Dr. Moritz Petersen


Senior Researcher


Journal Articles (Peer-Reviewed)

DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.05.127 

Abstract: Developing more sustainable products provides an opportunity to address wasteful consumption practices. Yet, despite their best efforts to improve product sustainability, many companies admit to lacking a comprehensive sustainability strategy. Further, they have only limited insights into their consumers' expectations towards product sustainability. This manuscript presents the findings of a behavioral experiment on consumers' reactions towards companies' development efforts. We investigate how the development efforts “more sustainable materials” and “green exterior design” influence consumers' perceptions of product quality, sustainability, and aesthetics for two exemplary products. In summary, both efforts signal higher product sustainability to consumers. Yet, this may come at a cost as these changes may also signal impediments with respect to quality and aesthetics. We juxtapose our findings with signaling theory to derive implications for research and practice.

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Open reference in new window "Dancing in the dark: Challenges for product developers to improve and communicate product sustainability"

DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.04.003 

Abstract: Bioplastics play an increasingly important role for consumer products. These new materials might increase product sustainability but they are currently confined to niche markets. While research has gained important insight into the technical challenges, few studies to date explore the behavioral aspects for product developers as they move to employ bioplastics in their development efforts. This manuscript reports the findings of a grounded inductive study based on interview data with 32 product developers in the consumer goods industry. The Theory of Planned Behavior is employed to guide the research and provide a theoretical background to derive implications. The study finds that behavioral challenges impede the increased use of bioplastics. Product developers experience a lack of perceived behavioral control and struggle with doubts about the environmental benefits and incurring trade-offs of bioplastics with respect to the Triple Bottom Line. While product developers are intrinsically motivated to make more use of bioplastics, they often refrain from bringing products to the mass market due to uncertainties of customer receptiveness and fears of greenwashing allegations. Implications for industry and research are detailed.

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Open reference in new window "A Crossroads for Bioplastics: Exploring Product Developers’ Challenges to Move Beyond Petroleum-Based Plastics"

Journal Articles (Professional)

DOI: 10.1080/16258312.2017.1369841 

Abstract: Consistently bringing sustainable products to market is a preeminent challenge to effectively pursuing the triple bottom line. As most companies lack the know-how and resources to develop and launch sustainable products, they are dependent on trading partners. Resource Integration and Resource Dependence Theory posit that reliance on external trading partners dictates careful governance. Effective collaboration with supply chain partners can theoretically mitigate the threat of resource dependence. The current manuscript, grounded in interview data from the consumer goods industry, however, identifies a persistent collaboration deficit. Rather than working together, many firms try to coerce suppliers into improving sustainability. Coercion sours relationships, impeding joint sustainability efforts and harming progress towards product sustainability. The good news: a few companies are beginning to invest in trust as a collaborative governance mechanism to broaden collaboration and reduce the costs of sustainable product development.

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Open reference in new window "The Ties That Bind: How a Collaboration Deficit Impedes the Development of Sustainable Products"


Abstract: Blockchain ist eine neue Technologie, mit deren Hilfe Transaktionen dezentral, manipulationssicher und transparent für alle Mitglieder eines Netzwerks abgewickelt werden können. Besonders im Finanzsektor wird Blockchain derzeit als disruptive Schlüsseltechnologie gehandelt, deren Anwendungsmöglichkeiten jedoch weit über die Branche hinausgehen. Um das Potenzial von Blockchain für Produktion und Logistik zu verdeutlichen, werden in diesem Beitrag exemplarische Anwendungsfälle vorgestellt.

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Open reference in new window "Blockchains für Produktion und Logistik: Grundlagen, Potenziale und Anwendungsfälle"


Conference Proceedings

Abstract: Blockchain is an emergent technology concept that enables the decentralized and im-mutable storage of verified data. Over the last few years, it has increasingly attracted the attention of different industries. Especially in Fintech, Blockchain is hyped as the silver bullet that might overthrow today’s payment handling. Slowly, the logistics and supply chain man-agement community realizes how profoundly Blockchain could affect their industry. To shed light on this emerging field, we conducted an online survey and asked logistics professionals for their opinion on use case exemplars, barriers, facilitators, and the general prospects of Blockchain in logistics and supply chain management. We found most of our participants are fairly positive about this new technology and the benefits it offers. However, factors like the hierarchical level, Blockchain experiences, and the industry sector have a significant impact on the participants’ evaluation. We reason that the benefits over existing IT solutions must be carved out more carefully and use cases must be further explored to get a rather conservative industry, like logistics, more excited about Blockchain.

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Open reference in new window "Blockchain in Logistics and Supply Chain: Trick or Treat?"

Book Chapters

Abstract: Sustainability becomes increasingly important for all business areas. When it comes to the development of sustainable products it is necessary to have a clear under- standing of what makes a product sustainable. Such a definition has not emerged yet; this calls for taking a different angle when approaching the problem. This paper presents the results of an experimental study within the field of sustainable product development to investigate the influence of different stakeholders on development decisions.

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Open reference in new window "Sustainability-Related Considerations in Joint Product Development Projects: An Experimental Approach"