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Deconstructing value: The role of resource access in determining value processes and value outcomes at different stages of the consumption journey
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Marketing and Entrepreneurship.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6117-4408
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Defining value has been an ongoing task for marketing scholars. Some researchers assert that the difficulty of gaining consensus on value is because value is multidimensional while the discipline attempts to view it holistically. Value has been deconstructed into a three spheres and occasions, namely the provider sphere, the joint sphere and the customer sphere. The current research sought to build on their model. Here it is posited that different value outcomes occur at different stages of the consumption process. The central question is therefore: is value better understood as a series of outcomes across the consumption journey than one holistic evaluation?

Extant literature has increasingly sought to formalise how context shapes value. Value is created by integrating resources, and resources are not evenly distributed in any society. The current research has incorporated resource access and individual agency as the processes of value creation that shape value outcomes. The following research questions emerged:

 

RQ1: How does resource access affect consumer agency and power?

RQ2: How can resource networks be used to design a value proposition?

RQ3: How does differential access to resources impact value during the acquisition process?

RQ4: How can active resource destruction provide value outcomes?

 

The empirical part of this research covered four papers, one of which was a conceptual paper. Two followed the interpretivist paradigm and a qualitative approach. Such an approach is strongly advocated in the literature on value. A fourth utilised the objective paradigm and followed a quantitative approach. Each approach was deemed best to suit the research question.

The contribution to the body of knowledge is to establish how resources influence value creation processes and outcomes in three separate stages of the consumption lifecycle: value proposition development, value-in-acquisition and value-in-disposal. An additional sphere, termed the consumer sphere, was added to Grönroos and Voima’s existing three spheres (producer, joint and customer).

The document is organised as an overall introduction to the research narrative of four related published papers. The document opens with a chapter providing an overview, followed by a chapter on the literature review, a methods chapter and a chapter of findings. The four papers follow under Chapter 5 at the end. Three of these papers have been published; one is being revised to be resubmitted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2019. , p. 169
Series
TRITA-ITM-AVL ; 31
Keywords [en]
Consumer value journey, institutional arrangements, resource access, value creation outcomes, value creation processes, value deconstruction, value-in-acquisition, value-in-destruction.
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Business Studies; Industrial Economics and Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-261210ISBN: 978-91-7873-327-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-261210DiVA, id: diva2:1357290
Public defence
2019-11-25, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 08:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-10-30 Created: 2019-10-03 Last updated: 2019-11-06Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. When is your call important to us?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>When is your call important to us?
(English)In: Journal of Service Management, ISSN 1757-5818, E-ISSN 1757-5826Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Purpose:

A widespread narrative is that consumers are empowered, a condition attained from technology. Empirical results have been mixed. Despite a growing interest in consumer power, service dominant logic only addresses agency, not power. The current paper reviews how SD-logic can accommodate power.

 

Design/methodology/approach:

 A conceptual paper

 

Findings:

Different conceptions of power are reviewed, amongst which discursive power is argued as the most compatible with SD-logic. The relationship between agency, power and the institutional context is discussed. Power is then argued as accessed at three levels: macro, meso and micro.

 

Originality/value:

The paper demonstrates how SD-logic can incorporate discursive notions of power. Three concepts of resourceness are developed: resource assets, resource deficits and resource compensation. Seven propositions are put forward.

 

Keywords
Service dominant logic, power, agency, institutional arrangements, resources
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-261203 (URN)
Note

QCR 20191004

Available from: 2019-10-03 Created: 2019-10-03 Last updated: 2019-10-04Bibliographically approved
2. Through the Pyramid: Implications of interconnectedness in Africa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Through the Pyramid: Implications of interconnectedness in Africa
2019 (English)In: European Business Review, ISSN 0955-534X, E-ISSN 1758-7107, Vol. 31, no 3, p. 289-303, article id EBR-01-2018-0006Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Many markets are conceptualized as a stratified low- and middle-income “pyramid” of consumers. Emerging markets are sites of rapid consumer mobility, and thus the middle class there is connected to, and often supports, low-income relatives and employees. Therefore, this paper aims to establish that African income groups are not insular, but rather interrelated and have strong social ties reinforced with longstanding communal values, such as ubuntu.

Design/methodology/approach: Using a between-subjects experimental vignette design, the propensity of the middle class to cover low-income individuals on an insurance product was assessed.

Findings: Income strata are interrelated and can inform value propositions, which is demonstrated in this paper with insurance, where the middle class are willing to include others, depending on their social proximity, on their insurance cover.

Research limitations/implications: The context for this study was personal home insurance; hence, the generalisability of the results is circumscribed. Other more tangible forms of cover, such as medical, funeral or educational insurance, may engender far stronger effects.

Practical implications: Marketers tend to view low- and middle-income consumers as independent. A view of their interrelation will change the design of many products and services, such as a service catered to the poor but targeted at their support networks. An example of such a service is insurance, which is traditionally hard to sell to the poor. A less atomistic approach to income strata could have implications for vicarious consumption, as well as a reconsideration of the disposable income of both groups.

Originality/value: The pyramid is an interconnected network of social and economic ties.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2019
Keywords
Social networks, Bottom of the pyramid, Emerging markets, Insurance, Low-income, Middle income
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-259981 (URN)10.1108/EBR-01-2018-0006 (DOI)000484273300002 ()2-s2.0-85067050717 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20190926

Available from: 2019-09-24 Created: 2019-09-24 Last updated: 2019-10-03Bibliographically approved
3. Value-in-Acquisition: An institutional view
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Value-in-Acquisition: An institutional view
2019 (English)In: European Journal of Marketing, ISSN 0309-0566, E-ISSN 1758-7123, Vol. 55, no 11, p. 2373-2396, article id EJM-11-2017-0910Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Abstract

Purpose

By combining consumer culture theory and service dominant logic, this study proposes that value might be understood as value-in-acquisition, such that value outcomes result from the acquisition process in which broader social forces shape the exchange process.

Design/methodology/approach

This study addresses low-income consumers, for whom societal arrangements strongly determine service interactions. Qualitative interviews reveal service value processes and outcomes for low-income consumers during acquisition processes.

Findings

For low-income consumers, inclusion, status, resource access and emotional relief represent key value outcomes. Important value processes shape those value outcomes, reflecting broader societal arrangements at macro, meso and micro levels. Marketing constitutes an institutional arrangement that establishes an empowered “consumer” role. Value processes are hindered if consumers sense that their agency in this role is diminished, because marketing interactions give precedence to other social roles.

Research limitations/implications

Marketing should be studied as an institutional arrangement that shapes value creation processes during acquisition. Micro-level value processes have important implications for service quality and service value. Value outcomes thus might be designed in the acquisition process, not just for the offering.

Practical implications

The acquisition process for any good or service should be designed with its own value proposition, separate to the core product or service. Careful design of value processes during acquisition could mitigate conflict between social roles and those of consumption.

Originality/value

There is value in the acquisition process, independent of the value embedded in the goods and services.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2019
Keywords
Value creation process, Institutional arrangements, Acquisition process, Low-income consumer, Value creation outcomes
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-259983 (URN)10.1108/EJM-11-2017-0910 (DOI)000487036200006 ()2-s2.0-85063935583 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20191001

Available from: 2019-09-24 Created: 2019-09-24 Last updated: 2019-10-11Bibliographically approved
4. Ukukhothana: Conspicuous consumption and destruction in an emerging economy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ukukhothana: Conspicuous consumption and destruction in an emerging economy
2019 (English)In: Journal of Business Research, ISSN 0148-2963, E-ISSN 1873-7978Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

This study investigates “ukukhothana” as a form of conspicuous consumption and destruction among poor black youth in South Africa. In highly-stylized public displays, competing crews gather to flaunt and taunt: they parade their wealth—typically luxury brands, but also cash—while boasting of their superiority. The displays culminate with acts of conspicuous destruction during which the luxury products are ripped, smashed, or burned. Based on qualitative research conducted in several townships, including depth interviews and observation, this study yields insights into the main features of ukukhothana as well as the drivers for engaging in this behavior. We identify three drivers: costly signaling, sexual signaling, and elements of power and powerlessness. Ukukhothana diverges from other forms of conspicuous consumption as it is both a stylized art form and a subversive form of power and resistance to the conditions of structural poverty.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: , 2019
Keywords
Ukukhothana, Conspicuous Consumption, Conspicuous Destruction, Emerging Markets.
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-259987 (URN)
Note

QC 20191001

Available from: 2019-09-24 Created: 2019-09-24 Last updated: 2019-10-03Bibliographically approved

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