Public thesis defense of Pauline MUNTEN

LOURIM Louvain-La-Neuve, Mons

June 22, 2021

2.00 pm - 4.00 pm



Doctoral Commission in Economics and Management Sciences


The Rector of UCLouvain and the Doctoral Commission in Economics and Management Sciences announce that Mrs Pauline MUNTEN will publicly support her dissertation, for the title of Doctor in Economics and Management Sciences of UCLouvain.



Product service-systems, an integrative typology of value propositions and marketing practices to curb obsolescence practices? Understanding consumers’ reactions towards productservice systems


This Ph.D. thesis aims at investigating whether and how product-service systems (PSS) - the integrated systems of products and services that aim to be competitive, satisfy consumers' needs and have a lower environmental impact than traditional business models - help curb obsolescence practices and how consumers respond to these systems in a business-to-consumer context. The fight against obsolescence (i.e., ‘the deliberate curtailment of product lifespan and the symbolic devaluation of durable goods’) has a leading role to play on environmental development challenges, but academic research on the topic is scarce. In this context, the three essays of this dissertation focus on PSS as a way to reduce waste disposal and move our society towards more sustainable patterns of production and consumption. Drawing on conceptual analysis, experiments, and qualitative research, we present useful insights for managers and policymakers on 1) how product-oriented PSS (i.e., consumer education, take-back schemes and revalorization services, maintenance contracts and repair services, and upgrades) can reduce the probability of obsolescence occurrence and increase the life cycle (i.e., delaying time to obsolescence) of durable products, 2) the suitability of repairability communication as a signal of high-quality, durable goods, and 3) consumers’ behavioral responses to the adoption of use-oriented PSS that threaten or reinforce the expected environmental gain of these systems. By providing an understanding of PSS as a potential solution against obsolescence, this Ph.D. thesis contributes to PSS literature by highlighting the importance of product-oriented PSS and to the sustainable marketing literature by expanding the comprehension of consumer behavior regarding potential solutions for obsolescence.