Erik G. Hansen

Erik G. Hansen
Johannes Kepler University Linz | JKU · Institute for Integrated Quality Design (IQD)

Prof. Dr.
Driving Circular and Sustainability-Oriented Innovation on Product, Product-Service-System, and Business Model Levels.

About

121
Publications
216,569
Reads
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6,670
Citations
Citations since 2017
57 Research Items
5511 Citations
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Introduction
Erik is Full Professor and Head of the Institute for Integrated Quality Design at Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU), Austria and Visiting Researcher at the Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM), Faculty of Sustainability Sciences, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany. As an interdisciplinary management scholar, his research has focused on circular and sustainability-oriented innovation management on three levels: product, product-service system, and business model.
Additional affiliations
October 2022 - November 2022
University of Cambridge
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Visiting Fellow to conduct research at the interface of innovation | sustainability/circular economy.
November 2019 - December 2022
acatech - Deutsche Akademie der Technikwissenschaften
Position
  • Scientific Head
Description
  • I have the scientific lead for Working Group 1 on "Circular Business Models" in the Circular Economy Initiative Germany, in which a group of practitioners and scientists analyse the status quo and develop recommendations for industry and policy makers.
October 2015 - present
Johannes Kepler University Linz
Position
  • Head of Department
Description
  • The IQD is a new interdisciplinary research institute at the intersection of management and engineering focusing on research and teaching at the intersection of the circular economy, innovation, and integrated quality management.
Education
July 2005 - December 2005
Chinesisch-Deutsche Hochschulkolleg (CDHK) at Tongji University, Shanghai, China
Field of study
  • General Management and Logistics
July 2003 - July 2004
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro
Field of study
  • Business Administration and Computer Science
October 1999 - May 2006
Technische Universität Darmstadt
Field of study
  • Management Information Systems (Wirtschaftsinformatik)

Publications

Publications (121)
Article
Corporations increasingly subscribe to the principles of corporate sustainability, which is generally described as the integration of economic, environmental and social dimensions. Concerning innovation management, this emphasises the role of sustainability-oriented innovations (SOI). SOI is considered a tool both to address sustainability issues a...
Article
While a consensus appears to have evolved among many sustainability researchers and practitioners that sustainable development at the societal level is not very likely without the sustainable development of organizations, the business model as a key initiating component of corporate sustainability has only recently moved into the focus of sustainab...
Article
Full-text available
Slowing and closing product and related material loops in a circular economy (CE) requires circular service operations such as take-back, repair, and recycling. However, it remains open whether these are coordinated by OEMs, retailers, or third-party loop operators (e.g., refurbishers). Literature rooted in the classic make-or-buy concept proposes...
Article
Full-text available
The circular economy (CE) aims at cycling products and materials in closed technical and biological loops. Cradle to cradle (C2C) operationalizes the CE with a product design concept rooted in the circulation of “healthy” materials because contamination of materials with substances of concern hampers cycling and may pose risks to people in contact...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Circular Economy (CE) represents a disruption of today’s linear ‘take-make-waste economic’ paradigm. It is not an end-of-pipe approach to tackling ‘waste’. Turning the dominant linear structures into value cycles requires a rethinking by all involved actors. It starts with circular product redesign and demands a consistent realignment of all su...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Das Geschäftsmodell „Remanufacturing“ basiert auf einer industriellen Aufbereitung von Produkten in „Qualität wie neu“. Es steigert die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit durch verbesserte Kostenstruktur, Lieferkettenresilienz und Kundenbindung bei radikal verminderter Umweltwirkung.
Conference Paper
The circular economy has been proposed as an alternative to replace the current linear system of production and consumption. Internet of Things technologies could enable the operationalisation of the circular economy and related circular strategies. Smart products and their amplified capabilities could deliver valuable data about the use phase and...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Im Kontext von ausschweifendem Ressourcenverbrauch, Klimawandel und strenger werdenden politischen Regularien bietet sich eine auf Cradle to Cradle basierende Kreislaufwirtschaft als Innovationsstrategie für Unternehmen an. Dennoch sehen sich viele Firmen bei der Umsetzung einer Kreislaufwirtschaftsstrategie mit Unsicherheiten und Innovationsbarrie...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainability is a key societal challenge and has become an opportunity for innovation. While start-ups are prone to enter such new territories, established companies are more hesitant to leave current trajectories and embrace uncertainty linked to sustainability-oriented exploration. We present a case of a conventional high-tech firm of an owner-...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The circular economy and the Internet of Things (IoT) are two major developments reshaping the business environment. Firms may embrace the opportunities provided by the circular economy approach to innovate their business models and offer higher value to their customers and society. In order to address circularity, firms can adopt a range of activi...
Technical Report
This report (only available in German) is part of the final report of the Austrian UniNEtZ-project. This option tackles the question of how to better implement Targets 12.4 and 12.5 of the UN's SDG 12 in the Austrian context and provides insights and steps to take to achieve this goal.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Die Circular Economy markiert einen Paradigmenwechsel: von einem derzeit linear strukturierten „Take-Make-Waste-Wirtschaftsmodell“ zu einer Abkehr vom heutigen – dem Produktionsprozess nachgelagerten – Umgang mit Abfall. Für eine Umkehr dieser dominanten linearen Strukturen in Wertschöpfungsketten müssen alle beteiligten Akteure umdenken. Das begin...
Chapter
Service business models such as rental, leasing, and performance contracting can contribute to a circular economy by keeping products, components, and materials longer in use and thereby preserving their value over time. These business models are, however, subject to higher complexity and information demand. Smart products and the Internet of Thing...
Technical Report
Full-text available
As a conceptual extension of the established life cycle approach, the objectives of the CE are aimed at keeping products, components and materials in cycles of usage that are stable, closed and as permanent as possible. In this way their quality is maintained or even improved. Therefore, the CE does not represent a “recycling economy” in the narrow...
Article
Full-text available
Circular economy has become a very popular topic worldwide, not only among policymakers, entrepreneurs, citizens but also academics (Fraccascia, Giannoccaro, Agarwal, & Hansen, 2019). National strategies and initiatives have been deployed in many European countries (e.g., acatech CEID and SYSTEMIQ, 2021). According to Scopus and Web of Science data...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The circular economy has become a dominant perspective for better integrating firms' value creation activities with sustainable development. In contrast to the linear take-make-waste approach, it is based on closed product, component, and material flows with the aim to maximise material productivity and resource efficiency at the level of the produ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Spätestens seit dem European Green Deal ist klar: Der Weg zu einem treibhausgasneutralen Europa wird nur über einen grundlegenden Strukturwandel unseres wirtschaftlichen Handelns führen. Der neudeutsche Begriff der Circular Economy setzt einen Rahmen, um diesen notwendigen systemischen Strukturwandel von einer linearen, ressourcenintensiven hin zu...
Article
Full-text available
State universities in Germany are increasingly being transformed from institutions with traditional teaching and research responsibilities to have a third, societal role in sustainable regional and economic development. In doing so, universities support knowledge spillovers to improve sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems that benefit economic rev...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Download full text here: https://www.qualityaustria.com/news/circular-economy-erfolgreich-umsetzen/ Die Circular Economy spielt eine Schlüsselrolle bei der Erreichung der Klimaziele, da ein Großteil der Treibhausgasemissionen auf die Gewinnung und Aufarbeitung von Primärrohstoffen zurückzuführen ist. Dabei bietet sie eine Vielzahl von Innovations...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The circular economy represents a disruption of today’s linear ‘take-make-waste economic’ paradigm. It is not an end-of-pipe approach to tackling ‘waste’. Turning the dominant linear structures into value cycles requires a rethinking by all involved actors. It starts with circular product redesign and demands a consistent realignment of all subsequ...
Data
This is a short version for practicioner purposes of our Figure 2, p. 15 in Hansen, E. G. and F. Revellio. 2020. Circular Value Creation Architectures: Make, ally, buy, or laissez-faire. Journal of Industrial Ecology: 1–24. Link to original research: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342165053_Circular_Value_Creation_Architectures_Make_ally...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Pioneering smartphone companies have embarked on ambitious journeys to adopt modular product designs (MPD) as part of their circular economy strategy. MPD refers to the idea of designing products based on grouping related functions in individual modules with standardized interfaces. Previously, MPD has been extensively discussed as an approach to a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Smart products and digital transformation represent a complex, dynamic and challenging environment for organisations. Remote monitoring and location technologies affect almost every core function of a company and the main activities of the value chain. Quality 4.0 does not lie in the individual production stages but in a holistic and integrated ‘en...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The circular economy has become the dominant perspective for better integrating firms' value creation activities with sustainable development. In contrast to the linear take-make-waste approach, it is based on closed product, component, and material flows with the aim to maximise resource efficiency of the entire production and consumption system....
Technical Report
Full-text available
Smarte Produkte und die digitale Transformation stellen ein komplexes, dynamisches und anspruchsvolles Umfeld für Organisationen dar. Fernüberwachung oder Ortungstechnologien betreffen nahezu jede Kernfunktion des Unternehmens und die Hauptaktivitäten der Wertschöpfungskette. Qualität 4.0 steckt nicht im einzelnen Produktionsschritt, sondern in ein...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This CSM working paper is part of a workshop series on business opportunities for sustainable modular product designs in the smartphone industry. Participants received this briefing paper for their preparation to the kick-off workshop. The Innovation Network aiming at Sustainable Smartphones (INaS) is an innovation lab at Leuphana University Lünebu...
Article
Full-text available
The circular economy rationale is increasingly promoted as a means to move from a global plastic waste dilemma to a plastics economy that is aligned with the principles of sustainable development. However, any such effort will have to account for the socioeconomic settings in low-income and middle-income countries of the global south which are the...
Article
The production and consumption of smartphones have been associated with a wide range of sustainability issues throughout the life cycle. While the dominant industry practices and resulting social and ecological problems have been discussed in depth in the extant literature, it has not been investigated so far how sustainability pioneers alleviate u...
Article
Full-text available
What is the point of increasing material efficiency if products are used ever shorter? The circular economy represents a new paradigm of closed-loop value creation, serves as a source for new products, services, and business models and thus allows companies to develop sustained competitive advantage. In order to successfully innovate in the circula...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Service business models have the potential to improve the product life cycle due to their emphasis on maximising value over time. Emphasising access to products over ownership may encourage firms to keep their products at their highest value during their entire lifetime and reuse materials after end of life. Against this background, service busines...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Adopting the concept of a circular economy at a product level requires firms to rethink their business model and collaborate with partners across their value chain. Reaching product circularity through closing, slowing, and narrowing resource loops can be understood as a systems innovation, which calls for transdisciplinary research approaches. Thi...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines how established firms use their core competences to diversify their business by exploring and ultimately developing green technologies. In contrast to start-ups dedicated to a green mission, diversifying into green markets by developing new products based on existing core competences has proven to be challenging. This is because...
Conference Paper
The product certification standard Cradle to Cradle (C2C) claims to offer a new, holistic understanding of quality by integrating material health, environmental, and social criteria into product design (Braungart, McDonough, & Bollinger, 2007). Our paper aims at gaining in-depth knowledge on the linkages between C2C and management systems – as base...
Article
Full-text available
In order to overcome the exploitation-exploration paradox, structural ambidexterity literature suggests establishing differentiated units for exploitation and exploration with a carefully managed exploitation-exploration interface supporting cross-fertilization without cross-contamination. Recent research demonstrates the crucial role of integratio...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have debated the relative importance of technology push and demand pull policies in the adoption of environmental technologies. Here, we examine how internationally distributed technology push and demand pull policies interact to support the diffusion of a renewable energy technology. We analyze 40 years (1974–2013) of solar photovoltai...
Article
Full-text available
Profiting from the benefits of smart products connected through the Internet of Things (IoT) could disrupt business models and has the potential to foster a circular economy by embracing a performance economy. Extant literature has offered insights into circular strategies, smart products and product-service systems (PSS) in isolated ways or by con...
Article
Full-text available
The circular economy is receiving increasing attention as a way to overcome the linear economic model, which is characterized by a “take–make–dispose” pattern. The circular economy aims at slowing (i.e., maintenance, repair, remanufacturing) and closing (i.e., recycling) resource cycles (Bocken, Ritala, & Huotari, 2017; Stahel & Reday‐ Mulvey, 1981...
Presentation
Full-text available
Keynote in workshop session on "Digital transformation and circularity" with ~70 participants from industry, academia and local authorities. CSR Day is organized by respACT - austrian business council for sustainable development.
Presentation
Full-text available
I explain the specifics of cradle to cradle (within the broader context of circularity), present our own research approach based on insights into our C2C Innovation Processes research project and, finally, show cross and interdisciplinary research needs and opportunties.
Article
Full-text available
In a recent systematic review of the Sustainability Balanced Scorecard (SBSC) literature in this journal, we developed a typology of architectures as a basis for the process of SBSC design, implementation, use, and evolution. This paper addresses a comment by Hahn and Figge (2016) designed to stimulate further research. We argue that the existing l...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ambidexterity literature suggests radical innovation is driven by preventing the undesirable spillover of routines and cognitive representations from the exploitative core business to the exploratory innovation space. This paper presents a longitudinal process study uncovering the anatomy of an unsuccessful exploration of green technologies by...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
As advancement of sustainability-oriented innovation, circular innovation addresses not only the lacking environmental challenge integration but adopts a life cycle perspective. We apply absorptive capacity theory with its core processes identification, assimilation, and application for opening up the black box of circular innovation processes. We...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines ecopreneurship in established ventures that serve as early adopters of radical environmental technologies through so-called user business model innovation. Renewable e-mobility is identified as an appropriate application. The research methodology consists of two steps: a document analysis for developing a typology of ecopreneurs...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Verbunden mit einem nachhaltigen Konsum mobiler Endgeräte sind Herausforderungen wie ein verändertes Produktdesign ohne Verwendung von Konflikt-Rohstoffen, die Verlängerung der Endgeräte-Nutzungsdauer oder die Verwertung von Altgeräten Nachhaltigkeitsstrategien, die auch als Circular Economy thematisiert werden. Hierfür wettbewerbsfähige Lösungen z...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Vorreiter-Unternehmen – insbesondere aus dem Mittelstand – sehen die Energiewende als Chance und investieren proaktiv in eigene regenerative Erzeugungsanlagen, um Kosten zu senken und unternehmerische Unabhängigkeit, Unternehmensreputation und Wettbewerbs-fähigkeit zu steigern. In dem vorliegenden Projekt wurde am Beispiel der Lüneburger Betriebe P...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Internet of Things and the amplified capabilities of smart products can be increasingly utilised for the development of feedback-rich systems and loops throughout the entire product life cycle. By adopting the IoT and collecting data during product utilisation, companies can replace the end-of-life concept with product life extension and circul...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
As advancement of sustainability-oriented innovation, circular innovation addresses not only the lacking environmental challenge integration but adopts a life cycle perspective. As a product design concept for the circular economy, Cradle to Cradle promotes closed biological and technical loops. We make use of the promotor network theory for unders...
Poster
Full-text available
The main differences between circular (cradle to cradle) and conventional innovation processes lie in the intensity of cooperation both, within and beyond the focal value chain. However, we lack micro-level knowledge about the innovation processes leading to circular products. Therefore, this project aims at generating in-depth knowledge on circula...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Smartphones make intensive use of precious metals and so called conflict minerals in order to reach their high performance in a compact size. In recent times, sustainability challenges related to production, use and disposal of smartphones are increasingly a topic of public debate. Thus, established industry actors and newly emerging firms are driv...
Research
Full-text available
Unternehmen sind seit einigen Dekaden bereits darauf fokussiert ihre Betriebsabläufe zu optimieren und Ressourcen einzusparen, um die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit zu erhöhen. Durch die steigende Bedeutung der Lebenszyklus-orientierung – wie sie auch von zertifizierten Umweltmanagementsystemen seit kurzem gefordert wird (vgl. ISO 14001:2015) – rücken auch d...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
To explain and promote the adoption of new technologies, researchers have debated the relative importance of technology push and demand pull factors . Here we examine a crucial problem of contemporary innovation policy — promoting the adoption of renewable energy to reduce anthropogenic global warming — that challenges prior models for large scale...
Article
Full-text available
The emergence and diffusion of green and sustainable technologies is full of obstacles and has therefore become an important area of research. We are interested in further understanding the dynamics between entrepreneurial experimentation, market formation, and institutional contexts, together playing a decisive role for successful diffusion of suc...
Poster
Full-text available
Vor dem Hintergrund einer nachhaltigen Entwicklung ist die Wissenschaft zunehmend gefordert, Abhängigkeiten zwischen Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie (IKT), menschlichem Verhalten und unserer Umwelt neu zu hinterfragen. Ziel ist es, unterschiedliche Akteure (Unternehmen, Konsumenten, Politik) integrativ an der Ausgestaltung nachhaltigere...
Article
Full-text available
To explain and promote the adoption of new technologies, researchers have debated the relative importance of technology push and demand pull factors . Here we examine a crucial problem of contemporary innovation policy — promoting the adoption of renewable energy to reduce anthropogenic global warming — that challenges prior models for large scale...
Chapter
This chapter analyses the sustainability-oriented transformation of clothing industries. Although sustainability pioneers introduce new products in niche markets, incumbents advance them into the mass market. Together this can lead to the transformation of industries, markets, and consumer habits. We examine the German clothing retail industry with...
Article
The relevance of business models for corporate performance in general and corporate sustainability in particular has been widely acknowledged in the literature while sustainable entrepreneurship research has started to explore contributions to the sustainability transformation of markets and society. Particularities of the business models of sustai...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing strategic importance of environmental, social, and ethical issues as well as related performance measures has spurred interest in corporate sustainability performance measurement and management systems. This paper focuses on the balanced scorecard (BSC), a performance measurement and management system aiming at balancing financial an...
Chapter
This chapter provides a practice-oriented introduction to corporate sustainability management for students. It first introduces a brief history of corporate sustainability in businesses with reference to selected critical incidents (e.g., accidents environmental pollution) and pioneering firms and (sustainable) entrepreneurs which have developed pr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Established small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can seize business opportunities in new, emerging sustainability-related markets. However, in contrary to start-ups dedicated to a green mission, expanding a firm's conventional product portfolio with green products has proven to be very challenging. Indeed, green innovation processes are new to...
Article
Full-text available
Die Notwendigkeit des Nachhaltigkeitsmanagements wird häufig damit begründet, dass die Kombination von nicht gelösten Umwelt- und Sozialproblemen, verschärfte Regulierungen und Druck durch NGO-Kampagnen die Unternehmensleitung zwänge, sich mit Nachhaltigkeit zu befassen. Auch wenn die Argumentation nicht falsch ist, so wird dabei doch vergessen, da...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A central issue in innovation management is the undesirable spillover of harmful routines and cognitive representations from core business to the exploratory innovation space, as dealt with in ambidexterity research. This paper examines a conventional manufacturing SME in a business-to-business market that developed renewable energy technologies in...
Article
Full-text available
Dass die Energiewende überall in den Regionen erhebliche Dynamiken und Innovationen hervorruft, hat einmal mehr das Leuphana Energieforum 2014 gezeigt. Trotz des politischen Gegenwinds bleiben die Bürgerenergieakteure extrem wichtig für die Akzeptanz der Energiewende und deren erfolgreiche Ausdehnung auf Wärmebereitstellung und Verkehr
Technical Report
Prof. Dr. Erik Hansen (Gastprofessur Management der Energiewende) hat anschließend den Workshop mit der Beobachtung, dass derzeit insbesondere chemische Batterien-Speicher im Zentrum der Diskussion stehen. Laut dem Gastprofessor sind die allerdings mit zahlreichen Problemen behaftet: Eine schlechte Umweltbilanz der chemischen Materialien und deren...
Article
This paper conducts an interdisciplinary, systematic review on sustainability-oriented innovations (SOIs) in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in a time frame between 1987 and 2010. Since the Brundtland report in 1987 a wide debate has emerged on eco-innovations (e.g. eco-design, cleaner production) and SOIs, that is, the integration of eco...
Article
Full-text available
We are delighted to introduce this special issue on “Advancing Corporate Sustainability, CSR, and Business Ethics.” The overall theme of this special issue reflects our aim to bring together scholars with the (normative) ambition to contribute to improving the lives of people, protecting the natural environment, and ultimately making the world a be...
Article
Full-text available
Unsere Gesellschaft steht durch zahlreiche soziale, okologische und ethische Probleme vor grosen Herausforderungen von denen Klimawandel, Ressourcenknappheit, und bewaffneten Konflikte (in Zusammenhang mit Ressourcen bzw. deren Knappheit) nur einige Beispiele sind. Unternehmen werden heute einerseits als Teil dieser Probleme aber auch als Akteure m...