A Qualitative Analysis of Customer Use Behaviour in Mobility Sector Product Service Systems
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Due to increased competition and environmental pressure, many companies today are striving to offer value-adding Product Service Systems (PSS) in addition to their current business. Through the implementation of PSS, circularity of businesses can be improved. However, customer misbehaviour is a frequently returning concept within these relatively new business models. Therefore this research stresses the following research question: why do consumers treat products they use through Product Service Systems with or without care? To answer this question this research takes a qualitative approach and combines three mayor theories in behavioural studies namely, the Theory of Planned Behaviour, the Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour, and the Norm Activation Model. Furthermore, this research analyses 15 semi-structured interviews with customers that use mobility focussed PSSs. The results provide insights into the connections between the determinants and the most important determinants of careful and careless behaviour. Next, these findings provide practical insights for PSS companies for focus points when wanting to improve their customers use behaviour. The main findings suggest that the subjective norm has a big influence on both careful and careless use behaviour, as family and nurture are big influences of careful use behaviour. Customer connection is an important aspect for users in terms of their level of carefully or carelessly using the product. Moreover, subjective norm often returns in careless use behaviour, as friends have the power to change careful habitual behaviour to careless use behaviour. These careful habitual actions often relate to personal precautions of being able to use the product in a later stage of usage. Prominent facilitating conditions for careful behaviour are; knowledge about the product, age of the user, condition of the product, and the subjective norm. Biggest influences of facilitating conditions leading to careless behaviour are; (lack of) knowledge about the product, lack of interest by the company, condition of the product, and alcohol consumption. Suggestions for further research include gaining theoretical insights with the integral model in mobility focussed PSS, and additionally capturing insights with this model in other types of PSSs. Moreover, it might be interesting to observe use behaviour in PSSs, as one of the major limitations of this behavioural study is the fact that the behaviour is questioned to the customer directly.