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In today’s ever-changing global world, there is a permanent need for anticipating new and evolving customer needs, resource supply constraints, and dynamically changing employee expectations. Sustainable innovation applies to products, services, and technologies as well as new business and organization models.

This book provides insights into sustainable innovation trends in various marketing- and management-related fields. Authors critically investigate, amongst others, the sustainability impact of disruptive product design and innovative collaboration solutions within buyer-supplier relationships, along with innovative organizational processes to promote sustainable well-being-productivity synergy in a VUCA world.

This volume is a uniquely positioned contribution of interrelated research articles on the sustainability-driven innovation needed for organizational health and future viability.



Chapter 1. Quasi-Passive Lower and Upper Extremity Robotic Exoskeleton for Strengthening Human Locomotion

Most of the robotic exoskeletons available today are either lower extremity or upper extremity devices targeting individual orthotic (elbow, knee, and ankle) joints. However, there are a few which target both lower and upper extremities. This chapter aims to propose a design for a wearable quasi-passive lower and upper extremity robotic exoskeleton (QLUE-REX) system, targeting disabled users and aged seniors. This exoskeleton system aims to improve mobility, assist walking, improve and enhance muscle strength, and help people with leg/arm disabilities. QLUE-REX combines elbow, knee, and ankle joints with options to synchronize individual joints’ movements to achieve the following: (1) assist in lifting loads of 30–40 kilograms, (2) assist in walking, (3) easy and flexible to wear without any discomfort, and (4) be able to learn and adapt along with storing time-stamped sensor data on its exoskeleton storage media for predicting/correcting users’ movements and share data with health professionals. The research’s main objective is to conceptualize a design for QLUE-REX system. QLUE-REX will be a feasible modular-type wearable system that incorporates orthotic elbow, knee, and ankle joints effectively in either synchronous or asynchronous modes depending on the users’ needs. It will utilize human-walking analysis, data sensing and estimation technology, and measurement of the electromyography signals of user’s muscles, exploiting biomechanical principles of human-machine interface.
Aryaman Arora, John R. McIntyre

Chapter 2. Ideate-Generate: Design Thinking and User Experience (UX) for Sustainable Impact on Global Product Development of Wearable Technologies in the Healthcare Industry

Recently user experience (UX) has become a critical component of product innovation. Research and development teams often use this data to help determine a product’s potential prior to going to market. As companies are increasingly becoming global, products and services must be developed to meet the needs of global users. Understanding how the country of origin impacts a specific user’s experience and their desires is important to new product development. This chapter examines how user experience impacts the development of new innovations globally. Additionally, we examine and address the following research questions.
  • How do companies ideate and generate design thinking through UX for new product development worldwide?
  • How does the UX data collected from user feedback of users around the world encourage ideas for new product development?
  • How can companies redesign and redevelop products to meet new user needs, or generate raw ideas for designing new products designed based on UX?
Our research focuses on innovation ideas based on UX in the wearable technologies industry, more specifically those used in and created for the healthcare industry globally.
Alexandra Washington, Samira Soumahoro, Anshu Saxena Arora

Chapter 3. Seeing Is Believing: The Disruptive Effect of Sustainable and Functional Product Design in Electric Bikes for Emerging Economies

The bicycle industry has improved over the years. Manufacturers have created different types of new bikes such as the Juliet bike for women and the Revive E-bike. Sustainability and convenience are key in a world where innovations benefit not only consumers, but also the economy and the world. Product design is the detailed specification of a manufactured item’s parts and how the item will perform its intended functionality in an efficient, safe, and reliable manner. E-bikes by design can become a sustainable solution for consumers in an emerging economy that has low monetary wealth. This research addresses the following questions.
  • How important is a product’s design to a product’s value and lifespan?
  • How does implementing innovations in E-bikes affect emerging economies?
The research provides managerial implications based on consumer habits and attitudes toward new products, such as E-bikes, in developing economies.
Delonte D. Bright, Edna Laetitia Aude Diouf Ogandaga, Anshu Saxena Arora

Chapter 4. Do Greener Products Earn More Green? Examining Biomimicry along with Incremental and Radical Sustainable Product Innovations for UX Designs

Companies strive on product designs. Household sector innovators modify and innovate consumer products as small projects. Innovators use gestalt theory and look at the idea as a whole rather than in parts. These ideas are developed based on the three-dimensional strategy: aesthetics, functionality and symbolism. These design dimensions together show positive influences on a customer’s willingness to pay and generate a positive effect on purchase intentions. There is a strong predictive link between raw idea and consumers’ purchase intentions. Therefore, experts consider consumer panel evaluations. In recent years, making product design ideas environmentally friendly has become popular. Biomimicry is a new concept which encourages designers and product managers to innovate with product designs through emulation of biological forms, processes, patterns and systems. Biomimicry-driven projects produce double intellectual property with double energy savings for one-sixth the resources. The betterment of a product would be done with the help of user experience and design. These design ideas can include radical or incremental innovations. This chapter addresses the following questions:
  • What role does biomimicry play in incremental and radical innovations?
  • Explain how the new innovative product ideas follow three dimensionality: aesthetics, functionality and symbolism?
  • How important is user experience (UX) design in biomimicry-based product innovations?
With respect to the above questions, we discuss three case studies in the consumer goods industry that incorporate biomimicry, user-oriented design and three-dimensional product design strategy of aesthetics, functionality and symbolism. We further suggest an innovative product idea incorporating elements of biomimicry, UX design and sustainable product design. The research provides implications for researchers and managers in developing environmentally sustainable innovations which are user-friendly by understanding new product design and biomimicry.
Snehapriya Bharatha, Elizabeth Jensolowsky, Michael Teiman, Anshu Saxena Arora, Jennifer Edmonds

Chapter 5. Buyer-Supplier Relationships: Role of Collaboration, Sustainability, and Technology

The relationship between buyers and suppliers is crucial for any organization that is willing to be flexible and adapts to these changing times. Flexibility becomes hard to attain if the buyer-supplier relationships (BSR) are restricted; on the other hand, it is risky to adopt a laissez-faire mentality because of opportunism. The purpose of this chapter is to yield a framework for understanding the evolution of buyer-supplier relationships in supply chain management. The methodology is based on researching case examples with agreements and collaborative processes, trust, and information sharing. The goal is to contrast the past and the present changes in the buyer-supplier relationships for several companies and then determine the benefits or drawbacks of those relationships. The questions that will be addressed in this chapter are as follows: What are the positive and negative aspects of the collaborative process of buyer-supplier relationships? How do the triple P’s (people, planet, profit) factor into these relationships? How sustainability affects the buyer-supplier relationship over the years? How information technology helps increase transparency and trust in buyer-supplier relationships?
Loucace Dorcas Ampe-N’DA, Barbara Ann Payne, Robert Iyeli Spake, Shavon Sharpe, Amit Arora

Chapter 6. The Road to Sustainable Transportation in Supply Chains: A Stage-Level Approach

One of the prevailing concerns in the study of supply chains is the effect of the aggregate amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by transporting goods. The mode of transportation used, whether by air, road, sea or rail, creates harmful impacts in the environment, society and economy. Sustainable transportation aims to reduce these effects and, at the same time, provide efficiency on fuel use. This chapter delves into a literature review of scholarly articles to determine how companies can achieve and maintain transportation sustainability in the supply chain. This study addresses the following questions:
  • Which mode of transportation has the least harmful effects on the environment, society and economy and is the most efficient in terms of fuel use?
  • How can a stage-level approach aid in the process of implementing a sustainable transportation in the supply chain?
  • What policies should a company implement to promote sustainable transportation internally and throughout its supply chain network?
Meena Hotak, Evelin Turcios, Divina Grace Dayrit, Amit Arora

Chapter 7. Coaching, Agility and Sustainable Leadership

Today, executives are struggling with how to lead best in a volatility-uncertainty-complexity-ambiguity (VUCA) world. This calls for leadership agility and agile organizations, implicating change. Studies found that a key force leading to meaningful change is leadership sustainability. The purpose of this chapter was to examine the relevance of coaching to the advancement of leadership in changing working environments. Coaching has become popular in the context of leadership development and change in complex environments. Despite its widespread use, little evidence describes the necessity and impact of coaching. Furthermore, the emergence of agile organizations might call for novel leadership styles. This chapter proposes an emerging model of sustainable leadership as a function of coaching and the agile organization.
Christophe Bacouël

Chapter 8. Innovation in Employee Selection: Tracing the Use of Hugo Münsterberg’s Test for Motormen

Hugo Münsterberg pioneered innovative employee assessment techniques to improve safety in the electric railway industry. His experiments with motormen or trolley operators in the United States shed light on employee testing relating to workplace safety and employee well-being. This chapter charts the development of Hugo Münsterberg’s selection test for motormen within the United States. It traces the test’s life-cycle from its beginning at Boston Elevated Railway Company to its use at Dallas Consolidated Electric Street Railway and Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company. This chapter draws on archival correspondence, conference proceedings, published articles, and texts to map the course of Hugo Münsterberg’s test for motormen. The conclusion reached in this chapter is that Münsterberg’s test, although enlightening in its design and purpose, was too much in its infancy to draw definite conclusions about its efficacy. Field trials at Dallas Consolidated Electric Street Railway and Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company show his test successfully eliminated accident-prone motormen during the employee selection process in some instances. His railway simulation method also influenced the designs adopted by other test developers who advanced occupational testing in the electric railway beyond Hugo Münsterberg’s death in 1916.
Nicole Cannonier

Chapter 9. Family Business Sustainability: The Intergenerational Transfer of Social Capital and Network Contacts

This chapter explores how social capital influences the sustainability of family businesses over generations. In a volatility-uncertainty-complexity-ambiguity (VUCA) world, relationships and networks become more and more important. Although social capital is accumulated over time and not easily transmitted, its transfer to the next generation must be a top priority in every family business. A qualitative method of data analysis was used to better understand the process and the mechanisms through which social capital and the firm’s relationships are transferred in intra-family succession.
Fabian Bernhard, Miriam Hiepler, François-Xavier Engel

Chapter 10. Sustainable Well-Being at Work: A French-Swedish Comparison

Recent studies have promoted a “sustainable well-being–productivity synergy.” Despite a plethora of literature on the beneficial effects of sustainable well-being at work, a look across the borders shows that the concept of well-being at work is not equally spread. Although worldwide studies have reported differences in well-being amongst nations, only few studies have so far tried to explain these differences from a cultural perspective. This chapter examines the perception of French and Swedish employees on their well-being at work. Within the framework of Hofstede’s culture map we analyze cross-cultural differences to obtain a refinement of broadly communicated surveys on well-being in different parts of the world. The results of our qualitative study show that Swedes tend to perceive higher levels of well-being than the French due to opposite scores on the cultural dimensions of power distance, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity.
Anne-Sophie Bacouel, Thomas Vergnol


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