Engage Consumers to Harness the Power of Value Co-Creation: A Longitudinal Field Study

Project: Research

View graph of relations


Value co-creation is an emerging paradigm that dramatically changes how marketers, managers, and professionals collaborate with consumers in idea generation, as well as new product development and launch. The popularity of Web 2.0 technology and the vast amounts of information that consumers exchange in various types of virtual environments (e.g., online communities, open-source sites, social media) push many innovative firms, including IBM, SAP, Microsoft, Nike, Volvo, and Nokia, to consider how they might benefit from the collective wisdom of millions of consumers.Two streams of research have contributed to theory on value co-creation. Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2004) emphasize the unique role of consumers in offering specialized competences, skills, and knowledge that a firm and its employees cannot provide or understand internally. Vargo and Lusch (2004, 2008) adopt a service-dominant marketing perspective and regard consumers as unique resource integrators and producers of their experience and perceptions, which determine value-in-use. Both streams suggest that firms should work to free consumers’ creativity and foster experimentation and exploration among this newly empowered, entrepreneurial, and liberated group (Zwick, Bonsu, and Darmody 2008).Despite the significance of this topic, little empirical or quantitative research examines its dynamic and recursive processes. Existing studies mainly use case studies or crosssectional data, which capture a single moment in the process, from either consumers’ or firms’ perspectives. The goal of this project is to propose and test a more comprehensive model of the critical factors that affect the ongoing value co-creation process and its outcomes during the ideation stage. Drawing on value co-creation literature, we propose that consumers continuously evaluate the benefits they receive and adjust their motives and extent of participation in value co-creation. Firms’ continuous technological and social support significantly affects the process and value generated. Moreover, consumers’ ability to attract high-quality interactions with others results in different values.To achieve these goals, this project adopts longitudinal web data, continuously retrieved from chosen websites, four rounds of online surveys with users, and in-depth interviews with involved firms. The findings should contribute to value co-creation literature and provide feasible strategies that firms can employ to harness the power of value cocreation by stimulating, facilitating, and improving the process.


Project number9041827
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/1323/12/16