Interdepartmental collaboration as a way to develop more sustainable product-service systems
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A changing market, in which possession of goods is decreasingly guiding, has made way for solutions in which products and services are combined to varying degrees: Product-Service Systems (PSS). PSSs encompass sustainable alternatives for conventional products. Although much has been written about PSS in general, little is known about the organisational process that could induce PSS-development. In this thesis, the organisational process of interdepartmental collaboration is integrated with PSS development. Through a qualitative exploratory case study on five interdepartmental PSS-projects in an engineering firm, it is aimed to extend understanding on the main drivers and barriers for employees to get involved in such projects. ‘Innovation’ was reported as main driver, whereas the main barrier was ‘a conflict due to billing’. The thesis proposes two frameworks: one for drivers for, and one for barriers to interdepartmental PSS development. In addition, the study provides suggestions on how strategies to interdepartmental collaboration could be used to foster drivers and/or overcome barriers to interdepartmental PSS development. The frameworks and strategies offer a broad perspective for future research on this topic and provide a basis for how engineering firms can make better use of in-house knowledge to stimulate PSS-development.