GRA 6718 Distribution in the Circular Economy

GRA 6718 Distribution in the Circular Economy

Course code: 
GRA 6718
Accounting and Operations Management
Course coordinator: 
Bente Merete Flygansvær
Course name in Norwegian: 
Distribution in the Circular Economy
Product category: 
MSc in Business - Logistics and Supply Chain Management
2025 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

Sustainability has become an overreaching concept, setting the agenda for future generations. Within this agenda, it is essential to put words into action. In ‘Distribution in the Circular Economy’ the focus is looking at how distribution as an area can contribute to sustainable development, by incorporating principles of the circular economy. Any company is linked to other actors, whether it is suppliers, customers, logistics service providers, recyclers, or other intermediaries. The performance of the individual firm is dependent on how all cooperating partners achieve efficient division of labor and manage relationships in the distribution arrangement, including all steps from taking products to market, facilitate returns and closing the loop. Such distribution arrangements are developing in a global context, and sustainable and circular considerations are necessary perspectives for future business. This course will address operational and strategic issues, challenges, and responsibilities in circular supply chains. Discussions will focus on how to develop, use, and adapt business models to promote circularity within the field of distribution.  

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • To understand the complexity that circularity in distribution represent and the implications for distribution strategies and business models.
  • To understand and appreciate the broad tactical and strategic decisions managers must consider when trying to navigate within sustainable and circular distribution and supply chain ecosystems, and how such arrangements consist of actors all trying to win the customer and all trying to deliver leading edge services that are sustainable in the long run.
  • To gain knowledge about analytical frameworks, and their practical usage when analyzing and solving comprehensive real life problems facing managers.
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • To be able to explain how complex issues can be broken down into concrete tactical and strategic decision options.
  • To be confident enough to approach distribution and circular issues in a creative and solution-oriented way
  • To be able to communicate verbally and in writing how theoretical perspectives in the field is practically applicable
General Competence
  • To understand the distribution context and the circularity dimension.
  • To experience first-hand how real-life distribution and circularity problems can be tackled using an array of perspectives, tools and creative solutions.
  • In this course we work with issues relevant for business and society as represented by the sustainability development goals #9, 11, 12, 13.
Course content

Major topics to be covered include:

  • Introduction to the area of distribution and the circular economy
  • The concept of business models for distribution channels and circular ecosystems
  • Governance theories for distribution arrangements
  • Logistics service providers, type of companies, their networks, and relationships
  • Measurement, costing and pricing issues in transport and distribution
  • Value creation logics from an activity and resource perspective
  • Circular economy and organizing reverse logistics systems
  • Recycling and Waste management
  • Sustainability considerations in distribution and transport
Teaching and learning activities

Learning through a mix of readings, lectures and class discussiopns. Students are expected to participate in class discussions. The course will use cases and guest lectures as a basis for discussions.  

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Continuous assessment will no longer exist as an examination form from autumn 2023. For questions regarding previous results, contact InfoHub.

It is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Submission PDF
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
3 Hour(s)
Home exam
Exam code: 
GRA 67182
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Submission PDF
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Group (1 - 3)
1 Semester(s)
Term paper. Group size is depending on class size.
Exam code: 
GRA 67183
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
Student workload
36 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
60 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
10 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
14 Hour(s)
40 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.