Green, social and profitable - the role of front end of innovation decision making in achieving more sustainable new products

  • Kathrin EhlingEmail author


In our globalized world, the competitive pressure on organizations to develop more sustainable new products is constantly on the rise. Next to the increasing amount of new legislations resulting into sustainability standards that new products need to comply with, developing more sustainable new products is becoming a necessity to achieve competitive advantage. Allowing employees to take action in this regard can thus increase the motivation and productivity of the existing personnel and, additionally, mean a competitive advantage in the “war for talent” that attracts high potentials to the organization. This chapter provides an overview of the opportunities that are available in the Front End of Innovation (FEI) to make a new product more sustainable according to the triple bottom line and the FEI decisions that have an impact on these opportunities. In this regards, special attention has been paid to defining the triple bottom line sustainability objectives of new product development. This overview and the objectives are the result of reviewing and combining the existing literature on product innovation, FEI management and sustainable innovation, in line with conducting the first steps of an inductive method of theory-building. Practitioners reading this chapter can use the presented overview to identify opportunities for increasing the sustainability of products under development and to define their sustainability objectives. For scholars, this chapter is meant as a call for future research to tackle the urgent question of how to best make decisions in the FEI to maximize the sustainability of new products according to the triple bottom line and thus as a stepping stone for future theory-building and testing.


Front-end of Innovation Ecological Sustainability Social Innovation Green Innovation Competitive Advantage Leadership 


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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Eindhoven University of Technology, Innovation Technology Entrepreneurship & MarketingEindhovenNetherlands

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