Value Co-Creation: Exploring the Effects of Collaborating with a Proactive Generation of Customers

Alexander, Matthew and Evanschitzky, Heiner and Murray, Rowena (2012) Value Co-Creation: Exploring the Effects of Collaborating with a Proactive Generation of Customers. PhD thesis, University Of Strathclyde.

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Value Co-Creation plays a central role within the Service-Dominant Logic of marketing. However, value co-creation is largely conceptual and lacks empirical evidence around both the appropriate contexts and conditions for collaborative co-creation and effects on firms and customers. Using a mixed methods research design this thesis explores value co-creation through a sequential-exploratory, multi-phase approach. The first study is exploratory and qualitative with results influencing two further empirical studies, one quantitative and the other mixed method. This first study used expert ratings and in-depth interviews to explore value co-creation within a three-stage purchasing cycle. The results indicated differing approaches and a conceptual model is presented highlighting conditions under which firms might take advantage of opportunities for value co-creation. The second study used experiments to test the effect of co-creating on consumers; in particular, the role of trust and equity in co-created exchanges. The results showed how in co-created exchanges, trust and relationship investment are key in improving customer intentions, and how co-creating can reduce the negative impact of perceived inequity. The third study used a mixed methods approach to consider the indirect effect of co-creating on other customers. A case study approach with a public transport provider revealed how co-creation at railway stations might affect passenger behaviour. A hierarchical linear modelling study shows how co-creation at station level has an indirect effect on affective and conative loyalty. The thesis contributes to our understanding of value co-creation by reinforcing the contexts and conditions where collaborative forms of co-creation might be best employed. The thesis also shows how co-creating affects the consumers involved and the implications of this for firms. Finally, the thesis contributes by revealing how co-creating with a relatively small group can have a positive effect on a wider group of customers.