In this paper, we describe and analyze the novel type of circular economy business model that we define herein as “open circular economy business model.” Unlike a typical circular business model based on six R-imperatives (reuse, recycling, redesign, regenerate, reduce, and recover), the analyzed business model leads to greater flexibility as it allows the incorporation of raw materials from the external organizational context into the internal sustainable production cycle. Hence, the societal benefits of adopting an open circular economy business model are potentially more significant than in the case of a conventional circular economy business model because it allows greater distribution of the benefits among heterogeneous external actors that interact with the organization. The study is based on the single case study of the Italian manufacturing company, which obtained
significant market success by applying an open circular economy business model in the first few years since its incorporation. By examining in-depth interviews with principal organizational decision-makers triangulated with internal and external secondary data analysis, we describe the model’s main characteristics while highlighting its strengths and weaknesses. The commercial success of the studied organization can be an incentive for direct and indirect competitors to implement similar business models resulting in the activation of system-level circularityoriented behaviors.