Research project

Taking the leap across the rationale gap: the role of emotions in making the transition to more sustainable materials (Remo)

Project Details

Start date: 01/09/2017

End date: 31/12/2020


Academy of Finland


The objective of Finland's national bioeconomy strategy is to
facilitate economic growth and create new jobs in bioeconomy-based
business. Next to technological knowhow and willingness to innovate,
firms aspiring to transition to more sustainable materials and
technologies need the ability to identify new business opportunities.
Courage and commitment to persevere in seizing these uncertain
opportunities, and tolerating the uncertainty and the possibility of
failure in pursuing them, are equally important. Therefore, the decision
to transition to the bioeconomy involves both rational and emotional

Economic cost and profitability considerations are
often perceived as key motivators behind strategic business decisions.
Business decision makers aspire to make – at least in their own opinion –
rational decisions to secure the success and continuity of the company.
Prior research also talks about ‘rationalisation' of uncertainty by
using different decision-making tools.

Research further tells us
that also emotions affect decision making, implying that human
decisions cannot be understood only by viewing them through a rational
lens. Although both rational and emotional aspects of decision making
have been examined in many studies, few research efforts have been
dedicated to examining their interplay in the business context.

The objective of this project is to generate an understanding of the
rational and emotional aspects of decision making in relation to
transitions towards more sustainable, bio-based materials. In
particular, the project focuses on investigating how emotions support,
hinder, and perhaps override rational considerations in decision-making
situations involving considerable degrees of uncertainty, such as in
transitions to new materials and technologies.

Last updated on 2021-10-02 at 13:09