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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2012
Thesis number: 12983
Value co-creation in service relationships: a study of customer and service provider role responsibilities in KIBS
Author: Heinola, Elina
Title: Value co-creation in service relationships: a study of customer and service provider role responsibilities in KIBS
Year: 2012  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; arvot; values; palvelut; service; liike-elämä; business life; asiantuntijat; specialists
Pages: 76
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_12983.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1852743)
Key terms: value co-creation; service relationships; dialogical interaction; role responsibilities; KIBS

Objective of the study

The objective of this study was to explore the characteristics of value co-­creation and the role responsibilities supporting value co-­?creation in the context of knowledge-­?intensive business services (KIBS). Research investigating the interactions between a service provider and a customer in services, where the customer is intimately involved in co-­?creating the service outcome, is limited. This study aims to address this gap by suggesting a framework describing the functioning of a value co-­?creating service relationship.

Research method

The research question was explored through a qualitative approach. Semi-­?structured interviews were conducted with representatives of four KIBS firms. Empirical findings were reflected back on theory to create a proposed framework as a basis for further enquiry.


The main findings of this study are summarized in a framework seeking to explain value co-­?creation in KIBS. Dialogical interaction was found to be at the core of value co-­?creation, increasing the likelihood of reaching a high value outcome. Favorable customer and service provider behaviors, referred to in this study as role responsibilities, are suggested to reinforce value co-­?creation. Two customer and three service provider role responsibilities were found to be especially pertinent to support the emergence of a mutually beneficial relationship, where value is co-­?created and not destroyed. The service provider’s role responsibilities were found to consist of building trust and mutual value through value leadership, expertise and solidarity. On the customer’s part, the most relevant role responsibilities were found to be involving and being involved to ensure a co-­?created value outcome.
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