Barriers to product longevity: A review of business, product development and user perspectives

2021, Jensen, Laursen & Haase


Product longevity is an important part of the circular economy discussion, contributing to global sustainable development. However, practicing and adopting product longevity remain challenging. Currently, the literature primarily focuses on various proposals and strategies that could lead to an increase in the longevity of products. However, adopting product longevity in practice demands an overview of barriers that must be accounted for before appropriate strategies and proposals can be selected and implemented. Until now, such an overview of the barriers for longevity is largely undefined.

This paper contributes by identifying 14 distinct barriers that are likely to obstruct companies from introducing long-lasting products, to challenge their product development or to make it difficult for consumers to keep or maintain their products for a long time. In this paper, a comprehensive review provides a list of barriers that have been identified through the existing literature across three perspectives: 1) companies and manufacturers, 2) designers, engineers and developers and 3) customers/consumers and users. A systematic search revealed 4204 academic papers that relate to the topic. After reviewing the titles, abstracts and keywords of these papers, a total of 143 papers combined with additional 62 articles identified through snowballing and post-identification were identified as eligible to constitute the foundation of this review. From these, a list of 14 product longevity barriers was created.

The result is a unique identification and overview of barriers to product longevity as well as a categorisation of these barriers with respect to stakeholders.

Barriers to product longevity: A review of business, product development and user perspectives

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