Co-creating services - conceptual clarification, forms and outcomes

Anna-Sophie Oertzen, Gaby Odekerken-Schröder, Saara A. Brax, Birgit Mager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to assess, clarify and consolidate the terminology around the co-creation of services, establish its forms and identify its outcomes, to resolve the conceptual pluralism in service co-creation literature.

Design/methodology/approach A focused literature review screened the articles published in five major service research journals to determine relevant contributions on the concept of co-creation of services. Then, a thematic analysis identifies the forms, themes and outcomes of co-creating services in the set of 80 qualifying articles.

Findings The study reduces conceptual pluralism by establishing different forms of co-creating services and developing an explicit definition of co-creation in services. The authors develop an integrative framework that recognizes involvement, engagement and participation as prerequisites for co-creation. Relating to the different phases of the service process, the specific co-creation forms of co-ideation, co-valuation, co-design, co-testing and co-launching are classified as regenerative co-creation, while the specific co-creation forms of co-production and co-consumption are recognized as operative co-creation. Both beneficial and counterproductive outcomes of co-creation are identified and arranged into a typology.

Research limitations/implications The integrative framework illustrates that service providers and customers are involved, engaged and participate in co-creating services, which manifests in specific forms of co-creation; they attain beneficial and counterproductive outcomes (personal, social, hedonic, cognitive, economic and pragmatic); and are influenced by a contextual multi-actor network.

Practical implications Co-creation in services is actionable; the typology of outcomes suggests service managers ways to motivate customers and employees to participate in co-creating services.

Originality/value This paper defines and establishes the conceptual forms of co-creating services and the identified outcomes, and develops an integrative framework of co-creation in services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-679
Number of pages39
JournalJournal of Service Management
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Service co-creation
  • Engagement
  • Participation
  • Co-production
  • Co-design
  • Involvement
  • SERVICE-DOMINANT LOGIC
  • WORD-OF-MOUTH
  • CUSTOMER PARTICIPATION
  • HEALTH-CARE
  • PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
  • CONSUMER PARTICIPATION
  • FINANCIAL SERVICES
  • PARTIAL EMPLOYEES
  • INNOVATION
  • COPRODUCTION

Cite this