Innovation & Sustainability Management

With the pressure from environmental legislation and consumer demands, organizations have increasingly become interested in sustainable value creation, sustainable business model innovation and eco-design of products. Two of the latest concepts that aim to substantially revise our current wasteful system of production (and consumption) are circular economy (CE) and Cradle to Cradle (C2C) innovations (Kopnina, 2019), where the first concept can be summed up in nine options for circularity (9R; van Buren et a., 2016) and the latter overall described as a counterpart to the linear economy (Braungart et al., 2006). Organizations face challenges on various levels in their transition towards sustainability, including business model innovation, value creation approaches and customer/employee retention management.

Possible research topics for your thesis:
• Consumer Acceptance of CE and C2C-Product Innovations
• Drivers of a Circular Economy Transition
• Sustainable Business Models
• Sustainable Consumption Behavior

• Above-average course achievement
• Advanced skills in English (written and oral)
• Ability to work independently
• Interest in sustainability

Start date:
As from now (upon request)

Braungart, M., McDonough, W., & Bollinger, A. (2006). Cradle-to-cradle design: Creating healthy emissions – a strategy for eco-effective product and system design. Journal of Cleaner Production 15 (13-14), 1-12.

Delchet-Cochet, K. (2020). Circular Economy: From Waste Reduction to Value Creation: John Wiley & Sons.

Drabe, V., & Herstatt, C. (2016). Why and how companies implement circular economy concepts–The case of cradle to cradle innovations. Paper presented at the R&D Management Conference from Science to Society–Innovation and Value Creation.

Juntunen, J. K., Halme, M., Korsunova, A., & Rajala, R. (2019). Strategies for integrating stakeholders into sustainability innovation: A configurational perspective. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 36(3), 331-355.

Klein, S. P., Spieth, P., & Heidenreich, S. (2021). Facilitating business model innovation: The influence of sustainability and the mediating role of strategic orientations. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 38(2), 271-288.

Kopnina, H. (2019). Green-washing or best case practices? Using circular economy and Cradle to Cradle case studies in business education. Journal of Cleaner Production, 219, 613-621.

Kumar, A., Prakash, G., & Kumar, G. (2021). Does environmentally responsible purchase intention matter for consumers? A predictive sustainable model developed through an empirical study. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 58, 102270.

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.

Van Buren, N., Demmers, M., Van der Heijden, R., & Witlox, F. (2016). Towards a circular economy: The role of Dutch logistics industries and governments. Sustainability, 8, 647.

White, K., Habib, R., & Hardisty, D. J. (2019). How to SHIFT consumer behaviors to be more sustainable: A literature review and guiding framework. Journal of Marketing, 83(3), 22-49.

Please make yourself familiar with the literature listed above and send a short motivation letter (approx. 1 page), your CV and your transcript of records as a single PDF to