Viktoria studied International Economics at the Georg-August University in Göttingen (Bachelor of Arts) and Business Administration at the University of Regensburg and the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics and Law (M. Sc. with Honors). Viktoria has worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company before joining the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management. She pursues research in the context of Sustainable Innovation, focusing on the concept of Circular Economy and Cradle to Cradle Innovations as well as drivers and enablers for their successful implementation on the organizational level.
Why and how companies implement Circular Economy concepts – the case of Cradle to Cradle innovations
Driven by depleting resources and growing awareness for alternative economic models contrasting the current “take-make-waste” approach, the concept of Circular Economy (CE) presents an opportunity to combine environmental and social interests with the goal of economic growth (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2012). One potential operationalization to realize a circular system is the Cradle to Cradle paradigm (C2C). It reframes the general goal of reducing negative externalities in a more positive way seeking the design and production of healthy products made out of benign materials that circulate in an endless flow of resources after the use phase (Braungart et al., 2006). To pursue a shift towards Circular Economy, it is important that companies successfully implement measures such as C2C practices in their work resulting in products and services which positively contribute to the environment.
While the echo in the practical world was very positive and over 200 companies worldwide have already successfully implemented C2C in their product development activities, the coverage of this topic in academia is still relatively limited, especially in the context of innovation management. The dissertation project aims at identifying intersections of innovation management theory and C2C, with particular focus on the motivations and organizational factors that enable a successful C2C implementation.
For this purpose, a co-citation analysis has been conducted, followed by a qualitative pre-study in the form of semi-structured interviews and a quantitative exploratory online-survey with responses from over 70 C2C-certified companies. The results show motivations factors with a positive and negative effect on a company’s satisfaction with the implementation. Implementation motivated by competitive pressure proved to reduce satisfaction while the presence of a strategic fit between the CE concepts and the company strategy fosters a satisfactory implementation. Critical enablers on the organizational level are the partnership with the certification-related organizations, e.g. EPEA, as well as the holistic incorporation of the value chain steps into the implementation efforts. A negative effect could be found in the case of a high implementation extensiveness, which is resource-intensive and affects numerous stakeholder.
Publications + Publications -
- Smits, A., Drabe, V., Herstatt, C. (2020), Beyond motives to adopt: Implementation configurations and implementation extensiveness of a voluntary sustainability standard, Journal of Cleaner Production, 251 (2020).
- Drabe, V.; Herstatt, C. (2016), Why and how companies implement Circular Economy concepts – the case of Cradle to Cradle innovations, R&D Management Conference 2016, Cambridge, UK.
- Kalogerakis, K.; Drabe, V.; Paramasivam, M.; Herstatt, C. (2015), Closed-Loop Supply Chains for Cradle to Cradle Products, HICL, Hamburg, September 2015. hicl.org/publications/2015/21/1.pdf
- Geng, V.; Herstatt, C.(2014), The Cradle-to-Cradle Paradigm in the context of innovation management and driving forces for implementation. 21st International Product Development Management Conference 2014, Limerick, Ireland.
- Smits, A.; Drabe, V.; Herstatt, C. (2016), Standard implementation trajectories for sustainable product design: A configurational approach, Working Paper No. 95, Hamburg University of Technology.
- Geng, V.; Herstatt, C. (2014), The cradle-to-cradle (C2C) paradigm in the context of innovation management and driving forces for implementation, Working Paper No. 79, Hamburg University of Technology.