Title: Firms' transition to green product service system innovators: cases from the mobility sector

Authors: Frank Tietze; Tim Schiederig; Cornelius Herstatt

Addresses: Institute for Innovation Research, University of Kiel, Westring 425, 24118 Kiel, Germany ' Institute for Technology and Innovation Management, Hamburg University of Technology, Schwarzenbergstrasse 95, 21073 Hamburg, Germany ' Institute for Technology and Innovation Management, Hamburg University of Technology, Schwarzenbergstrasse 95, 21073 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract: This paper explores different transition paths firms can take to become product service system (PSS) innovators. Applying the dynamic capability theory, we study how three firms, respectively, a product innovator, a service innovator and a new venture, have developed PSS innovations in the mobility sector (car2go by Daimler AG, Hertz on Demand by The Hertz Corporation and Better Place). Based on semi-structured qualitative interviews with project managers, we propose a framework that incorporates three major transition paths. We derive propositions for a necessary capability set and the sequence of necessary capabilities along the innovation process. Our results indicate that the capabilities for developing and operating the technical network infrastructure are particularly relevant for successful PSS innovators, wherefore those firms should internalise these. Moreover, we discuss different types of environmental gains that can be realised from PSS innovations.

Keywords: innovation management; product service systems; transition path; sustainable mobility sector; dynamic capability theory; car sharing; green products; green services; product innovators; service innovators; new ventures; project management; technical network infrastructure; environmental gains.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2013.055579

International Journal of Technology Management, 2013 Vol.63 No.1/2, pp.51 - 69

Available online: 30 Jul 2013 *

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