ndustrial symbiosis (IS), one of the founding notions within the field of industrial ecology, has diffused throughout significant par ts of the world as a practice that can reduce the ecological impact of the industrial processes of groups of firms. In this ar ticle, we propose a fresh look at this research topic, building on the considerable advances that have been made in the last 15 years in understanding how IS comes about. We propose a conceptual and theoretical framework for taking on the challenge of comparative analysis at a global level. This requires developing an approach to address a solution to the problem of equivalence: the difficulty of comparing instances of IS across different institutional contexts. The proposed framework emphasizes IS as a process and attempts to address the obstacles to comparative study by (1) identifying terminology to examine IS variants, (2) providing a typology of IS dynamics, and (3) formulating key research questions to illuminate a way forward. In developing our argument, we build on the collective experiences of collaborative research effor ts in Nor th America, Europe, and Asia as evidenced in recent overviews of the literature.

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Keywords business strategy, comparative analysis, industrial ecology, industrial park, industrial symbiosis (IS), social science
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12468, hdl.handle.net/1765/123094
Journal Journal of Industrial Ecology
Boons, F.A.A, Chertow, M.R., Park, J., Spekkink, W, & Shi, H. (2016). Industrial Symbiosis Dynamics and the Problem of Equivalence: Proposal for a Comparative Framework. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 21(4), 938–952. doi:10.1111/jiec.12468