Janssens et al., 2021).Originality/value – The present study contributes to ongoing research about circular economy by shedding light on key competencies for circular manufacturing. They can also be useful for practitioners willing to identify the skills required for circular strategies and practices, to update or create new job profiles, to check the competency level of employees and then activate training, counselling and improvement programs to fill the gap.

Keywords: circular economy, competency, skill, human resources, manufacturing

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003514

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