Keywords: industrial ecology, institutional theory, economic exchanges, industrial flows
Exchanges: physical, economic, but also institutional
Industrial ecology has devoted almost exclusive attention to the flows that connect industrial processes. Though understandable given its metaphorical roots in natural ecosystems, it has neglected the exchanges that necessarily accompany the flows found in human-designed systems. After reviewing the seminal literature of institutional theory for a better understanding of exchanges, several current examples involving industrial flows are used to illustrate the relevance of exchange to the enactment of systems in line with the norms of industrial ecology.