Studying customers’ resource integration by service employees in interactional value co-creation

Plé, L. (2016)

Journal of Services Marketing. Vol 30. pp152-164
DOI: 10.1108/JSM-02-2015-0065
Purpose – Noting that resource integration is a pivotal dimension of value co-creation in Service-Dominant logic, this paper aims to explore how service employees engaged in co-creation processes with customers integrate the latter’s resources. Design/methodology/approach – To address the limitations of previous research on customer resources and their integration by service employees, this study turns to the concept of customer participation to identify the nature of customers’ resources. A conceptual framework of their integration by service employees underpins nine key propositions. This foundation leads to the development of theoretical contributions, managerial implications and avenues for research. Findings – Customers can use 12 types of resources in value co-creation. Contrasting with earlier findings, the conceptual framework reveals that service employees may not only integrate these customers’ resources but also either misintegrate or not integrate them. Non-integration and misintegration may be intentional or accidental. Accordingly, value co-creation or co-destruction may result from interactions. Research limitations/implications – This conceptual and exploratory text requires complementary theoretical and empirical investigations. It also does not adopt an ecosystems view of co-creation. Practical implications – Knowing the different steps of resource integration and what influences them should increase the chances of value co-creation and limit the risks of value co-destruction. Originality/value – Scant research has examined the nature of customer resources and how service employees integrate them. This paper also is the first to distinguish among resource integration, misintegration and non-integration.

Amongst other things, a list of customer resources that can be brought to the table

  1. informational resources;
  2. emotional resources;
  3. physical resources;
  4. financial resources;
  5. temporal resources;
  6. behavioral resources;
  7. relational resources;
  8. social resources;
  9. cultural resources;
  10. role-related resources (role size, role awareness and role clarity);
  11. customer ability; and
  12. customer willingness.

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