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Industrial Buying Behavior in the Waste-to-Energy Market: A Case Study in Germany
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


Waste-to-Energy power generation describes the process of incinerating solid waste. The produced heat is used to drive a power generation unit generating electric energy or for direct district heating. Waste-to-Energy is a viable method to treat solid waste and to produce energy.The Waste-to-Energy power generation market has significantly grown throughout the past decade. This is rather based on an increasingly important waste management issue than on higher demands for energy. Even in light of a growing market, literature concerned with the customers’ buying behavior and customer motives in the process of industrial buying in this segment is very limited. Therefore, this study investigates these aspects in further detail and determines patterns in the Waste-to-Energy market in Germany.This research project solves and fills the problem and knowledge gap concerned with the affecting factors, influences and drivers in industrial buying in Germany. Since this is a very global perspective and exceeds the capacities of this study, more specific aspects such as the buying centers, buying situations or supplier selection criteria are assessed.Pursuing an approach on the philosophical stances of constructivism and interpretivism, this research topic has been approached by conducting phone interviews with representatives from power plant operators and public authorities. These representatives mostly fill positions in purchasing and environmental departments, among others.A number of Waste-to-Energy power plants in Germany have been investigated by interviewing individuals involved in the planning, purchasing and construction process. The information they provided on the topics of the plants’ backgrounds, buying centers, customer motives, buying decision phases and buyer-seller relations have been analyzed in order to draw conclusions and to answer the research questions.It has emerged from this research study that the Waste-to-Energy power plants investigated were built primarily in order to solve waste management issues and not to produce energy. In these cases, power generation is just a byproduct of the waste incineration. Furthermore, it has evolved that constructions of power plants are rolled out as new tasks or modified re-buys, but never as straight re-buys. Additionally, buyers do not only focus on suppliers’ characteristics such as their pricing and their products’ quality, but also on their financial situation and performance, capability to meet deadlines and environmental impacts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 91 p.
Keyword [en]
Industrial Buying Behavior, Waste-to-Energy
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-127127OAI: diva2:1043690
Educational program
Master's Programme in Marketing
Available from: 2016-11-01 Created: 2016-10-31 Last updated: 2016-11-01Bibliographically approved

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