Challenges for Circular Economy Strategies in Polish Enterprises during the Pandemic Crisis
Purpose: The paper aims to identify challenges for circular economy strategies in Polish enterprises in the COVID-19 pandemic. Design/Methodology/Approach: The methodology is based on the assessment model designed during the literature review and introduced into the survey, realised in 2021 among 319 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Poland. The statistical dependency analysis (Kruskal – Wallis and U Mann-Whitney tests) allowed scrutinising two sets of variables and verifying research hypotheses. Findings: There was identified a group of significant challenges for the CE strategies in Polish enterprises. Among four scrutinised strategies, the especially vulnerable is the following one minimising/preventing waste generation (e.g., introduction of new technologies or materials to production or services). Practical Implications: If we know the areas of COVID-19 impact, we can predict precisely which CE strategies will be at risk in another crisis. The paper shows strategies of special concern during long-term planning and facilitates the development of future scenarios to overcome the CE challenges and strengthen the companies’ competitive position. Future research: It is worth applying the model to benchmark the international cases. Future studies on this topic should identify problems, needs, solutions and good practices among companies across the world. Originality/Value: The study delivers a diagnosis of the pandemic challenges which determine the development of CE strategies in Polish SMEs. The designed assessment tool should be useful to identify, evaluate but also anticipate and overcome the future challenges for CE strategies in enterprises.