Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Promoting sustainable resource use through product service systems.

By M. Cook, Andrew Angus, Annika Gottberg, Richard Smith and Philip J. Longhurst


In a world of declining prices for manufactured goods and increased global competition, many manufacturers have developed a range of services that complement and in certain instances replace traditional products, in an attempt to maintain or boost profitability. Resultant products have been classified as Product Service Systems (PSS) and comprise both an tangible artefact and intangible service, which are conflated through business processes to deliver value to customers. Research suggests that the environmental performance of PSS may be significantly better than that of traditional products. Theoretically, improvements in resource productivity that might be gained from use of PSS as opposed to traditional products are potentially enormous: somewhere between a factor of 10 and 20. To realise these environmental benefits, there is a need to identify instances where conventional material products can be substituted by PSS. This will depend on the criteria upon which consumers’ decisions are made. One prominent theory of decision-making assumes that a decision to buy is based on the performance of product or service against well-defined criteria, such as price and quality. An analytical technique is required to enable consideration of multi-criteria and provide information regarding the relative importance of each criterion. A review of the literature was undertaken to identify suitable methodologies for this study. Three techniques were identified as being appropriate, namely: Choice Experiments (CE); Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT); and the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). AHP was seen to be a suitable tool to enable consumers to compare product service systems with traditional products and identify substitutions, as it is a robust method that is particularly suited to decisions made with limited informati

Topics: product service systems, multi criteria analysis, socio-economic
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

Suggested articles


  1. (2003). A strategic design approach to develop sustainable product service systems: examples taken from the ‘environmentally friendly innovation’ Italian prize. doi
  2. (2002). Clarifying the concept of product service system. doi
  3. (1999). Facilitating the use of multi-attribute utility theory in expert systems: an aid for identifying the right relative importance weights of attributes, doi
  4. (2003). On teaching the analytic hierarchy process, doi
  5. (2005). Stakeholder preferences towards conservation versus development for a wetland in Sri Lanka, doi
  6. (2006). The transfer and application of Product Service Systems: from academia to manufacturing firms, doi
  7. (2000). Using discrete choice modelling in priority setting: an application to clinical service developments, Social science and medicine, doi
  8. (2007). Waste: A Global Resource. Technical Session 5, Resource Recovery.
  9. (1999). Which contractor selection methodology? International journal of project management, doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.