On the road to a circular economy: reinventing territories and organizations

Many countries are adopting public policies to support the implementation of the circular economy, an approach aimed at decoupling economic growth from the depletion of natural resources in order to preserve ecosystems (RRECQ, 2023). Since the circular economy acts as a lever for changing practices and evolving technical, economic and organizational models (Bourdin et al., 2022), its operationalization calls for new ways of coordinating and governing the economy, at both territorial and organizational levels (Ertz et al., 2023).

On a territorial level, a literature, particularly on circular cities, has been consolidating for less than a decade (Garcier et al., 2017; Kampelmann, 2016; Petit-Boix and Leipold, 2018; Prendeville et al., 2018; Williams, 2021). This territorial angle of appropriating circularity emanates from an interdisciplinary vision and invites us to apprehend the operationalization of the circular economy through the components, levers and issues inherent to cities and regions. In this sense, several research trajectories take a cross-disciplinary look at territories and organizational ecosystems, focusing on territorial particularities and the choices made by local players (Torre & Dermine-Brullot, 2019). They also focus on the role of the circular economy with regard to resources (tangible and intangible) and the socio-economic development of territories (jobs, new business models, business networks, industrial symbioses (Chembessi et al., 2021; Niang et al., 2023). Another growing area of research focuses on the role of territorial metabolism approaches as a framework for stakeholder analysis and action (Amenta et al., 2022; Genois-Lefrançois et al., 2024). Finally, there is growing interest in the fields of action of different stakeholders within urban and regional circular economy governance approaches (Bucci Ancapi, 2023; Dagiliene et al., 2021).

Moreover, the territorialization of the circular economy is also an issue of territorial sustainability (Cesaretti et al., 2017). It calls into question the use of resources and the circulation of materials (Bourdin & Torre, 2020; Cerceau et al., 2018). Various concepts (e.g. the geography of transitions, multi-level transition, territorial sensitivity) feed into the socio-spatial perspective of the transition to the circular economy and highlight geographical inequalities. The resulting local and citizen initiatives are often decentralized and not dependent on circular economy roadmaps or territorialization policies. They tend to direct research either towards unsuspected themes, such as resilience Klinenberg, 2018), Grand Challenges (Brandtner, 2022; Montgomery & Dacin, 2020) and social movements Bringel & McKenna, 2020) the various mechanisms for mobilizing actors and innovation to transform territorialized production and consumption models (Cuomo et al., 2020; Katsou et al., 2020; Nogueira et al., 2020).

In particular, it is within organizations that the transformation of these circular economy operationalization models is taking place. On transition paths, the participation of all players is required: businesses, cooperatives, municipalities, regional development organizations, ministries and public institutions, regulatory agencies, educational and research establishments, financial institutions and non-governmental organizations (Québec circulaire, 2024). Companies affect the circularity of the economy according to the resources they use, their operational processes and their business models (Gruba et al., 2022; Oghazi et al., 2024; Ferasso et al., 2020). Many cooperatives are integrating the principles of the circular economy by applying efficient business models geared towards collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and resources (Ziegler et al., 2023). Public sector organizations are increasingly encouraging the transition to the circular economy by adopting laws and regulations favorable to recycling and eco-design; some are developing infrastructures for the sustainable management of materials and waste (Ghisellini et al., 2016). Non-governmental organizations, meanwhile, support the transition to the circular economy by conducting awareness campaigns, providing training for the general public, or supporting community initiatives (Tran Duc and Labelle, 2024).

Organizations are thus key players in the implementation and dissemination of the circular economy through social, regulatory, infrastructural and business webs. Reciprocally, the circular economy challenges organizations (Cooper et al., 2017; Rocca et al., 2023) and calls on them to evolve in a systemic approach (Normandin & Raufflet, 2021) taking into account the impact of decisions on each actor in the system (Skripnuk et al., 2023; Ertz et al., 2023). Many obstacles nevertheless stand in the way of circularity, and the integration of circular economy principles in different organizational contexts requires sustained research attention (Tran Duc & Labelle, 2024).


This call for papers is part of the conversation that has been underway in Quebec for over a decade, reminding us that the circular economy goes beyond recycling and waste management, and requires the promotion of efficiency, productivity and decoupling at a multitude of levels (Bibliothèque de l’Assemblée nationale, 2023; Chembessi et al., 2021; McDonald et al., 2016). The call presentation gives a taste of the variety of analysis possibilities and exploration methods. The parallels between the objectives of circularity and territorial and organizational perspectives effectively open up the wealth of scientific approaches used, issues considered, actors challenged and application spaces. This special issue looks at the various interactions that can enrich the experiences of those involved in institutional and organizational processes for a transition to a territorialized circular economy. Interested researchers are invited to weave links between (supra)national territorialized approaches and local or managerial initiatives, exploring the specific issues raised by different stakeholders.

The call encourages work on communities and how territorial perspectives redefine organizational actions to make them circular, and vice versa. Researchers are invited to draw on different theoretical, empirical and methodological aspects of organizational studies, within and across territories, spaces and societal settings. Questions of interest include the specific organizational forms emerging from the territorial context within a framework of implementing sustainability goals and circularity, and how these organizational forms shape communities, neighborhoods, cultures, etc. The causes, dynamics and consequences of these organizational forms are explored. The causes, dynamics and consequences of inter-territorial collaborations and varied spatial organizations, as well as “glocalization” activities, are among the questions raised.


Without being limited to this, the themes of this call for tenders cover the following issues:

  • urban and regional governance mechanisms and instruments for deploying the circular economy;
  • the role of land use and urban planning in promoting circular activities;
  • ecosystems of localized players in an urban circular economy: mechanisms and processes for mobilizing and collaborating to accelerate the transition;
  • innovations for circularity: exploring mechanisms for the emergence and scaling-up of territorial experiments;
  • organizational partnerships for the circular economy across different territories;
  • circular production and consumption approaches in individual companies;
  • measuring the circular economy in terms of territories and organizations: tools, indicators and appropriate scales.

Submission Requirements

Contributions to this special issue can be made in a variety of formats, as provided for in the various sections of the journal:

  • special feature: research articles related to the special issue ;
  • interview: interviews with players linked to the theme of the special issue;
  • student workshop: student articles related to the special issue;
  • espace libre: research articles not necessarily related to the theme of the special issue, but dealing with the circular economy;
  • news notes: brief opinion pieces on a topical issue related to the special issue;
  • reviews: book reviews related to the special issue;

A copy of the current issue of the magazine will provide a good overview of the different sections of the magazine and their associated formats.

The length of a scientific article (special dossier, and student workshop) should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words (excluding bibliographical references). In addition, the article must be formatted in accordance with the journal’s APA7 guidelines (voir les directives en format PDF). Abstracts and articles will undergo a blind peer review process. Interviews, news notes and book reviews should be no longer than 3000 words (including bibliographical references). Abstracts and full papers should be sent to the following e-mail address, indicating in the subject line ” Special issue O&T – title to be modified “: info@rrecq.ca

Journal Presentation

“The Revue Organisations & Territoires is a journal of reflection on management, innovation and development, mainly in the Quebec and Canadian context. As they are primarily aimed at players in the field, the articles selected by the reading and editorial committees are more concerned with the popularization of science than with rigorous demonstrations intended to serve the advancement of science. Authors may, however, refer to a previously published text offering such a demonstration. […] Our readers are keen to see the author raise debates and position himself/herself in topical issues. As a result, published texts are generally simplified and decoded.” (From the Journal’s website)

Revue Organisations & Territoires (ISSN: 1493-8871) has been published for over 20 years by the Department of Economic and Administrative Sciences at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. It is distributed in hard copy and is also available online


  • Submission of a long summary (max. 1000 words including references): October 1, 2024
  • Return of summary evaluations and decisions for selected projects: November 15, 2024
  • Submission of full papers (between 3,000 and 6,000 words including references): March 15, 2025Schedule
  • Return of complete evaluations: April 30, 2025
  • Submission of revised articles: June 30, 2025
  • Final decisions: August 31, 2025
  • Publication: December 15, 2025

Special Issue Editorial Committee

  • Rachida Bouhid, M.Sc., MGP, PGCA
  • Claudia Déméné, Ph.D.
  • Myriam Ertz, Ph.D. 
  • Philippe Genois-Lefrançois, M.Urb.
  • François Labelle, Ph.D. 
  • Guillaume Pain, Ph.D. 
  • Emmanuel Raufflet, Ph.D. 
  • Fanny Tremblay-Racicot, Ph.D. 
Organisations & Territoires

Call for papers (in French)

The RRECQ is supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec.
Fonds de recherche - Québec