Maurizio Catulli

The Adoption and Diffusion of Product Service Systems (PSS) in Consumer Markets

The Open University
PhD awarded 2019

Dr. Maurizio Catulli is a professional academic and Chartered Marketer with experience both as an academic and as a practitioner. Maurizio has led several research and consultancy projects across the automotive, pharmaceutical, electronics and defence industries.  Maurizio has been working as a full time academic since 2001.  At The University of Hertfordshire he lectures in Understanding Customers and led several “live” client consultancy projects, including DTI funded Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) and Knowledge East of England (KEEP), as well as REBUS, a project on sustainable consumption funded by DEFRA and which deployed academic staff from Environmental Sciences, Creative Arts, Psychology and Engineering. Maurizio’s interests include sustainable consumption and production, Product Service Systems and Access Based Consumption.

Maurizio achieved a PhD in design in April 2019 from The Open University with the invaluable support of RADMA.  Maurizio’s doctoral project focused on a design theme, Product Service System (PSS), system of products and services, supporting networks and infrastructure designed to be resource efficient. The focus was on social and cultural dynamics shaping PSS consumption. From a R&D perspective, the findings inform research strategies to test these sustainable innovations.

The theoretical framework of the project included two cultural theories, Consumer Culture Theory and Practice Theory, or the theory of social practices. This framework was conceptualized to explore the nexus between consumers’ deliberate action driven by their will to project their identity to the world and the social conventions and physical structures that inhibit consumers’ ability to consume sustainably.

A very important finding of the thesis was the resistance to the uptake of innovations due to the obduracy of incumbent practices. From a R&D perspective, this means that innovation researchers need a full understanding of the social practices consumers are immersed within to understand the dynamics of uptake of innovations.

Maurizio is currently engaged with a research group spanning The Open University, where he is an Honorary Research Fellow, and the University of Hertfordshire. He is involved in a number of projects focusing on sustainable business models. One of these projects, “The one million mile electric car” explores the feasibility of long life electric vehicles and in particular, their consumption challenges.

Maurizio’s thesis will soon be available on the Open University’s web site.