Sustainable Innovation


A successful combination of innovation with sustainability issues has occupied science and practice for decades. In particular, the adaptation of innovation processes to new requirements and the redesign of product development activities are becoming increasingly important and offer great potential for a long-term competitive advantage.

Building on the previous work on Green Innovation at TIM, this research field has been further developed. In particular, the topics of Circular Economy and Cradle to Cradle are considered in our research and practice projects.

The research group currently consists of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c.. Cornelius Herstatt, Dr. Vytaute Dlugoborskyte, Dr. Svenja Damberg, Luise Degen, Johanna Zeller, Julia Pantel and Matthias Schneider.

Dr. Vytaute Dlugoborskyte is a Senior Research Fellow (Habilitandin) at the TIM Institute.

Dr. Svenja Damberg is a Senior Research Fellow (Habilitandin) at the TIM institute. The research focus of her habilitation (postdoctoral project) is within the overall field of Sustainability & Innovation Management, where she addresses research topics including consumer acceptance of sustainable product innovations, sustainable business models, circular economy implementations in cities and regions, and organizational credibility. Currently, Svenja works on the state-funded project “New Strategies and Structures for a Cradle to Cradle C2C Model Region in Northeast Lower Saxony”.

Luise M. Degen is a research assistant and doctoral student at the TIM institute. The research focus of her dissertation is on sustainable innovation, circular economy, circular innovation, paradox theory and organisational culture. More specifically, her research focuses on the paradoxical tensions that arise within organisations when they innovate and shift towards circular models.

Johanna Zeller works as a research assistant and doctoral student at the TIM institute. Her research combines the topics of Circular Economy, Stakeholder Theory, and Collaborative as well as Circular Oriented Innovation. Using the construction industry as an example, she is conducting research on how innovations and collaboration can facilitate the Circular Economy in the sector. Furthermore, Johanna is part of the research team of the project “New Strategies and Structures for a Cradle to Cradle C2C Model Region in Northeast Lower Saxony” which aims to develop a regional innovation, transfer and sustainability strategy for the implementation of C2C in a less developed rural region.

Julia Pantel is an external doctoral student at the TIM institute. Her research focuses on the intersection of Sustainability, Circular Economy and Innovation Management, exploring how companies can better understand customer acceptance and involve consumers/users in experimentation to achieve sustainable circular oriented innovation beyond the niche.

Matthias Schneider is an external PhD student at the TIM institute. He holds an M.Sc. in Finance from Esade Business and Law School, Barcelona. In his dissertation, Matthias is focusing on the topic of Circular Economy implementation with a focus on the manufacturing and construction industries. More specifically, Matthias is examining how innovation and business analytics capabilities in firms can support the implementation of CE initiatives.

Selection of relevant publications and conference presentations of the research group:

2022

Bücker, C., Pantel, J., Geissdoerfer, M. and Kumar, M. (2022), Supply Chain Management in the Circular Economy: Empirical evidence of industry 4.0 enabled applications, in: R&D Management Conference "Innovation for People and Territories", July 9-13, Trento, Italy.

Damberg, S. (2022). Strategies for circular economy implementation. XXXIII ISPIM INNOVATION CONFERENCE: Innovating in a Digital World, Copenhagen, Denmark, June 5-8, 2022.

Damberg, S., Fritz, M., Bozic, K., & Saari, U.A. (2022). Consumers’ purchasing behavior of Cradle-to-Cradle™ products – The role of trust and supply chain perceptions. 29th IPDMC Innovation and Product Development Management Conference, Hamburg, Germany, July 17-19, 2022.

Damberg, S., Fritz, M., & Saari, U.A. (2022). Born-sustainable companies leading the way in sustainable business model innovation – The core values and drivers for building future businesses. 28th ISDRS Conference: Sustainable Development and Courage: Culture, Art and Human Rights, Stockholm, Sweden, June 15-17, 2022.

Pantel, J., Bücker, C. and Herstatt, C. (2022), Customer Involvement in Experimentation for Sustainable Circular Oriented Innovation, in: R&D Management Conference "Innovation for People and Territories", July 9-13, Trento, Italy.

Saari, U. A., Damberg, S., Frömbling, L., & Ringle, C. M. (2021). Sustainable Consumption Behavior of Europeans: The Influence of Environmental Knowledge and Risk Perception on Environmental Concern and Behavioral Intention, Ecological Economics, 189(107155), 1-14.

Saari, U.A., Schneider, M., Damberg, S., Aarikka-Stenroos, L., Lanz, M., Herstatt, C., & Ringle, C.M. (2022). The influence of circular economy implementation on competitiveness in manufacturing companies. 28th IEEE ICE/ITMC & 31st IAMOT Conference IEEE, Nancy, France, June 19-23, 2022.

Thiesen, J., Degen, L. M., Herstatt, C. (2022), Moving Towards Circularity - An Explorative Study of the Frond End of Circular Product Innovation in the Battery and Energy Storage Sectors, in: Innovation and Product Development Management Conference, 2022.

Zeller, J. & Damberg, S. (2022). Implementing circular economy in rural regions: Key stakeholders as drivers for sustainable transformation. 29th IPDMC Innovation and Product Development Management Conference, Hamburg, Germany, July 17-19, 2022.

2021

Degen, L., Pantel, J., Dlugoborskyte, V., and Herstatt, C. (2021), Deciphering the Complexity of Circular Oriented Innovation: A Holistic Framework, in: ISPIM Conference Proceedings, Manchester 2021.

Pantel, J., Degen,L., Zeller, J., and Herstatt, C. (2021), Deciphering the Complexity of Circular Oriented Innovation: Introduction of a holistic framework for Circular Oriented Innovation (COI), in: R&D-Management Conference, 2021.

2020

Mackenbach, S., Zeller, J. C., and Osebold, R. (2020), A Roadmap towards Circularity-Modular Construction as a Tool for Circular Economy in the Built Environment, In IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science (Vol. 588, No. 5, p. 052027). IOP Publishing.