Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

Design and sustainability for innovation in family firms. A case study from the italian furniture sector

Marica Barbaritano, Elisabetta Savelli

Abstract


The increasingly competitive environment requires a continuous innovation for both firms’ survival and competitiveness, particularly for family firms. The focus of this study is on the furniture sector and it aims to investigate to what extent circular economy and sustainability practices can be considered as tools for design innovation. The case of an Italian manufacturing firm has been deeply analysed. Notably, by investigating a recent innovation carried out within the company, the study provides empirical evidence that sustainability can be actually considered as an innovative force generating new products and processes. 

Keywords


furniture industry, eco-design, circular economy

Full Text:

PDF

References


Azizi, M., Mohebbi, N., & De Felice, F. (2016). Evaluation of sustainable development of wooden furniture industry using multi criteria decision making method. Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia, 8, 387-394.

Barbaritano, M., Bravi, L., & Savelli, E. (2019). Sustainability and Quality Management in the Italian Luxury Furniture Sector: A Circular Economy Perspective. Sustainability, 11(11), 3089, 1-22.

Block, J. H. (2012). R&D investments in family and founder firms: An agency perspective. Journal of Business Venturing, 27(2), 248-265.

Blum‐Kusterer, M., & Hussain, S. S. (2001). Innovation and corporate sustainability: An investigation into the process of change in the pharmaceuticals industry. Business strategy and the environment, 10(5), 300-316.

Bonaccorsi A. & Granelli A. (2005). L’intelligenza s’industria. Creatività e innovazione per un nuovo modello di sviluppo. Bologna: il Mulino.

Bonoma, T. V. (1985). Case research in marketing: opportunities, problems, and a process. Journal of marketing research, 22(2), 199-208.

Bos‐Brouwers, H. E. J. (2010). Corporate sustainability and innovation in SMEs: evidence of themes and activities in practice. Business Strategy and the Environment, 19(7), 417-435.

Brach, S., Walsh, G., & Shaw, D. (2018). Sustainable consumption and third-party certification labels: Consumers’ perceptions and reactions. European Management Journal, 36(2), 254-265.

Cassia, L., De Massis, A., & Pizzurno, E. (2011). An exploratory investigation on NPD in small family businesses from Northern Italy. International Journal of Business, Management and Social Sciences, 2(2), 1-14.

Cerdan, C., C. Gazulla, M. Raugei, E. Martinez, & P. Fullana-i-Palmer (2009). Proposal for New Quantitative Eco-Design Indicators: A First Case Study. Journal of Cleaner Production, 17, 1638-1643.

Chen, H.-L., & Hsu, W.-T. (2009). Family ownership, board independence, and R&D investment. Family Business Review, 22(4), 347–362.

Chrisman, J. J., & Patel, P. (2012). Variations in R&D investments of family and non-family firms: Behavioral agency and myopic loss aversion perspectives. Academy of Management Journal, 55(4), 976–997.

Cooper, R. G., & Kleinschmidt, E. J. (1987). Success factors in product innovation. Industrial Marketing Management, 16(3), 215-223.

Cross, N. (2011). Design thinking: Understanding how designers think and work. Berg.

Dai, J., Cantor, D. E., & Montabon, F. L. (2015). How environmental management competitive pressure affects a focal firm's environmental innovation activities: a green supply chain perspective. Journal of Business Logistics, 36(3), 242-259.

De Carvalho Araújo, C. K., Salvador, R., Moro Piekarski, C., Sokulski, C. C., de Francisco, A. C., & de Carvalho Araújo Camargo, S. K. (2019). Circular Economy Practices on Wood Panels: A Bibliographic Analysis. Sustainability, 11(4), 1057.

De Fusco, R., (2006). Storia del design. Roma-Bari: Laterza.

De Massis, A., Frattini, F., & Lichtenthaler, U. (2013). Research on technological innovation in family firms: Present debates and future directions. Family Business Review, 26(1), 10-31.

Dewar, R. D. and J. E. Dutton (1986). The Adoption of Radical and Incremental Innovation: An Empirical Analysis, Management Science, 32(11), 1422-1433.

D'Ippolito, B. (2014). The importance of design for firms' competitiveness: a review of the literature. Technovation, 34(11), 716-730.

Dubois, A., & Gadde, L. E. (2002). Systematic combining: an abductive approach to case research. Journal of business research, 55(7), 553-560.

Duran, P., Kammerlander, N., Van Essen, M., & Zellweger, T. (2016). Doing more with less: Innovation input and output in family firms. Academy of Management Journal, 59(4), 1224-1264.

Eisenhardt, K. M., & Graebner, M. E. (2007). Theory building from cases: Opportunities and challenges. Academy of management journal, 50(1), 25-32.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2013). Towards a Circular Economy-Economic and Business Rationale for an Accelerated Transition. UK: Cowes.

European Commission (December 2, 2015), “Closing the Loop - an EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy”, COM(2015) 614, Brussels.

European Environmental Bureau. (2015). Delivering Resource Efficient Products. How Eco Design Can Drive Circular Economy in Europe. Brussels: EEB.

Fabris, G. (2010). La società post-crescita. Consumi e stili di vita. Milano: Egea.

Fernández, Z., & Nieto, M. J. (2005). Internationalization strategy of small and medium-sized family businesses: Some influential factors. Family Business Review, 18(1), 77-89.

Galloni, L., Mangiarotti, R. (Eds.), (2005). Disegnato in Italia: il design come elemento competitivo nella piccola e media impresa. Milano: Hoepli.

Ghauri, P. (2004). Designing and conducting case studies in international business research. In R. Marschan-Piekkari & C. Welch (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research methods for international business (pp. 109–124).

Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Ghisellini, P., Cialani, C., & Ulgiati, S. (2016). A review on circular economy: the expected transition to a balanced interplay of environmental and economic systems. Journal of Cleaner Production, 114, 11-32.

Ghisetti, C., & Montresor, S. (2018). Design and eco-innovation: micro-evidence from the Eurobarometer survey. Industry and Innovation, 1-34.

Gómez-Mejía, L. R., Haynes, K. T., Núñez-Nickel, M., Jacobson, K. J. L., & Moyano-Fuentes, J. (2007). Socioemotional wealth and business risks in family-controlled firms: Evidence from Spanish olive oil mills. Administrative Science Quarterly, 52, 106-137.

Haanpää, L. (2007). Consumers’ green commitment: indication of a postmodern lifestyle? International Journal of Consumer Studies, 31(5), 478-486.

Hertenstein, J. H., Platt, M. B., Veryzer, R. W. (2013). What is 'good design'? An investigation of the complexity and structure of design. Design Management Journal, 8, 8-21.

Hoy, F., & Sharma, P. (2010). Entrepreneurial family firms. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Jansson, J. (2011). Consumer eco‐innovation adoption: assessing attitudinal factors and perceived product characteristics. Business Strategy and the Environment, 20(3), 192-210.

Johne, F. A., & Snelson, P. A. (1988). Success factors in product innovation: a selective review of the literature. Journal of Product Innovation Management: an international publication of the product development & management association, 5(2), 114-128.

Karlsson, R., & Luttropp, C. (2006). EcoDesign: what's happening? An overview of the subject area of EcoDesign and of the papers in this special issue. Journal of Cleaner Production, 14(15-16), 1291-1298.

Kim, H., Kim, H., & Lee, P. M. (2008). Ownership structure and the relationship between financial slack and R&D investments: Evidence from Korean firms. Organization Science, 19(3): 404-418.

Kletzan, D., Köppl, A., Kratena, K., Schleicher, S., & Wüger, M. (2006). Towards sustainable consumption: Economic modelling of mobility and heating for Austria. Ecological Economics, 57(4), 608-626.

Leenen S (2005). Innovation in family businesses–a conceptual framework with case studies of industrial family firms in the German “Mittelstand”. St. Gallen: HSG.

Llach, J., & Nordqvist, M. (2010). Innovation in family and non-family businesses: A resource perspective. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2(3-4), 381-399.

Love, T. (2002). Constructing a Coherent Cross-disciplinary Body of Theory about Designing and Designs: Some Philosophical Issues. Design Studies 23(3), 345–361.

Maffei, S., Simonelli, G., (2000). Territorio Design. Il design per i distretti industriali. Milano: POLI.design.

Marques, B., Tadeu, A., De Brito, J., & Almeida, J. (2017). A perspective on the development of sustainable construction products: an eco-design approach. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning,

(2), 304-314.

McAloone, T. C., and Bey, N. (2009). Environmental improvement through product development: A guide. Copenhagen: Danish Environmental Protection Agency.

Millán, Á., & Díaz, E. (2014). Analysis of consumers’ response to brand community integration and brand identification. Journal of Brand Management, 21(3), 254-272.

Miller, B. (2016). Defining design. Available at: https://geodesign.blog/ (late access: 24 June 2019).

Minestroni, L. (2006). Comprendere il consumo: società e cultura dai classici al postmoderno. Milano: Franco Angeli.

Mulder, K. F. (2007). Innovation for Sustainable Development: From Environmental Design to Transition Management. Sustainability Science 2(2), 253–263.

Munari, F., Oriani, R., & Sobrero, M. (2010). The effects of owner identity and external governance systems on R&D investments: A study of Western European firms. Research Policy, 39(8), 1093-1104.

Murray, A., Skene, K., & Haynes, K. (2017). The circular economy: An interdisciplinary exploration of the concept and application in a global context. Journal of Business Ethics, 140(3), 369-380.

Núñez-Cacho, P., Molina-Moreno, V., Corpas-Iglesias, F., & Cortés-García, F. (2018). Family businesses transitioning to a circular economy model: The case of “Mercadona”. Sustainability, 10(2), 538.

Patton, M.Q. (2015). Qualitative research & evaluation methods: integrating theory and practice, Thousand Oaks CA: Sage.

Piekkari, R., C. Welch, and E. Paavilainen (2009). The case study as disciplinary convention: Evidence from international business journals. Organizational Research Methods, 12(3), 567–89.

Potts, J. 2009. Why creative industries matter to economic evolution. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 18, 663-673.

Ralph, P., & Wand, Y. (2009). A proposal for a formal definition of the design concept. In K. J. Lyytinen, P. Loucopoulos, J. Mylopoulos, & W. Robinson (Eds.), Design requirements engineering: A ten-year perspective (pp.

-136). Berlin: Springer.

Rogers M. (1998), “The definition and measurement of innovation”. Working paper No.10/98, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Schuler, A., Buehlmann U. (2003). Identifying future competitive business strategies for the US residential wood furniture industry: Benchmarking and paradigm shifts. USDA: Delaware, OH.

Schumpeter, J.A. (1934) The theory of economic development: an inquiry into profits, capital, credit, interest, and the business cycle, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Simonelli, G., (1997). Dal progetto al prodotto. Milano: Mc Graw-Hill.

Srivastava, R. K., Fahey, L., & Christensen, H. K. (2001). The resource-based view and marketing: The role of market-based assets in gaining competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 27(6), 777-802.

Tennant, M., & Brennan, G. (2015). Business and production solutions: Closing the loop. In H. Kopnina & E. Shoreman-Ouimet (Eds.), Sustainability: Key issues. New York: Routledge.

Terziovski, M. (2010). Innovation practice and its performance implications in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector: a resource‐based view. Strategic Management Journal, 31(8), 892-902.

Utterback, J. M. and W. J. Abernathy (1975). A Dynamic Model of Product and Process Innovation, Omega, 3(6), 639-656.

Verganti, R. (2003). Design as brokering of languages: Innovation strategies in Italian firms. Design Management Journal (Former Series), 14(3), 34-42.

Verhoef, P. C., Lemon, K. N., Parasuraman, A., Roggeveen, A., Tsiros, M., & Schlesinger, L. A. (2009). Customer experience creation: Determinants, dynamics and management strategies. Journal of Retailing, 85(1), 31-41.

Vickery, S. K., Dröge, C., & Markland, R. E. (1997). Dimensions of manufacturing strength in the furniture industry. Journal of Operations Management, 15(4), 317-330.

Vissak, T. 2010. Recommendations for using the case study method in international business research. The Qualitative Report, 15(2), 370–388.

Wang, G., Wang, Y., & Zhao, T. (2008). Analysis of interactions among the barriers to energy saving in China. Energy Policy, 36(6), 1879-1889.

Yin, R. K. (1981). The case study as a serious research strategy. Knowledge, 3(1), 97-114.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14596/pisb.342

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.