Article

Product biographies in servitization and the circular economy

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  • Alliance Manchester Business School
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Abstract

This paper questions the assumption in much of the marketing and product-service literature that products can be treated as stable platforms for the delivery of services. Instead, it uses the notion of the product biography to argue that products are chronically unstable, both physically and institutionally, and focusses on the managerial and institutional effort required to temporarily stabilise and qualify products for exchange or service value-creation. The context of the circular economy, which presents particularly acute challenges of qualification, is used to stimulate insights into how the product biography approach can inform the servitization debate. In particular, the circular economy perspective emphasises the need to see products as qualified by and constitutive of a distributed network, rather than defined once and for all by their producer, and points to entrepreneurial opportunity in the moments of transition between singularised, unique specimens and general, commodified, manageable objects - and . vice versa. The wider and multiple product biographies occasioned by the circular economy also lead to reconfiguration of networks, as new potential valuations give rise to new entrepreneurial spaces.

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... In a review paper on digital technologies in the circular economy, Pagoropoulos et al. (2017) noted that IoT can enable monitoring of the health and actions of connected products. Salminen et al. (2017) discussed that increasing intelligence and automation can create new business opportunities and help optimize existing operations that are favorable in a circular economy, while Spring and Araujo (2017) argued that 'smart products' allow for "connected, rich biographies of products" which can support activities such as maintenance and reverse logistics, especially when products "circulate beyond the direct governance of one coordinating firm". Jensen and Remmen (2017) similarly found that digitalization could potentially support product lifecycle management and the integration of information about, for example, material composition of products, which could stimulate high-quality recycling and reuse. ...
... This is an important finding, since reuse, remanufacturing and recycling are often seen as core strategies of the circular economy. Whilst literature has mentioned that IoT can support reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling (e.g., Spring and Araujo, 2017;Lopes de Sousa Jabbour et al., 2018), the results presented here show that real-world applications in these areas are still limited. This result is in line with , who stated that smart use and smart maintenance are more common than smart reuse, smart remanufacturing, and smart recycling. ...
... Based on the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics, the condition of products in the field can be monitored continuously and remotely, enabling optimized condition-based maintenance (CBM). Condition monitoring 76 also enables better insight into remaining product lifetime, degradation status, and environmental factors (Ren et al., 2019), which can be used to improve looping strategies Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2016;Ellen MacArthur Foundation et al., 2019;Spring and Araujo, 2017;Ondemir and Gupta, 2014). However, actual implementation of condition-based looping strategies in practice remains low Ingemarsdotter et al., 2019. ...
... Empirically, the paper investigates boundary work in intertwining boardsports by analyzing their narrative histories, or 'biographies' (Spring & Araujo, 2017), through the perspective of consumers who are lead users (Branstad & Solem, 2020) and gear tinkerers (Martin & Schouten, 2014). We inquire into consumer journeys -from amateur to industry participant -to provide a glimpse of the 'origin stories' that stabilize each boardsport as a distinct yet distinguishable field. ...
... Its material-semiotic approach has carried through into the field of market studies (Araujo, Kjellberg, & Finch, 2010;Finch & Geiger, 2010). Building upon this semiotic-material approach, Spring and Araujo (2017) used 'product biographies' to investigate how "products are chronically unstable, both physically and institutionally," thus requiring managerial efforts to stabilize them, albeit temporarily. ...
... To explore how consumers use boundary work to shape markets in four boardsport activities -surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing/kiteboarding, and SUP, we were interested in consumer perspectives on their multiple beginnings. In the analysis, we focused on the work and effort required to achieve the currently perceived stability of the boardsports, albeit temporary (Spring & Araujo, 2017). We therefore analyzed the unfolding socio-technical arrangements (Diaz Ruiz, Peñaloza, et al., 2020). ...
Article
The market-shaping literature recognizes that consumers are actors who can shape markets. However, research into the mechanisms of consumption-driven market-shaping is only emerging. This paper shows that one way in which consumers shape markets is through boundary work, as consumers make, break, and re-make the boundaries among multiple markets. Empirically, this paper investigates how user innovation practices cata-lyzed the formation of four boardsport markets: surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, and stand-up-paddling. The findings show that consumers shape markets in three steps: (1) generating local variations of consumption practices; (2) imposing order and coherence to intermediate frames; and (3) channeling creative consumption practices into market formation. This paper contributes to the market-shaping literature by conceptualizing how consumers splinter an existing singular market into new markets. We coin the term 'market bifurcations' to describe how a singular, seemingly cohesive consumer practice breaks down, splintering into several local variations, which can then catalyze the formation of new markets.
... The World Economic Forum also identified that the geographical dispersion of firms and suppliers, the complexity and increase in materials, and the blockage in the linear economic model make the adoption of CE difficult (Spring & Araujo, 2017). ...
... These are encompassed within the so-called system of products and services by which a change in the business model is proposed, moving from offering a manufactured product where the profit depends on the number of units sold to offering a combination of products and services that meet the needs of the consumer, where the profit also depends on the service units delivered (Linder & Williander, 2017). Spring and Araujo (2017) also studied this innovative idea in their article from the perspective of servicing (service-based growth). ...
... This approach suggests seeing them as a set of trajectories with changing qualifications rather than a stable and productive conceptualisation of the object. Products are repaired, reconditioned, improved, manipulated, dismantled, reassembled, and discarded (Spring & Araujo, 2017). ...
Article
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The circular economy is presented as the sustainable solution as opposed to the current linear model of production and resource management, whose effects impact negatively on the economic, social and environmental dimensions. Through a systematic review of the literature, this article aims to unify and to uncover the available evidence on innovation in relation to the circular economy and to determine those aspects that remain unexplored or should be studied in more depth in order to be able to continue to make progress in this field. Thus, it was found that although the circular economy is at an early stage of implementation, both its benefits and drivers as well as its challenges and barriers to implementation have already been investigated. More importantly, it was found that ecological innovations, which reduce the environmental impact of production and consumption activities, are necessary for the research of new business models and new ways of operating in supply chains that allow closing the circle and taking advantage of all the waste, such as the system of products and services, dynamic capabilities, 3D printing, the biography of the product and the software recycling. To achieve this goal, the evidence shows that it is mandatory to raise awareness of the situation, especially through marketing actions, as well as for companies, including SMEs, to be willing to act together and to align their interests.
... EMF, 2019; Milios, 2018;Ludeke-Freund et al., 2019). Only a small minority of papers (we counted 16) suggest or even hint at potentially non-instrumental motivations for repair, such as stimulating creativity, attachment or solidarity (Spring and Araujo, 2017;Mendoza et al., 2019;Mugge, 2017;Dermody et al., 2020;Hobson, 2019). Some such papers make particular reference to venues such as repair cafes, and makerspaces (Williams et al., 2017;Prendeville et al., 2016;Ghisellini et al., 2016) which feature more heavily in sociological and ethnographic literatures on repair (as we shall see below). ...
... There are a few noteworthy exceptions to the instrumental framing. Repair is sometimes seen as regeneration (Egle et al., 2015;Diez et al., 2016) or even a generative process of innovation (Spring and Araujo, 2017). Egle et al. (2015) present 'repair' as something being done to the resource cycle (rather than to the product), in the case of phosphorus recycling and water treatment. ...
Article
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The treatment of ideas of repair in circular economy literature is critically reviewed, revealing instrumental understandings of repair as a tool to extend product life-spans and reduce waste. These framings are interpreted as an expression of the dominant technocratic and post-political discourses of circular economy as an intervention to sustain industrial capitalism in the face of sustainability constraints. The review contrasts these understandings of repair derived from a review of circular economy literature with richer and contested interpretations found in sociological, ethnographic and political literatures examining material repair in practice. Drawing on the emerging sociology of repair and applying more distinct concepts of restoration, remediation, reconfiguration and reconciliation derived from these literatures, the paper argues that the understandings of repair in circular economy literature are limited and restrictive, generally supporting a view of repair as sustaining, consumerist and nostalgic; and thereby overlooking potentially transformative, political and future-oriented roles for repair in a circular economy. In the restorative and remedial modes most commonly understood in the circular economy, repair is seen to enable new forms of capitalist commodification, notably of waste and domestic labour. Learning from contestation in other arenas of repair by contrast, understanding repair as encompassing ideas for reconciliation and reconfiguration, and adopting values of integrity, care and legibility, opens up repair in the circular economy to constructive critical discussion and reflection and offers new insights for policy makers.
... Rather than re-design an entire production and distribution system, servitisation allows smaller businesses to take the first steps toward engaging the Circular Economy without having to make significant financial investments (Michelini, et al., 2017;Spring & Araujo, 2017). In particular, the Internet of Things (IoT) has lowered the barriers of engagement in circular business model innovation by using technology such as sensors, apps and integrated logistics to redefine the relationship between consumers, products and manufacturers (Spring & Araujo, 2017). ...
... Rather than re-design an entire production and distribution system, servitisation allows smaller businesses to take the first steps toward engaging the Circular Economy without having to make significant financial investments (Michelini, et al., 2017;Spring & Araujo, 2017). In particular, the Internet of Things (IoT) has lowered the barriers of engagement in circular business model innovation by using technology such as sensors, apps and integrated logistics to redefine the relationship between consumers, products and manufacturers (Spring & Araujo, 2017). Various circular business models are making use of the IoT, especially services as part of the sharing economy like car and bike-sharing (e.g. ...
Book
Full-text available
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Discern: ‘DISCERN, International Journal of Design for Social Change, Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship’. It is said that mighty oaks from little acorns grow…
... Rather than re-design an entire production and distribution system, servitisation allows smaller businesses to take the first steps toward engaging the Circular Economy without having to make significant financial investments (Michelini, et al., 2017;Spring & Araujo, 2017). In particular, the Internet of Things (IoT) has lowered the barriers of engagement in circular business model innovation by using technology such as sensors, apps and integrated logistics to redefine the relationship between consumers, products and manufacturers (Spring & Araujo, 2017). ...
... Rather than re-design an entire production and distribution system, servitisation allows smaller businesses to take the first steps toward engaging the Circular Economy without having to make significant financial investments (Michelini, et al., 2017;Spring & Araujo, 2017). In particular, the Internet of Things (IoT) has lowered the barriers of engagement in circular business model innovation by using technology such as sensors, apps and integrated logistics to redefine the relationship between consumers, products and manufacturers (Spring & Araujo, 2017). Various circular business models are making use of the IoT, especially services as part of the sharing economy like car and bike-sharing (e.g. ...
Article
Full-text available
Several global reports have concluded that natural resource extraction at its current levels is unsustainable and will lead to the rapid erosion of the environment and tax global economic growth. One of the alternative paradigms to conserve those resources is the Circular Economy, a system driven by innovation that extends the utility of products as long as possible through a series of strategies that re-use resources. Design can act as a bridging tool and a catalyst for the innovation demanded by the Circular Economy because of its flexibility as a problem-solving discipline. The intermediary role of design can adapt to the complex requirements of Circular Economy stakeholders who want to shift their way of doing business to a more sustainable model, despite formidable policies, economic, cultural and political obstacles. The author explores the evolution and utility of design from a discipline that shapes objects to one that constructs and facilitates complex systems of interactions among collaborators, which in the Circular Economy includes consumers, manufacturers, logistics companies, governments, business and science entrepreneurs. Several examples of design's role in this facilitative process are presented that showcase the power of design to drive social and cultural transformations and re-cast industrial and business processes. Sustainable innovation is the centrepiece of the Circular Economy and design has a significant role to play in its adoption, particularly from a human-centred perspective that can address formidable constraints to its implementation. Open access journal/read article https://www.designforsocialchange.org/journal/index.php/DISCERN-J/article/view/10/10
... Productoriented industries in particular, have the advantage that opportunities arise along the life cycle of their products, especially in the case of durable industrial goods. (Spring & Araujo, 2017). The change from being a pure product supplier to a provider of added value with maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services all the way to operating the equipment as a service can have positive effects on the service life and efficiency of machines (Baines & Lightfoot, 2014;Sharma & Singh, 2017). ...
... Since such a service orientation is also closely related to sustainability aspects, even the term sustainable smart product-service systems (Li et al., 2020) can be found in the literature. We argue that through servitization, manufacturing can become more sustainable Sharma & Singh, 2017;Spring & Araujo, 2017), and digitization accelerates this process or even makes new and more sustainable offerings possible (Coreynen et al., 2017;Ranta et al., 2020). ...
Book
Full-text available
Cite/Reference as: Hoveskog, M., and Halila, F. (eds), (2021). Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on New Business Models: New Business Models in a Decade of Action: Sustainable, Evidence-based, Impactful. Halmstad: Halmstad University Press. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-44872
... Seeking to generate economic value in tandem with sustainability and social welfare is leading firms towards co-creation of sustainable market value through transformative business strategies (Loorbach and Wijsman, 2013). In the context of circular economy, Spring and Araujo (2017) propose designing products as distributed networks rather than a unitary product; with service-value opportunities at various transition points of a product life-cycle (Spring and Araujo, 2017). ...
... Seeking to generate economic value in tandem with sustainability and social welfare is leading firms towards co-creation of sustainable market value through transformative business strategies (Loorbach and Wijsman, 2013). In the context of circular economy, Spring and Araujo (2017) propose designing products as distributed networks rather than a unitary product; with service-value opportunities at various transition points of a product life-cycle (Spring and Araujo, 2017). ...
Article
Blockchain technology is a revolutionary new protocol for sharing and updating information by linking ledgers or databases in a decentralised, peer-to-peer, open-access network. Blockchain is designed to ensure the data is stored and updated in a secure, tamper-proof and irreversible way. Despite being in its nascent stages, the blockchain research is developing rapidly in different fields, making it imperative to capture the ethical and sustainability implications of blockchain development and implementation. The circular economy also focuses on enhancing sustainability and social responsibility, alongside economic growth. In this article, we critically review blockchain technology's current and potential contribution to the circular economy through the lens of sustainability and social responsibility. This paper contributes to the Industry 4.0 literature by identifying, collating and organising the disparate research on blockchain, with a critical focus on its positive impact and potential repercussions for the ethics agenda. Within this narrative review, we argue and highlight the extant and potential alignment of blockchain with circular economy. Our findings show that blockchain technology can contribute to the circular economy by helping to reduce transaction costs, enhance performance and communication along the supply chain, ensure human rights protection, enhance healthcare patient confidentiality and welfare, and reduce carbon footprint. We also evaluate the challenges to blockchain implementation for circular economy, in terms of trust, illegal activities, potential for hacking and the need to address these through suitable legislation and policy development. Furthermore, we acknowledge the potential upfront costs involved in implementing blockchain technology, although we observe that the benefits are likely to exceed the challenges. We conclude this article with recommendations for future research in this field.
... This illustrates that take back schemes can be difficult to police where they rely of some form of return or collection. In a servitisation model, however, the ownership and the responsibility remain with the vehicle manufacturer overcoming any deficit in the take back model thereby supporting circularity (Spring and Araujo, 2017). ...
Article
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Purpose With the UK’s accelerating plans to transition to electric mobility, this paper aims to highlight the need for policies to prepare for appropriate management of electric vehicle (EV) lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) as they reach the end of their life. Design/methodology/approach This is a regulatory review based on projections of EV LIBs coming off the market and associated problems of waste management together with the development of a servitisation model. Findings Circular economy in EV LIBs is unlikely to shape itself because LIB recycling is challenging and still in development. LIB volumes are insufficient for recycling to be currently profitable, and a circular economy here will need to be driven by regulatory intervention. Ignoring the problem carries potentially high environmental and health costs. This paper offers potential solutions through new EV ownership models to facilitate a circular economy. Research limitations/implications The authors suggest a new EV ownership model. However, despite environmental benefits, re-shaping the fundamentals of market economies can have disruptive effects on current markets. Therefore, further exploration of this topic is needed. Also, the data presented is based on future projections of EV markets, battery lifespan, etc., which are uncertain at present. These are to be taken as estimates only. Originality/value The paper proposes regulatory interventions or incentives to fundamentally change consumer ideas of property ownership for EVs, so that EV automotive batteries remain the property of the manufacturer even when the consumer owns the car.
... Some of these risks are acknowledged by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development [76]. Other business models in which the end-user is not the owner are also presented as CBMs, and described in such terms as 'servitisation' or 'product as service' models, but servitisation only contributes to environmental sustainability in quite narrow terms [77] and a possible consequence (arguably, indeed, the purpose) of servitisation is that the products become more accessible to users and are ultimately manufactured in greater quantity. ...
Article
Full-text available
The avalanche of environmental challenges, from local to global and back, has prompted responses at all levels from personal to inter-governmental. The results of these responses have fallen in the range between useful and counterproductive, with many examples on each side, but the scale of the overall challenge continues to escalate. Moving towards a zero-carbon global economy through absolute reductions in fossil fuel usage is a sure way of mitigating climate change, and a range of environmental, social and economic benefits would follow. The case for a Circular Economy (CE), however, is less clear. Whilst some CE initiatives may lead to the decoupling of economic growth from resource extraction, this does not necessarily equate to reducing the rate of extraction. Thus, the contribution of CE to the achievement of environmental objectives globally cannot be taken for granted. In terms of social impact, the best that can be said is that CE might be neutral. Technologies that promote the ‘sharing economy’ for instance, often suggested as a crucial CE strategy, create opportunities for individual wealth accumulation, but are also a route to the gig economy and the casualisation of labour. CE is arguably a business imperative, but definitive evidence to support the idea of a circular economy that meets social and environmental goals needs development.
... More specifically, future research studies should explore what the multi-stakeholders are involved in, with a focus on critical success factors and activities at the organizational level. It is reported that several different stakeholders leading inducive factors encourage companies to pursue CE practices [9,10,82,83]. Recently, Wagner and Heinzel [84] highlight that future studies should examined which socio-demographic characteristics are important for CE awareness Even though advancements have been made, much remains to be achieved in understanding the relationship between stakeholders' role and the adoption of CE practices. ...
... Such interconnected, intelligent, products create and collect huge amounts of data about their usage, context, recovery, and reuse (Kortuem et al., 2009). As a result, IoT opens up the opportunity of generating connected rich biographies of products and even expanding to its components and parts, which in turn enable achieving circular economy objectives (Spring & Araujo, 2017;de Sousa Jabbour et al. 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
IoT as a disruptive technology is contributing toward ground-breaking experiences in contemporary enterprises and in our daily life. Rapidly changing business environment and phenomenally evolving technology enhancement necessitate a robust understanding of IoT implications from business and management perspective. The current study benefits from an explanatory sequential mixed-method approach to represent and interpret the inductive topical framework of IoT literature in business and management with emphasis on business model. Bayesian statistical topic model called latent Dirichlet allocation is employed to conduct a comprehensive analysis of 347 related scholarly articles to reveal the topical composition of related research. Further, we followed a thematic analysis for interpreting the extracted topics and gaining in-depth qualitative insights. Theoretical implications with emphasizing on research agenda for future study avenues and managerial implications based on influential themes are provided.
... In this literature, repair is understood as a socially and politically contested activity [24,25]. This richer understanding of repair reflects "a widespread, creative, innovative and reconstituting capability and sensibility, rather than a narrowly-delineated process of restoring a given object to a certain specification in the context of a dyadic relationship between manufacturer and user" [26] (p. 133). ...
Article
Full-text available
The idea of replacing the broken linear economy with circular forms to help address the current sustainability crisis is gaining world-wide traction in policy, industry, and academia. This article presents results from an international interview study with 34 repair practitioners and experts in different fields. The article aims to improve understandings of the potential of repair so as to contribute to a more just, sustainable, and circular economy. Through a five-step qualitative method the results reveal and explore three tensions inherent in repair: first, repair activities constitute different forms of subjectivity; second, repair entails different and sometimes contested temporalities; and finally, even though repair is deeply political in practice, the politics of repair are not always explicit, and some repair activities are actively depoliticized. The opportunities and obstacles embodied in these tensions are generative in repair practices and debates, but poorly reflected in contemporary circular economy discourse. We conclude that a richer, more inclusive, and politicized understanding of repair can support environmental justice in the implementation of circular economy (CE) and provide greater opportunities for just and transformational sustainability strategies and policies.
... Based on the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics, the condition of products in the field can be monitored continuously and remotely, enabling optimized condition-based maintenance (CBM). Condition monitoring also enables better insight into remaining product lifetime, degradation status, and environmental factors (Ren et al., 2019), which can be used to improve looping strategies (Bressanelli et al., 2018;Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2016;Ellen MacArthur Foundation, McKinsey & Company, Google, 2019;Spring and Araujo, 2017;Ondemir and Gupta, 2014). However, actual implementation of condition-based looping strategies in practice remains low (Alcayaga et al., 2019, Ingemarsdotter et al., 2019. ...
Article
Full-text available
Previous literature has highlighted many opportunities for digital technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics, to enable circular strategies, i.e., strategies which support the transition to a circular economy (CE). As one of the key circular strategies for which the digital opportunities are apparent, maintenance is selected as the focus area for this study. In the field of maintenance, IoT and data analytics enable companies to implement condition-based maintenance (CBM), i.e., maintenance based on monitoring the actual condition of products in the field. CBM can lead to more timely and efficient maintenance, better performing products-in-use, reduced downtime in operations, and longer product lifetimes. Despite these benefits, CBM implementation in practice is still limited. The aim of this research is thus to understand the challenges related to CBM implementation in practice, and to extract solutions which companies have applied to address these challenges. Towards this aim, a multiple case study is conducted at three original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). A framework is derived which allows for a broad analysis of challenges and solutions in the cases. We identify 19 challenges and 16 solutions and translate these into a set of actionable recommendations. Our findings contribute to the field of CBM with a comprehensive view of challenges and solutions in practice, from the OEM’s point of view. Moreover, we contribute to CE literature with a concrete case study about IoT-enabled circular strategy implementation.
... Given the emphasis on the careers of goods in early works and the approach's potential for thinking about their circulation (see Lepawsky & Mather, 2011;Spring & Araujo, 2017), surprisingly few studies have mobilised these theoretical ideas so far to explore the dynamics of innovation and obsolescence beyond processes immediately leading up to the A great, early example of this line of work is the study of Spinney and colleagues (2012) on the dynamics of product obsolescence in the laptop sector. Drawing on fieldwork conducted with employees of a computer firm and end users, the authors explored a specific aspect related to the 'psychological obsolescence' of laptops: the availability of a new laptop. ...
Thesis
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It's a PhD thesis - but it can be read and even cited ;) Highlights: - an in-depth analysis of how markets can be transformed to support higher levels of product endurance - a holistic analysis of how changes in product endurance come about - a valuation perspective on market innovation processes - a detailed biography of the mobile phone in the UK Abstract: The poor ability of many consumer durables to last has given rise to serious environmental concerns. How this ability can be improved at the scale of an entire market, however, remains a puzzle. In an exploratory effort to build a first evidence base, this thesis examines a little noticed transformation of a highly conspicuous good: how mobile phones, once considered ‘throwaway objects’ with an average life expectancy of 12 months, morphed into ‘premium platforms’ used for about twice as long. - The case challenges long-standing perspectives according to which the ability of consumer durables to withstand obsolescence either inevitably declines over time or follows an uncontrollable, cyclical development. To make sense of the aforementioned development, I draw on scholarship of market innovation, performativity, and valuation. - The analysis of the case offers, first, much-needed insights on the concrete market settings that can bring about deteriorating or improving levels of product endurance. Building on analogies with the issues of disability and addiction, I discuss the roles that three types of market devices played in shaping the dynamics of mobile phone endurance throughout the years: prosthetic devices, habilitation devices, and addiction devices. - Secondly, the analysis directs attention to the significance of struggles over the valuation of goods for the dynamics of product endurance. Such struggles can be located at the heart of the troublesome emergence of the premium platform market as well as its uncertain future. The findings from this case are discussed in relation to wider debates on the implications of the politics of value for the temporal dynamics of market innovation. I conclude that for studies of product endurance there is much to be gained from the analysis of historical market dynamics.
... Progressive liberalization of international trade, including the service sector (cf. Alkraiji 2020), results in the so-called servitization of the economy and the building of a service economy (Spring and Araujo 2017;Buera and Kaboski 2012;Green and Ng 2017;Lafuente et al. 2017;Rees et al. 2020;Saeedi and Visvizi 2021). Services, in other words, represent an increasingly salient part of international trade, and therefore also of local, national, and regional economic systems. ...
Article
Full-text available
In the extant body of literature on the servitization of the economy, on the one hand, and determinants of growth and development, on the other, the classic question of revealed comparative advantage (RCA) plays a prominent role. Regardless of the popularity, relevance, and validity of the use of the RCA as a part of multivariate queries on the above topics, this paper argues that the RCA alone offers a rather static insight into a country’s economic performance. Most importantly, the classic take on the RCA does not allow us to query a country’s comparative advantage and degree of specialization in the services sector. By inserting itself in the broader discussion on ways of bypassing the limitations inherent in the classic RCA index, this paper proposes a novel take on the RCA index, i.e., the Visvizi–Wosiek RCA (VWRCA) index, and, subsequently, applies it to the study of the evolution of the services sector in Poland over the period 2010–2019. The added value of the VWRCA index is threefold. (i) By recognizing the increasing role of services in the global economy, it serves as a useful tool in queries aimed at examining the structure of a given economy, the degree of specialization in the production of certain services, and the real revealed comparative advantage a country has in the production of a certain group/category of services. (ii) By focusing solely on services, the VWRCA index allows us to examine the volume and velocity of trade in services independently from the volume of trade in goods. (iii) Due to the resulting methodological accuracy, it enables the inclusion of a temporal dimension in the analysis, which in turn gives cues as to specific developments and the actual performance of a given economy regarding the evolution of the services sector
... More specifically, future research studies should explore what the multi-stakeholders are involved in, with a focus on critical success factors and activities at the organizational level. It is reported that several different stakeholders leading inducive factors encourage companies to pursue CE practices [9,10,82,83]. Recently, Wagner and Heinzel [84] highlight that future studies should examined which socio-demographic characteristics are important for CE awareness Even though advancements have been made, much remains to be achieved in understanding the relationship between stakeholders' role and the adoption of CE practices. ...
Article
Full-text available
The circular economy (CE) has become one of the prominent topics in both natural science and management literature over the last few decades. CE is a dual-loop regenerative system that focuses on the effective and efficient utilization of resources in the ecosystem, which is beneficial to environmental and economic performance optimization. Dual CE initiatives allow firms to increased resource eco-efficiency, as well as resource effectiveness. CE has profound consequences for economic and operational advantage. This reinforces the need for reflection on the definition that may provide guidelines to assess and advance the depth and diversity of the field. We aim to provide a definitional analysis of the CE and suggest future research streams to advance the existing literature. For this purpose, we employed a systematic literature review to collect related publications in the CE. As a result of this, a total of 91 papers were selected, studied, and analyzed. We proposed a sound definition of a circular economy that includes the main identified elements, organizational planning processes, customers and society, utilization of the ecosystem, and economic resource flows. Moreover, future direction agenda, in CE research, is suggested considering three research streams: (1) circular design as value creation and capture, (2) antecedents of key activities, and (3) consequences of key processes. There is limited empirical research conducted on CE, and much of the existing research focuses on theoretical, conceptual, and normative. A few empirical research studies are mainly cross-sectional in their focus and are confined to developing and emerging economies. We hope this study's findings will extend the field of CE, in which some of the most influential information regarding CE literature is provided. This study suggests that the development of CE initiatives plays an important role in the growing digital transformation in the value chain. There have been limited research studies in the interface of circular economy and Industry 4.0. Future research studies may investigate the extent to which digital transformation can increase the implementation of CE, and their influence on digital performance management.
... Recent efforts tried to improve service-based offerings by developing models that simulate the flow of products and their components throughout supply chains and value retention operations (Wang, Breme, et al., 2014;Lieder et al., 2017;Franco, 2019). Direct control over product cores does not just enable the creation of product "biographies" (Spring and Araujo, 2017); it also optimises the handling of the materials used in the products (Lieder et al., 2017). ...
... Temporary proximity in building projects can improve transparency in the design and execution phases [10]. However, failing to include both, material manufacturers and end users will miss the biographies of the materials [43] and the proximity at the extremes of the supply chain. The integration of different stakeholders' concerns in T&T strategy design can have a major influence in the use, renovation, and disposal of the building, overcoming construction projects' temporary nature. ...
Article
Full-text available
The adoption of digitally enabled manufacturing requires new strategies for managing information about the construction materials beyond the traditional project-driven perspective. This paper contributes an approach to improving transparency and traceability (T&T) of materials using industry 4.0 technologies. The results of a year-long action research in a glass manufacturing company include a guide to identifying requirements for T&T in the materials supply chain and an instantiation of T&T requirements for that sector. Our findings suggest identifying spheres of transparency shaped by enforced and voluntary regulations, and, afterward, creating transparency by design scenarios to complement the physical product with layers of digital information tailored for each stakeholder and product lifecycle phase. Additionally, this research extends the existing body of knowledge in T&T using a combination of technologies that support electronic product labeling. These outcomes are aligned with emerging regulations and calls for disclosure practices to achieve full product information. They are also relevant for material manufacturers, who can seize the opportunity to boost their brands using technological enablers of industry 4.0, including augmented reality, cloud, and mobile systems.
... The work presented by Novales et al. (2016) extends this vision by introducing the concept of "'hybridity' (i.e., the combination of digital and physical components), (…) digitized product-service bundles (servitization of digitized products), and digitized product ecosystems [i.e., networks of actors that need to interact]", each one posing particular challenges to managers. Companies have started to incorporate sensors and use cloud infrastructures to improve product biographies (Spring and Araujo 2017), and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) is one of the main responsible for the phenomena, affecting many industries worldwide (Shim et al. 2019). Buildings, cars, airplanes, watches, or washing machines are just a few examples of products that are becoming smarter. ...
Conference Paper
Even the most unforeseen objects can be digitally transformed, requiring a tailored approach to each sector of the economy. This paper presents a year-long design science research to create a smart product-service system (SPSS) in the traditional industry of ceramic roof tiles. Our study describes the challenges of incorporating interactivity and data processing e-services into traditional materials for construction. This case also reveals the importance of multifaceted SPSS strategies to address the concerns of: (1) the end users; (2) the supply chain of the smart ecosystem; and (3) the producer, including the option to implement SPSS(aaS) as a service. To remain competitive, traditional industries must develop innovative strategies to gradually incorporate SPSS in their market offer. Nevertheless, the level of disruptiveness of the SPSS proposal depends on the synergies produced by the joint redesign of physical and digital materialities.
... CE also includes a closed-loop supply chain perspective (Ranta, Keränen, & Aarikka-Stenroos, 2020;Spring & Araujo, 2017). The closedloop supply chain has several intertwined stages from product design, and procurement to final recycling (Hervani, Helms, & Sarkis, 2005). ...
Article
Lack of verified knowledge makes it difficult to determine whether and how emerging and disruptive Industry 4.0 (I4.0) technologies enable social sustainability. The circular economy (CE) might represent an effective approach to integrate I4.0 technologies into practices and business to improve sustainability. This paper explores how I4.0 technologies might contribute to achieve the United Nations' sustainable development goals (SDGs) through a CE approach. This paper introduces a framework to evaluate I4.0 technology relationships with SDGs and CE. A predictive method is introduced to evaluate I4.0 technologies by integrating DEMATEL and a linear model. The proposed method is used to evaluate the relationship between I4.0 technologies, SDGs, and CE using secondary data from the electronics industry. This study identifies CE practices as a critical link connecting I4.0 technologies and SDGs. The study further builds on the research foundation linking I4.0, sustainability, and CE domains. It will also benefit practitioners formulating sustainability strategies for I4.0 adoption.
... First, we argue that product type itself constitutes a crucial signal in determining backers' trust in the execution of crowdfunding projects. In RBCF two broad categories of products can be distinguished: individual ownership products characterized by a product personally owned and used by an individual, and temporary use products based on a sharing economy perspective [100] and the "servitization" of products [101]- [103]. Indeed, products that are typically individually owned and used are increasingly being transformed into shared assets through online platforms that allow owners to provide a service for temporary use when needed by consumers [104], [105]. ...
Article
This article explores the impact of different types of products and rewards on the amount of funds raised in reward-based crowdfunding (RBCF). Specifically, we have analyzed two different product types, i.e., based on individual ownership or temporary use, and four types of rewards, i.e., prototype, branded promotional item, special edition, and discount. Results of a within-subject survey-based experiment indicate that individual ownership products obtain more funds than temporary use products. In addition, depending on the product type, some rewards are more effective in attracting funds from backers. These outcomes extend the application of Signaling Theory in the context of RBCF, as backers respond to multiple signals connected to both product and reward types because they are related to the likelihood of project realization, and of Self-Determination Theory, as backers are nonprofessionals and contribute their money mainly for the satisfaction of supporting what they consider valuable entrepreneurial projects. The findings of this article advance the scientific understanding of RBCF and provide advice for entrepreneurs on how to properly craft their call for money depending on the type of product proposed to the crowd.
... The members' self-recognition of servitization either as a domain (Gebauer, Saul, Haldimann, & Gustafsson, 2017;Nudurupati, Lascelles, & Wright, 2016;Raja, Frandsen, & Mouritsen, 2017) or as a field (Alghisi & Saccani, 2015;Kowalkowski, Gebauer, Kamp, & Parry, 2017;Leoni, 2015;Martín-Peña et al., 2017) has increased since 2015. Simultaneously, researchers began to use the expression 'servitization scholars' to refer to themselves (Díaz-Garrido, Pinillos, Soriano-Pinar, & García-Magro, 2018;Helms, 2016;Kowalkowski, Gebauer, & Oliva, 2017;Spring & Araujo, 2017). The growing acceptance of servitization to replace early terms like 'service infusion' (Brax, 2005) or 'service maneuvers' (Mathieu, 2001b) signals the research domain's legitimization. ...
Article
Full-text available
The servitization domain consists of over three decades of multi-disciplinary research on service activities in industrial contexts. Servitization literature combines different research streams that share a set of critical concepts. Existing meta-analytical studies have organized information content of sub-streams, homogenized theoretical propositions, and concepts to discover shared patterns, and identified an implicit meta-narrative. This study reverses the meta-analysis direction to deconstruct the servitization body of knowledge using the dynamic topic modeling (DTM) methodology to analyze 550 research articles. DTM enables complex forms of content analysis that combine quantitative and qualitative analysis. The analysis demonstrates how these streams have informed the development of the servitization domain and shaped the collective construction of this body of knowledge. The contributions of this study are threefold. First, the study increases understanding of the conceptual dynamics and thematic trends within the servitization research domain and the nuances between the sub-streams. The study offers some strategies for the future development of the field, facilitating the renewal of the servitization-related research agenda. Second, it illustrates the role of DTM as an alternative tool for conducting a literature review. Finally, it supports the development of a common language for the servitization field, thereby reducing the entry barriers for new contributors and favoring the knowledge transfer to professionals.
... A EC visa eliminar o desperdício e inclui princípios como reciclar, remanufaturar, reusar, regenerar, compartilhar, otimizar, etc. (SPRING;ARAUJO, 2017). Estudos comos de Leitão e Salim (2020) vão ao encontro do que foi exposto, e mostra a importância de reduzir o desperdício, buscando o máximo aproveitamento dos resíduos alimentares. ...
Article
Full-text available
O aproveitamento de resíduos do coco verde reduz o impacto ambiental, serve de insumo para a produção de outros produtos e gera renda, indo ao encontro do que é preconizado pela Economia Circular (EC). O objetivo deste trabalho foi levantar práticas de EC adotadas pelas empresas no que tange ao reaproveitamento da casca do coco verde. Este trabalho se justifica pelo fato de existir oportunidades inexploradas para o crescimento econômico através da EC, gerando renda para aqueles que conseguirem reaproveitar os resíduos, como é o caso da casca do coco verde. Para atingir o objetivo proposto, foi feita uma pesquisa na internet, que permitiu levantar as práticas que estão sendo adotadas pelas empresas para reaproveitar os resíduos do coco verde. Os resultados mostraram que há produtos produzidos a partir dos resíduos do coco verde, como artesanatos, insumos para jardinagem e construção civil, e até indústria automobilística, e que estão alinhados ao que é preconizado pela EC.
... In addition, this feature extends the product lifespan since old products remain competitive for longer, thus postponing their replacement. With both of those previous features, firms can timely obtain and use information about product maintenance issues to effectively provide technical support and other maintenance services remotely (Rymaszewska et al., 2017;Spring & Araujo, 2017). With PL database as well as business analytics and intelligence, enterprises provide their customers with personalized advice to optimize the usage phase, such as suggestions on how products should be used to extend their lifetime (Reim, Parida, & Ö rtqvist, 2015). ...
Article
Resource conservation through extended product lifetimes has emerged as a rising mantra in various domains related to the circular economy. Meanwhile, it appears that product lifetime extension (PLE) is increasingly achievable through sophisticated technological production systems encapsulated in the concept of industry 4.0. To help managers and researchers understand the potential of PLE offered by crucial Industry 4.0 technologies, this study provides a systematic literature review synthesizing conceptual and empirical research demonstrating the PLE-Industry 4.0 nexus. Using the Digital Twin as a Service (DTaaS) as an architecture reference model for Industry 4.0, we identify four key constitutive technologies of Industry 4.0 (i.e., Additive Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, Internet-of-Things, and Big Data) that may contribute to improved product design, access, maintenance, redistribution, and recovery. The findings provide meaningful strategies that are actionable by managers to extend product lifetimes.
... There are several key political and economic issues of relevance for CE: such as power relations between producers and consumers [25] and between sectors across value chains globally [26]; employment and labour issues [27,28] including those in extractive industries, as well as in waste management and the informal sector [29]; and the management of environment and resources [30,31]. These issues structure political interventions around circularity both directly and indirectly through the redistribution or consolidation of political power and influence. ...
Article
Full-text available
The dominant technocratic and neoliberal imaginary of a circular economy dependent on corporate leadership, market mechanisms, and changed consumer behaviour is here explored using the findings of deliberative stakeholder workshops examining diverse scenarios for the promotion of repair as part of a circular economy. Stakeholder responses to four scenarios-digital circularity, planned circularity, circular modernism, and bottom-up sufficiency-are described with reference to the ideologies, interests, and institutions involved. We distinguish two levels of discourse in the stakeholder discussions. The main narrative in which individualist and consumerist ideologies dominate, even within ideals of sustainability, reflects a conjunction of corporate, labour, and public interests in the market liberal social democratic state, with proposed interventions focused on the institutions of markets and education. A subaltern narrative present in the margins of the discussions challenges the consumerist and productivist presumptions of the market liberal political economy and hints at more transformative change. These conflicting responses not only cast light on the ways in which the political economy of contemporary Sweden (within the European Union) constrains and conditions current expectations and imaginaries of circularity, but also suggest ways in which the future political economy of circular economies might be contested and evolve. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s43615-021-00128-8.
... First, we argue that product type itself constitutes a crucial signal in determining backers' trust in the execution of crowdfunding projects. In RBCF, two broad categories of products can be distinguished: individual ownership products characterized by a product personally owned and used by an individual, and temporary use products based on a sharing economy perspective [100] and the "servitization" of products [101]- [103]. Indeed, products that are typically individually owned and used are increasingly being transformed into shared assets through online platforms that allow owners to provide a service for temporary use when needed by consumers [104], [105]. ...
... For Zheng et al. (2018), IoT is considered the enabling technology that economically affects the development of servitization, as found in manufacturing, to increase product value and create innovative services for a segmented market from a B2B or B2C perspective. This logic is also found in the study of Spring and Araujo (2017). They highlighted that although successful cases of servitization related to capital goods are already based on collecting and analyzing data regarding product performance, IoT promises to extend this scenario to a much more comprehensive range of products and markets. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Internet of things (IoT) constitutes an integral part of the ongoing digital revolution. Additionally, the shift toward mass customization calls for an increasing degree of servitization. Purpose of the paper: This paper aims to provide the rationale for the value that the intersection of the servitization and smart connected devices can create for both businesses and consumers. Methodology: A set of keywords is used to perform thorough bibliographic searches on Scopus and Web of Science to identify the available academic literature on the topic. A narrative synthesis by means of thematic and content analyses is conducted to highlight the role of IoT as one of the major drivers of servitization. Main Findings: The inherent characteristics of IoT play an important role as potential enablers of value creation through servitization. Practical implications: The findings of this article are useful for managers and decision-makers, organizations, and producers who want to foster their servitization dynamics. Originality/value: The role of IoT for servitization is an emerging topic and no previous attempts to treat the subject holistically have been made. Type of paper: Narrative review article
... However, this model opened a market for other companies to cover the entire cycle. Marketing researchers have called this process servitisation (SV) [30,31]. In industry, the concept of SV refers to the process of increasing the capabilities of a company to offer a greater experience for the end consumer. ...
Article
Full-text available
The business fabric is trying to resolve the many transformations that have occurred in recent decades. Companies are obliged to offer new ways to meet the needs of the market. This situation has led to the creation of new business models that combine both competitiveness and sustainability. Among the most consistent strategies, the product-service system (PSS) stands out. A bibliometric analysis was carried out on 1088 documents during the period 2000–2020, to synthesize the knowledge base on PSS in a global context and analyse future trends. The results obtained have made it possible to identify the evolution of scientific production, the main drivers of this issue, the lines of research developed and their link with EU legislation and reveal some critical gaps in knowledge. The main lines of research describe different aspects of PSS: servitisation, product design, manufacturing, life cycle, circular economy, and sustainable development. This study has identified how its analysis has developed to date and what terms allow us to glimpse new approaches; hence, it is a useful tool for PSS researchers and sponsors who provide financial resources that allow new directions in this research.
... In their diagnostic framing, most scholars addressed the symptoms caused by the linear economy (LE). Here, scholars listed several reasons to justify why LE needs to change, including the unsustainability of overconsumption and its impact on raw material security and 8 prices (Genovese et al., 2017;Romero-Hernández & Romero, 2018: 758), over-shoot of biophysical limits (Esposito et al., 2018;Perey et al., 2018), environmental pressures and material scarcity (Jaeger-Erben et al., 2015;Kunz et al., 2018;Spring & Araujo, 2017), depletion of natural resources (Hopkinson et al., 2018;Morales & Sossa, 2020;Suzanne et al., 2020), increasing waste and waste-led ecological crisis (Frei et al., 2020;Katz-Gerro & Sintas, 2019;Pazienza & De Lucia, 2020;Testa et al., 2020), and general inefficiencies of LE (Ciulli et al., 2019). Here, the linear 'take-make-waste' economy was framed as 'immoral'; and yet often, scholars have expressed this subtly and usually not explicitly. ...
Article
This paper reviews the diagnostic, motivational and prognostic circular economy framing of business and management scholars and makes the assumptions embedded in their framing explicit benefiting from a problematizing review. The review demonstrates various in-house assumptions about the circular economy with emphasis business models, business case, circular economy-corporate sustainability relationship, root metaphor assumptions about circularity, industrial relationships resembling that of biological metabolisms, and waste, finally ideological assumptions of natural capitalism that guide scholarly thinking about growth, profit maximization, consumption, ownership. The paper discusses these assumptions' implications for the growing circular economy literature within business and management and opens this domain with new conversations drawing on ecological economics and industrial ecology.
... A broad body of literature anticipates that in the years to come, intelligent objects will overtake more and more jobs that people have traditionally performed, from driving, diagnosing diseases, providing translation services, and drilling for oil to even milking cows, to name just some examples [1]. In 1999, a British visionary Kevin Ashton coined the term "Internet of Things" (IoT) to describe a general network of things linked together and communicating with each other as computers do today on the Internet [2]. The connection of objects to the Internet makes it possible to access remote sensor data and to control the physical world from a distance [3]. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence is becoming seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives, augmenting our knowledge and capabilities in driving, avoiding traffic, finding friends, choosing the right movie, or finding the perfect song, and, perhaps most importantly, it is entering into healthcare and medical diagnostics with large brave strides. As this twenty-first century “man meets machine” reality is unfolding, several social and juristic challenges emerge for which we are in general poorly prepared. We here review social dilemmas where individual interests are at odds with the interests of others, and where artificial intelligence might have a particularly hard time making the right decision. Examples thereof are the well-known social dilemmas of autonomous vehicles and vaccination. We also review juristic challenges, with a focus on torts and product liability that are due to artificial intelligence, resulting in the claimant suffering a loss or harm. Here the challenge is to determine who is legally liable, and to what extent. We conclude with an outlook and with a short set of guidelines for constructively mitigating described challenges, with a focus on artificial intelligence in medicine.
... Thus, by replacing the current dominant tourism narrative of seamless services, where the guest is kept unaware of the resources that go into the provision of services, with narratives that illuminate the biography of services provision, an accommodation service is developed into a potentially transformative learning platform. From a storytelling and experience creation point of view (Mossberg, 2008), the concept of circularity with its biography-loaded implications (Spring & Araujo, 2017), holds potentials for corporate branding, but may also be a powerful tool at the destination level, as illustrated by Broegaard et al. (2019) using the Danish island of Samsø as an example. ...
Article
Despite being classified as a service sector, producing immaterial services, tourism relies on huge quantities and flows of exhaustible natural resources and largely reflects a linear take-make-dispose production model. In recent years, the concept of the circular economy (CE) and its restorative and regenerative principles for production and consumption, has attracted growing attention among businesses, policy makers and researchers. While the concept of sustainability increasingly is applied in tourism research, the implications of CE in tourism has not received much attention. This paper argues that CE offers great potentials as an integrative and instructive framework for encouraging more sustainable tourism practices. It introduces, theoretically, CE in a broader socio-technical transition perspective, explores tourism as the specific context for application and provides an empirical example of a Danish hotel, inspired by a pragmatic circular business model. The paper also argues that tourism, due to its close host-guest relationships, potentially holds transformative potentials beyond how CE has been used in other fields. The paper thereby contributes to research debates about the transformative power of tourism.
... sk than the corresponding linear business model. The validation of a circular model may take place only following the second complete cycle, and therefore, the resources remain exposed to risks for longer periods. Design strategies for reducing the risk of ownership may narrow the scope for business risk between linear and circular business models.Spring and Araujo (2017) debate product biographies and opportunities for rendering a service range in the CE.Shao et al. (2020) investigate remanufacturing business models in the Chinese automobile sector and identify four stages for the models: recovering raw materials, managing used components, developing production, and marketing processes and technologies. ...
Article
Full-text available
The circular economy emerged as an alternative model to the linear system, which now appears to be reaching its physical limitations. To transition to a circular economy, companies must not only be aware of but also engage in more sustainable practices. For such a transition, companies must rethink and innovate their business models and the ways they propose value to their clients while simultaneously considering environmental and social facets. This systematic literature review sought to map out from the company perspective the key topics interrelated with innovation and the circular economy, describing the internal and external factors to consider in such transition processes. Key lines of research were identified, and suggestions for future research and for facilitating movement toward a circular economy are provided. This work contributes to deepening the literature by identifying the priority areas concerning the circular economy and encouraging future research that meets international standards of excellence.
Article
The growth of new cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) is proposed by the industry 4.0 concept. Despite the vast potential of IoT to be used in the circular economy, the adoption of IoT is still in its primary step. This study aims to identify the important barriers to the adoption of IoT in the circular economy in the manufacturing sector. To this end, a survey study was conducted to construct a framework for the evaluation of the IoT adoption barriers in the circular economy. Therefore, a novel method integrating the Stepwise Weight Assessment Ratio Analysis (SWARA) and Combined Compromise Solution (CoCoSo) methods based on Pythagorean Fuzzy Sets (PFSs) was proposed. In this method, the SWARA model is used to estimate the significance degree or weighting degrees of the barriers, while the CoCoSo method is applied to ranking various organizations in the manufacturing sector under the identified barriers. To show the performance of the developed approach, a comparison analysis is performed of the selection of qualified organizations. The outcome of this study indicated that the developed approach was able to suggest more realistic performance under PFSs, hence providing a wide range of applications.
Article
The objectives of this study are to understand the circular supply chain barriers for textile companies to implement the circular economy. Main contributions of the study were to propose a specific framework that reveals circular supply chain barriers in transition to circular economy with holistic view by encompassing all stakeholders, to reveal causal relationships among the circular supply chain barriers within textile industry. Causal relationships between the proposed circular supply chain barriers were identified by Fuzzy-Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) method. The barriers are classified under cause and effect groups and related implications are proposed. The findings of this study are lack of collecting, sorting and recycling, reluctance for acceptance of CE model, and problems related to uniformity and standardisation are revealed as the most important barriers, respectively. Moreover, lack of technical knowledge is the most influencing factor, whereas, challenges in product design is the most influenced factor.
Chapter
This chapter starts laying the conceptual root of circular economy (CE) by reviewing the various school of thoughts and the underpinning principles. Particularly, the operationalization of the circular economy concepts can be explained drawing from policymaking and different industrial ‘R’ activities. To further explore how circular economy contributes to the state of sustainability-as-flourishing, this chapter explains the notion of flourishing as a promising path towards sustainability, and also discusses the pros and cons of circular economy in contrast to shifts needed for flourishing. Specifically, circular economy significantly moves the world towards the next level of sustainability because (1) CE looks beyond eco-efficiency; (2) CE delivers the sustainable value; (3) CE is concerned with the resilience for ecosystem; (4) CE connects with the natural system. Whilst the imperfection of circular economy as a sustainability strategy comes from its scarcity of social dimension and the potential energy inefficiency. To this end, this chapter develops a four-dimensional conceptual model used as a lens to re-envision the sustainability, by drawing the path of sustainability-as-CE and the path towards sustainability-as-flourishing. Assisted with the conceptual model, this chapter investigates five crucial aspects of sustainability and identifies solutions for decision-makings for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners.
Article
Purpose Addressing fundamental sustainability challenges has now become strategic for multi-national corporations. However, such challenges by their very nature are complex and require resources that are frequently beyond those that are traditionally accepted as relevant and crucial to a firm’s core business operations. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how firms identify and integrate diverse groups of actors using social intelligence to build an ecology of resources to tackle these complex challenges. Design/methodology/approach The empirical part is based on qualitative single case study research of a packaging company and its waste management program. Findings Organizing for sustainability requires business activities to be conceptualized as a continuous process of project building, involving actors in diverse settings and responsibilities divided thematically and spatially forming nets within a network to solve problems, collectively. There is a fundamental analytical problem of integrating a diversity of value spheres, and society has a set of rational methods for planning and action where decisions are made to privilege one aspect to the exclusion of others. Artificial separation of activities that are interdependent and failure to allow these activities to evolve through interactions in time and space could threaten sustainability. Research limitations/implications This is a single case study within a certain context, therefore ways for orchestrating resource ecologies need further investigation. Practical implications For managers, it is very important to recognize and appreciate the interconnectedness of resource ecologies but also that interactions resulting in joint actions can often have different rewards and benefits for the diverse range of actors implicated in such networks. This kind of social intelligence offers managers options to experiment with transitional pathways that match the objectives of diverse network actors and provide unique resource combinations for building competitive advantage. There is only so much that is under the control of managers or even firms, which means both must embrace uncertainty and the phenomenon of emergence. Social implications From a societal perspective, the findings of the study show how the open and transparent activities for the sustainability of one firm spread through different layers of the society through connecting, sharing and developing resources. Therefore, it is important for societies to enable and support the open sharing of resources for sustainability. Investments in large programs for transitions to sustainability tend to spread from a focal company into various projects for sustainability involving several layers of actors within society. This ensures that awareness, behaviors and attitudes related with sustainability become rooted in society and give rise to valuable innovations. Originality/value This study illustrates how resources are created and shaped through nets during transitions toward sustainability using social intelligence.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to analyze the origins and evolution of the concept of servitization by studying the definitions of servitization provided in the literature. Servitization represents an academic field that has grown rapidly since its inception. However, the conceptualization of servitization varies greatly, in part because of the number of studies on this topic and the fact that it has been analyzed in a range of disciplines using a number of theoretical approaches. There is a need to standardize the vocabulary to create a general definition that can support the development of theory in this domain and help legitimize servitization as a research area. Design/methodology/approach This study conducts a systematic, quantitative analysis of a broad set of definitions of servitization. Specifically, this study performs content analysis (combining co-word analysis and social network analysis) and consensus analysis. This study develops a strategic diagram to represent the morphology of the research network. Findings The definitions of servitization are deconstructed and analyzed in depth to create a comprehensive picture of the research on this topic. This analysis reveals the origins and evolution of this research area. The results show a low degree of consensus among scholars regarding the concept of servitization. This study proposes a definition that should be widely accepted thanks to its inclusion of the core terms from other definitions. Explicit recognition of multiple approaches to defining the term can help practitioners and researchers. Predictions about future progress in this area are discussed. Originality/value A universal definition of servitization is proposed based on the results of co-word and network analysis. This definition unifies a range of multidisciplinary viewpoints. From a practical perspective, the key vocabulary in servitization research is highlighted.
Article
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Major assets such as buildings, infrastructure and defence systems are long term investments that require many outsourced sustainment activities to maintain satisfactory performances over their service life. When multiplied by the number of years that the sustainment is planned to be undertaken, the contracting cost is high. Many business processes are established to govern these asset sustainment activities and eventually become the source of inefficiency. This paper analyses the performance of these processes using a performance driven approach. Combined with input data of requests for engineering change in similar assets, this paper evaluates a new business process redesigned from an existing process to achieve significant savings in total cost of ownership as well as improving other non-financial performance indicators.
Chapter
This study aims to propose a structure to organize sustainability strategies for Schools of Thought in the circular economy, to guide the introduction of circularity in the companies’ business model, meeting the needs of researchers and managers. In the research, the systematic bibliographic method was used to analyze scientific articles on the circular economy, level of analysis, stock of knowledge on circular economy and the perspective of diachronic analysis, seeking to understand its evolution over time; the data were organized with the aid of a synthesizing table, where the characteristics of each school of thought were gathered and then interpreted with the content analysis technique, seeking meaning for all terms cataloged in the same semantic field. The strategies were organized in the stages of the technical cycle of the Systemic Diagram of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF). The conclusion shows that the structure created can guide the transition to an era of a more circular economy.
Article
The transition towards Circular Economy (CE) is strongly linked to collaborative relationships between stakeholders, whose main goal is to create and capture differential values. However, the literature is not clear about who these stakeholders are, how they are connected and what kind of values they share. Thus, this paper proposes a guide for mapping stakeholders, capturing circular values and finding new CE implementation opportunities. To achieve this goal, we used an iterative approach comprising a literature review to identify the circular captured values, fuzzy cognitive map (FCM) application to assess the relations between captured values and CE principles, as well as multiple case studies to test the applicability and validity of the guide. As results, we obtained a stakeholder classification applied to CE, identified a list of circular values these stakeholders could capture, and proposed a guide that drives the organizations toward identifying new opportunities and solutions for CE implementation. This paper stands out for identifying new opportunities to improve organizational performance towards CE, as well as for providing a systemic view of the business ecosystem, integrating stakeholders in decision-making processes.
Conference Paper
This paper introduces the concept of product biography information system (PBIS). The findings emerge from a design science research project conducted in a paper pulp company integrating the PSI-20 stock market index of Euronext Lisbon. The results include a reference architecture and design principles for the development of PBIS supported by blockchain and multiple generations of digital twins. For theory, PBIS offers an extension to product lifecycle management, ensuring that products lives are memorized in its sociomaterial context of production, logistics, and use. For practice, we show how organizations can design new enterprise systems that capture complex product biographies taking advantage of Industry 4.0. The findings are relevant for the innovation of product-service systems that adhere to the emerging challenges of sustainable development and traceability.
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Circular Economy (CE) has been one of the most transformational tendencies for the past years. What seemed to be one more organizational hype, is now appearing as a global trend, affecting macro, meso and microenvironments, ranging from governments, global organizations (such as the UN), the whole private sector, science, to final consumers and individuals. Despite the numerous CE definitions, a common sense regarding what CE means is still subject of studies. This opens space for misinterpretation and misuse, as well as greenwashing and image depreciation risks. Consequently, some organizations tend to shape CE to their own definitions and paradigms rather than changing their businesses. This article builds on previous work and aims to establish a common-sense CE definition, separating it from its enablers and related concepts, which seem to be the root causes of misuse. We asked 44 worldwide CE experts PhDs the same question: “Using your own words, please describe what you understand by “Circular Economy”. Database was complicated and analysed through a coded framework and triangulated with the support of R statistical tool. The main outcome is a final definition proposal, along with a structured CE framework. It is expected this research will provide resources to allow standards organizations to establish formal cross-industry CE policies and regulations, leading to scales, targets, KPI's development for CE assessments and audits; and guide organizations and governments on their CE transition roadmaps.
Chapter
In this chapter, we aim to inspire questions and discussion on why the circular economy is relevant to industries for ensuring sustainable growth and continuous improvement. We also will discuss some of the challenges faced by manufacturing industries in adopting circular economy practices, and how applied data analytics in the framework of Industry 4.0 can help in overcoming these.
Purpose This study caries a survey approach using the expert's interview and literature to select the important criteria to select and evaluate the third-party reverse logistics providers (3PRLPs) in manufacturing companies. In total, 16 criteria are selected to evaluate 3PRLPs, and these criteria are classified on the basis of three main elements of sustainable growth, including economic, social and environmental development. Therefore, a hybrid decision-making approach is utilized to evaluate and rank the 3PRLPs in manufacturing companies. Design/methodology/approach This paper proposes a new decision-making approach using the projection model and entropy method under the interval-valued intuitionistic fuzzy set to assess 3PRLPs based on sustainability perspectives. A survey approach using the literature review and experts' interview is conducted to select the important criteria to select and evaluate 3PRLPs in manufacturing companies. To assess the criteria weight, the entropy method is used. Further, the projection model is applied to prioritize the 3PRLPs option. Sensitivity analysis and comparison process are performed in order to test and validate the developed method. Findings The presented methodology uses the benefits to determine the former for measuring the parameters considered and the latter for rating the 3PRLPs alternatives. A case study is taken to 3PRLPs in the manufacturing industry to illustrate the efficiency of the introduced hybrid method. The findings of this study indicate that when facing uncertainties of input and qualitative data, the proposed solution delivers more viable performance and therefore is suitable for wider uses. Originality/value The conception of the circular economy (CE) comes from the last 4 decades, and in recent years, tremendous attention has been carried out on this concept, partially because of the availability of natural resources in the world and changes in consumption behaviour of developed and developing nations. Remarkably, the sustainable supply chain management concepts are established parallel to the CE foundations, grown in industrial practice and ecology literature for a long time. In fact, to reduce the environmental concerns, sustainable supply chain management seeks to diminish the materials' flow and minimize the unintentional harmful consequences of consumption and production processes. Customers and governments are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental sustainability in the CE era, which allows businesses to concentrate more resources on reverse logistics (RLs). However, most manufacturing enterprises have been inspired to outsource their RL operations to competent 3PRLPs due to limited resources and technological limitations. In RL outsourcing practices, the selection of the best 3PRLP is helpfully valuable due to its potential to increase the economic viability of enterprises and boost their long-term growth.
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To move closer to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a change from the traditional paradigm of the linear economy towards the circular economy is of paramount importance. One of the key promoters of this shift is servitization, which involves a shift from a purely transactional product-selling model to customer satisfaction through providing the service inherent to the product. Although servitization is a promising field for academics and practitioners, its adoption faces different challenges and drivers that need to be understood and addressed. A latent issue is the lack of common language around the topic. In the present study, a systematic literature review has been conducted to allow the identification and classification of the main challenges and drivers. Based on the findings, we propose a classification framework that identifies, classifies, and groups common challenges and drivers to different areas of knowledge on servitization through intensity heat maps. From a managerial point of view, our results highlight the importance of embracing servitization as a collective effort from the different departments within a company.
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Traditional production approaches depend on the concept of make-take and waste economy. The scarcity of resources, environmental threats and social problems makes traditional approach unsustainable. Today's understanding of economy is shaped and changed within the framework of sustainability which is "meeting the needs of today without jeopardizing the talents that future generations can meet their own needs". An understanding that takes into account not only economic development, but also environmental and social development is gaining importance. While the sustainability perspective creates environmental and social product / service expectations, it also causes regulations by policy makers. While expectations and regulations create threats in terms of production, they also create an opportunity for entrepreneurs who create innovative products and services with environmental and social values. The circular economy approach, which is one of the important tools supported in achieving sustainability; beyond being a temporary trend, it may soon turn into an institution. The transition from the linear economy to the circular economy opens new opportunities in terms of entrepreneurship with the innovative activities. In the transition to circular production approach entrepreneurship plays crucial role at the firm level, as well as with the individual level entrepreneurship types such as eco-entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, sustainable entrepreneurship. Because the transition from pollution control to recycling and resource productivity makes innovation-intensive solutions imperative. In addition, while these innovative solutions contribute to overcoming environmental and social problems, they also bring competitive advantage with the positive image. Therefore, entrepreneurship is an inevitable reality in the transformation of the nonsustainable linear economy into a circular economy that can lead to a sustainable future. Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Circular Economy, Innovation.
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Summary: We break the concept of Industry 4.0 down into a series of technologies and look whether their adoption influences industrial firms’ servitization indicators. Likewise, we assess whether the existence of prior digital skills and training initiatives to work with the adopted technologies influence company scores on these indicators. We establish that there is a stronger influence on the development of intelligent services than on revenue generation from services. 1. INTRODUCTION Digitalization has been hailed many times as a catalyzer for servitization. Similarly, Industry 4.0 has been portrayed as an enabler for smart service development. However, in such occasions either digitalization and/or Industry 4.0 are often referred to in generic terms or as container concepts. Rarely are they broken down into a series of constituent technologies to see their relationship with (forms of) servitization. Therefore, in our proposed contribution we follow Gilchrist (2016) and dissect Industry 4.0 into 9 technologies that companies can apply, and look whether these have an impact on company’s servitization behaviour. We also look whether prior availability of specific (digital) skills inside the company adopting the respective technologies influences the servitization behaviour. Similarly, we look whether the companies count with a training strategy and programmes to prepare the employees for working with the technologies adopted. We draw from a survey organized in 2019 among industrial firms from the Basque Country, which resulted in valid 271 answer sets. 2. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND Our work combines insights from studies that look into the concept of Industry 4.0 and servitization. Furthermore, it builds upon studies that investigate the role of skills and training for service business development amidst industrial companies (Marcos Martínez and Martín Peña, 2016). Industry 4.0 refers to a family of technologies that entail the use and coordination of information, automation, computation and sensing activities (Acatech 2015; Posada et al. 2015). Servitization refers both to industrial firms expanding their service business and income from services (Vandermerwe and Rada, 1988) and to their attempts of sophisticating or making their service offering more advanced (Baines and Lightfoot, 2013). Skills crafting and training for service business is an area that has been approached from a knowledge development angle (Maglio and Spohrer, 2008) and a competence shaping perspective (Barile and Saviano, 2013) with regards to servitization behaviour. 3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY We process data from a large-scale survey drawn from 271 industrial firms. As independent variables we look at: the adoption of 9 technologies that correspond to Gilchrist’s (2016) categorization of Industry 4.0. Similarly, we enquire after the existence of prior digital skills to work with the adopted technologies in the company, and whether the company counts with a training strategy and/or programme to allow employees getting to grips with the implemented technologies. As dependent variables, regarding servitization behaviour, we look at income generation from services and the development of intelligent services as a consequence of the adoption of the respective technologies. We control for company size in terms of number of employees and annual turnover. We formulate corresponding hypotheses and test these by means of hierarchical logistic regressions. 4. FINDINGS We find that certain technologies are more likely to boost the servitization of business than others. In addition, we find that the uptake of Industry 4.0 technologies is more likely to foster the development of intelligent services than the generation of income from services. Alternatively, Industry 4.0 technologies seem to have more impact on the “smartization of services” than on the “servitization of revenues”. This also leads us to think that the offering of intelligent services requires more technology, or are more technology-intensive, than services in general. As for the relevance of available skills and training schemes, we find that the implementation of training strategies for the right utilization of new technologies raises the chances of companies developing intelligent services. 5. THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL CONTRIBUTIONS The findings show that developing services is one thing, but that charging for them is another thing. This may hint at industrial companies having difficulties of shifting from “services for free” to “services for a fee” or that they tend to offer integrated “product service offerings” or “package deals”, where the service part is not charged or accounted for separately. They also provide insights on the relevance of skills development for exploiting Industry 4.0 technologies for the sake of servitization. Finally, the study raises questions around how to conceptualize and measureservitization behaviour. I.e., depending on the way that servitization behaviour is measured, its determinants could vary to a great extent.
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Servicizing is a business model that holds the potential to support a shift toward more sustainable production and consumption by selling to the consumer the product's function, rather than the material product itself. This can offer direct environmental benefits by reducing the material and energy intensity of market transactions. Servicizing based business offers are starting emerging on the market, but public policy support could accelerate this process. This article is a review of the state of the art in the field and of relevant policy initiatives addressing servicizing conducted for that project. It aims to explore where and how public policy supports or steers markets toward servicizing solutions. The article examines the development of the servicizing concept and identifies where and when policy support for servicizing is merited. It also review several existing policy instruments to support servicizing on European, national and local (municipal) levels. Policy initiatives include R&D support, energy efficiency obligation schemes, chemicals, waste and transportation policies. The conclusions focus on the possibilities and limits of public policy support and promotion of servicizng.
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Despite the increasing strategic value of service-led growth in competitive and commoditized markets, firms frequently encounter problems orienting their industrial sales forces toward these new organizational objectives. To identify important potential challenges to firms attempting to make the transition to service-led growth, we conducted focus groups and depth interviews with 38 sales executives at goods-dominant business-to-business firms. Our discussion with C-suite managers uncovered four major transition issues, to wit, (1) the magnitude of change at the sales organization level triggered by a service transformation; (2) unique elements of selling hybrid offerings versus industrial goods; (3) the link between these differences and the sales proficiencies required for hybrid offering sales; and (4) potential individual differences among high-performing hybrid offering salespeople, compared with sales reps focused on goods sales. These insights highlight some of the managerial and sales force-level challenges that goods dominant firms will have to address as they attempt to initiate and maintain the transition to a service-led growth strategy.
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Using a business model perspective, we identify four continua that are of specific relevance for industrial firms transforming toward solution business models: customer embeddedness, offering integratedness, operational adaptiveness, and organizational networkedness. Using these continua, we explore the opportunities and challenges related to solution business model development in two different business logics that are of particular importance in an industrial context: 'installed-base' (IB) and 'input-to-process' (I2P). The paper draws on eight independent research projects, spanning an eleven-year period, involving a total of 52 multinational enterprises. The findings show that the nature and importance of the continua differ between the I2P and IB business logics. IB firms can almost naturally transition toward solutions, usually through increasing customer embeddedness and offering integratedness, and then by addressing issues around the other continua. For I2P firms, the changes needed are less transitional. Rather, they have to completely change their mental models and address the development needs on all continua simultaneously.
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As manufacturing businesses compete in an ever more competitive and global economy where products get easily commoditized, innovating by adding services to the core product offering has become a highly popular strategy. Contrary to the expected strategic and economic benefits, recent findings warn of implementation hurdles that lead to a potential performance decline, the so-called 'service paradox'. In this paper, we analyze this paradox by disentangling the value creation and value appropriation processes of 44 subsidiaries of a multinational manufacturing firm that has been successfully developing an after-sales service business. Empirical analysis reveals that products and services act as revenue complements, thereby managing to transcend the inherent substitution of products by services. In addition, more labor-intensive services, which imply higher levels of customer proximity, further enhance product sales. Finally, our findings reveal a positive yet non-linear relationship between profitability and the scale of service activities: while initial levels of servicing result in an increase in profitability, a period of relative decline is observed before the positive relationship between the scale of service activities and profitability unfolds again. While these findings suggest the presence of initial short-term gains, they also indicate the presence of a 'profitability' hurdle; sustainable (profitable) growth seems feasible only to the extent that investments in service capabilities are translated into economies of scale. In helping to clarify the performance implications of service innovations, our findings suggest pathways to sustainable growth for manufacturing firms.