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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

The impact of product-related service systems on obsolescence: A conceptual approach

Published: May 27, 2020


Pauline Munten, Louvain School of Management/UCLouvain/LouRim ; Joelle Vanhamme, EDHEC Business School; Valérie Swaen, UCLouvain


obsolescence; sustainable marketing; product–service systems


Research on servitization investigates the positive impact of dematerialization on the natural environment. Specifically, product-services systems (PSS), the integrated combination of products and services, are introduced as a sustainable option based on expected changes in consumption and production patterns. Yet this literature does not study the impact of PSS on obsolescence, an important source of environmental sustainability issues. Therefore, in this conceptual paper, we develop several hypotheses on the impact of five sub-practices of product-oriented PSS (advice/consultancy, take-back systems, revalorization services, maintenance/repair services, and upgrades) on different types of obsolescence. In doing so we extend PSS literature by studying the specific relationship of PSS to obsolescence and by highlighting the importance of product-oriented PSS, the under-researched form of PSS. Moreover, based on our analysis, we propose several avenues for further research in consumers’ behavior and product innovations.