Kauppakorkeakoulu | Tieto- ja palvelutalouden laitos | MSc program in Information and Service Management | 2015
Tutkielman numero: 13990
Value co-creation in online communities: A qualitative case study on the interaction between game developers and gamers
|Otsikko:||Value co-creation in online communities: A qualitative case study on the interaction between game developers and gamers|
|Vuosi:||2015 Kieli: eng|
|Laitos:||Tieto- ja palvelutalouden laitos|
|Aine:||MSc program in Information and Service Management|
|Asiasanat:||tietotalous; knowledge economy; pelit; games; palvelut; service; internet; internet; yhteisöt; communities; verkostot; networks; arvoketju; value chain|
|Avainsanat:||online communities; value co-creation; video games; indie games|
The main objective of this study is to explore the nature of value co-creation in a video game related online community, focusing on company-consumer interaction, namely the interaction between a game developer company and its gamers. The goal is to identify value co-creation activities in the case community, and to find out how a small game developer company could further reinforce the phenomenon to help drive its success.
This thesis is a qualitative, single case study with an exploratory research approach. A literature review was conducted to examine previous research on online communities and value co-creation. The empirical data was collected by interviewing a game developer company and gamers, who were active participants in the case community. In addition, data was collected by direct observation of the case community during a three-month period.
The building blocks of co-creation, also called the DART framework (Prahalad and Ramaswamy, 2004) was utilized in semi-structured interviews in order to bring out actual value co-creation activities in real-life context. The interview and observational data were grouped around the themes of the DART framework, and analyzed by using the framework as a guide: the purpose was not to test the theory, but rather to build on it in order to find new insights into a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context.
The evidence drawn from the interviews and actual events in the case community supports previous research: an online community serves as a fruitful platform for company-consumer interaction, providing opportunities for value co-creation. The study suggests that the key factors enabling value co-creation in the case community are discussions, support and player-created content. With an active online community presence the game developers can further reinforce value co-creation by cultivating dialogue, facilitating an environment favorable for both knowledge sharing and experiences, as well as providing gamers with transparency of information and an appropriate level of access to it.
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