The creation of value is considered the core purpose and central process of economic exchange. Value creation is now conceptualized as shared by both producers and customers, and value is seen as fundamentally derived and determined in use, the integration and application of resources in a specific context, rather than in exchange, embedded in products and manifested as price. The field of research is abundant with publications but these do not fully further the understanding of value creation and co-creation in a way that is meaningful for theoretical development and decision making in business and marketing practise. Without a thorough understanding of the factors characterising value co-creation, the nature as well as content and locus of co-creation cannot be identified. In that case value co-creation easily becomes a concept without substance.
Until now, individual publications on co-creation have focused on few or different aspects, have emphasized the process from either the customer’s or from the firm’s vantage point, have different theoretical approaches and have ignored the complexity in interactions between actors.
The purpose of this essay is to analyse how five fundamental aspects of co-creation of customer value are perceived in contemporary marketing literature.
Discussing the different views on co-creation, this essay concludes that though
there are evident points of agreement, finding one generally valid doctrine of predestination or value co-creation is improbable. Although marketing practitioners would benefit from a precise definition one would probably benefit more by accepting that co-creation is a dynamic process affected by many factors, and that one correct and universal view of the process therefor is impossible.
2012. , 25 p.