How product and process knowledge enable consumer switching to remanufactured laptop computers in circular economy

Yacan Wang, Quan Zhu, Harold Krikke, Benjamin Hazen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Circular economy initiatives require that consumers become key actors in the supply chain, vice the last node of a linear consumption system. This research examines consumer perceptions regarding remanufactured products, which are a key element of circular economy, by testing how different types of information regarding remanufacturing processes and product knowledge affect consumers’ intention to switch from purchasing new to remanufactured products. Using data from 906 Chinese laptop owners, the results of our structural equation modeling show that gaining knowledge about the product history, recapture process, and remarket process positively influences consumers’ attitudes towards remanufactured products and subsequently their switching intentions. A high perceived price of new products positively moderates these relationships. Interestingly, more knowledge of the recapture process actually reduces switching intention, even considering new product price levels. Although the tested relationships are statistically significant, the explanatory power of the informational variables is of low practical significance, suggesting that other kinds of information might be more impactful. This study contributes to the discourse on the consumer's role in circular economy by being the first to link remanufacturing-related process information to consumer perceptions of remanufactured products, thereby investigating information asymmetries between consumers and other supply chain actors beyond the retailer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120275
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Circular economy
  • Consumer behavior
  • Information asymmetry
  • Remanufacturing
  • Signaling theory
  • Structural equation modeling


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