Innovation for a circular economy : exploring the adoption of PSS by UK companies in the baby products sector
Several authors have commented on the relatively slow rate at which Product Service Systems (PSS) have been adopted in B2B networks. Despite some prominent examples, such as the provision of integrated lighting systems to Sainsbury’s (supermarket chain) by Parkersell in the UK, and the ‘pay per copy’ (lease and take back) systems provided by copier companies such as Xerox and Canon, PSS has not been widely adopted even though the business case seems sound. Consequently, the question of identifying and overcoming barriers to PSS adoption has become an important research topic. In this study we explore barriers to the adoption of PSS in the UK baby products industry using a qualitative research design employing in-depth interviews with baby products suppliers (manufacturers) and buyers (retailers). The novelty of the approach adopted in this study is that key concepts from the Industrial Networks Approach are used to frame the analysis. Buyers and suppliers of baby products acknowledge the value of the PSS approach, but PSS adoption is found to require considerable adaptation to conventional patterns of inter-organizational interaction.