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Open AccessConcept Paper
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2452;

Guidance on the Conceptual Design of Sustainable Product–Service Systems

Department of Information Communication, Yuan Ze University, 135 Yuan-Tung Rd., Taoyuan City 32003, Taiwan
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 12 July 2018 / Published: 13 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in the Circular Economy: Commons or Commodity?)
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The product–service system (PSS) has great potential to promote the circular economy (CE) and sustainability. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of associating social values with sustainable PSS because social actors, including stakeholders, institutions, and communities, are the key to organizational innovation and behavior change. However, it is still not clear how companies can incorporate the social context into service strategies and co-create sustainable value with their stakeholders. Through overall discussions on related studies, this concept paper proposes theoretically based guidance for developing sustainable product–service offerings in the early planning phase. A case scenario of recycling is presented to demonstrate the operation of the proposed approach. The results suggest that companies should expand the scope of their understanding of customer problems beyond the product use. Engaging in social issues such as skill empowerment and job creation can generate long-term benefits and strengthen the brand image. In addition, working with communities and other enterprises via incentives or interactive activities can foster open innovation for CE. The proposed approach serves to assist designers in handling more comprehensive contexts of sustainability and allow better preparations for resource integration in the early PSS design phase. View Full-Text
Keywords: social value; innovation; sustainability; customer context; value creation; product–service system social value; innovation; sustainability; customer context; value creation; product–service system

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Chen, C.-W. Guidance on the Conceptual Design of Sustainable Product–Service Systems. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2452.

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