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Developing sustainable business experimentation capability – A case study

Weissbrod, Ilka and Bocken, Nancy M.P. LU (2017) In Journal of Cleaner Production 142. p.2663-2676
Abstract

This research paper shows how a firm pursues innovation activities for economic, social and environmental value creation in the context of time sensitivity. We make a conceptual link between lean startup thinking, triple bottom line value creation, and organizational capabilities. The case study firm uses a novel experimentation approach to pursue the goal of diverting all of its sold clothing from landfill through a two-year project. This requires substantial changes to the current business practice because in 2012, the clothing retailer recovered 1% of all garments sold. The fibre input value for all garments sold in 2012 exceeded $7m. We found that despite a stated need for fast learning through project experiments, the experiments... (More)

This research paper shows how a firm pursues innovation activities for economic, social and environmental value creation in the context of time sensitivity. We make a conceptual link between lean startup thinking, triple bottom line value creation, and organizational capabilities. The case study firm uses a novel experimentation approach to pursue the goal of diverting all of its sold clothing from landfill through a two-year project. This requires substantial changes to the current business practice because in 2012, the clothing retailer recovered 1% of all garments sold. The fibre input value for all garments sold in 2012 exceeded $7m. We found that despite a stated need for fast learning through project experiments, the experiments were not executed quickly. (1) The desire to plan project activities and the lack of lean startup approach expertise across the whole project team hampered fast action. This led to the extension of the project timeline. However, project team confidence about learning by doing increased through privately executed experiments. (2) Some project experiments were not fit to meet the triple bottom value creation project goal and were dropped from the project. Overall, the corporate mindset of economic value creation still dominated.

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publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Business model innovation, Circular economy, Experimentation, Sustainable business model, Triple bottom line value creation, Urgency
in
Journal of Cleaner Production
volume
142
pages
14 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85006341770
ISSN
0959-6526
DOI
10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.11.009
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
8e0cd0f7-44f9-4c34-9532-8f82ef2f30e9
date added to LUP
2018-04-11 10:58:43
date last changed
2020-10-07 05:49:30
@article{8e0cd0f7-44f9-4c34-9532-8f82ef2f30e9,
  abstract     = {<p>This research paper shows how a firm pursues innovation activities for economic, social and environmental value creation in the context of time sensitivity. We make a conceptual link between lean startup thinking, triple bottom line value creation, and organizational capabilities. The case study firm uses a novel experimentation approach to pursue the goal of diverting all of its sold clothing from landfill through a two-year project. This requires substantial changes to the current business practice because in 2012, the clothing retailer recovered 1% of all garments sold. The fibre input value for all garments sold in 2012 exceeded $7m. We found that despite a stated need for fast learning through project experiments, the experiments were not executed quickly. (1) The desire to plan project activities and the lack of lean startup approach expertise across the whole project team hampered fast action. This led to the extension of the project timeline. However, project team confidence about learning by doing increased through privately executed experiments. (2) Some project experiments were not fit to meet the triple bottom value creation project goal and were dropped from the project. Overall, the corporate mindset of economic value creation still dominated.</p>},
  author       = {Weissbrod, Ilka and Bocken, Nancy M.P.},
  issn         = {0959-6526},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  pages        = {2663--2676},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Cleaner Production},
  title        = {Developing sustainable business experimentation capability – A case study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.11.009},
  doi          = {10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.11.009},
  volume       = {142},
  year         = {2017},
}