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The Role of Human Resource Management (HRM) for the Implementation of Sustainable Product-Service Systems (PSS)—An Analysis of Fashion Retailers


  • Marcus Adam

    (Department of Textiles & Design, Reutlingen University, Alteburgstr. 150, 72762 Reutlingen, Germany)


Implementation of product-service systems (PSS) requires structural changes in the way that business in manufacturing industries is traditionally conducted. Literature frequently mentions the importance of human resource management (HRM), since people are involved in the entire process of PSS development and employees are the primary link to customers. However, to this day, no study has provided empirical evidence whether and in what way HRM of firms that implement PSS differs from HRM of firms that solely run a traditional manufacturing-based business model. The aim of this study is to contribute to closing this gap by investigating the particular HR components of manufacturing firms that implement PSS and compare it with the HRM of firms that do not. The context of this study is the fashion industry, which is an ideal setting since it is a mature and highly competitive industry that is well-documented for causing significant environmental impact. PSS present a promising opportunity for fashion firms to differentiate and mitigate the industry’s ecological footprint. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to analyze data of 102 international fashion firms. Findings reveal a significant higher focus on nearly the entire spectrum of HRM components of firms that implement PSS compared with firms that do not. Empirical findings and their interpretation are utilized to propose a general framework of the role of HRM for PSS implementation. This serves as a departure point for both scholars and practitioners for further research, and fosters the understanding of the role of HRM for managing PSS implementation.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcus Adam, 2018. "The Role of Human Resource Management (HRM) for the Implementation of Sustainable Product-Service Systems (PSS)—An Analysis of Fashion Retailers," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(7), pages 1-27, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:7:p:2518-:d:158639

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    2. Shashi & Piera Centobelli & Roberto Cerchione & Amit Mittal, 2021. "Managing sustainability in luxury industry to pursue circular economy strategies," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 432-462, January.
    3. Marie-Anne Le-Dain & Lamiae Benhayoun & Judy Matthews & Marine Liard, 2023. "Barriers and opportunities of digital servitization for SMEs: the effect of smart Product-Service System business models," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 17(1), pages 359-393, March.
    4. Thorey S Thorisdottir & Lara Johannsdottir, 2020. "Corporate Social Responsibility Influencing Sustainability within the Fashion Industry. A Systematic Review," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(21), pages 1-64, November.

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