How Nudges Lead to Improved Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing: Evidence from Archival Data and a Field Study

Suvrat Dhanorkar, Enno Siemsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Important discretionary tasks such as quality improvement, process compliance, and energy efficiency (EE) require constantly focusing the attention of decision-makers. Using a combination of archival data analysis and a field study, we show how nudges in the form of reminders can serve as a simple yet powerful managerial lever to focus attention on such tasks and increase the likelihood that these tasks will be completed. We study the effectiveness of reminders in the context of EE tasks in manufacturing facilities. Technical assistance programs make EE recommendations to participating manufacturing sites and remind them regularly to pay attention to implementation. Our analysis shows that these reminders lead to a more widespread implementation of EE improvement suggestions and are particularly useful when facilities undertake multiple EE tasks in parallel, or when other unrelated sustainability tasks are being pursued in parallel. Next, we conduct a field study by leveraging a policy intervention called “Touchbase Tuesdays” that was implemented by our partner organization based on the results from our analysis. This field study provides additional causal evidence of the effect of reminders on EE task implementation. Overall, we observe that simple reminders can deliver substantial increases in task implementation rates in this context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3735-3757
Number of pages23
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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