Role configurations in the service provision process: Empirical insights into co-creation of value

Jaakko Siltaloppi, Suvi Nenonen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose – Research on value co-creation has gained ground rapidly but remained at a very theoretical level. Thus, it has provided relatively little insight into the nature of individual processes of service provision/value creation, and how firms interact with their customers and contribute to their value creation processes. On this basis, the purpose of this paper is to identify and elaborate possible roles firms and their customers enact in the service provision/value creation process. Design/methodology/approach – The research utilizes a multiple case study approach building primarily on qualitative interview data from eight service concepts in the Finnish residential real estate industry. Findings – The research reveals three roles of the firm based on the extent to which firms engage in service provision/value creation processes with their customers. At one extreme, the output of the firms acts as a resource, which is transformed into an outcome and used by the customers. At the other, firms and customers jointly co-create value, with the firm coordinating the whole offering for the customer. In between, firms transform their resources into relatively standardized outcomes, which customers use in their value creation processes. Research limitations/implications – The results contribute to the understanding of service provision by categorizing firm-customer interaction into differing configurations of roles. This reinforces the notion that the depth of interaction affects the extent to which value is co-created between the firm and customer; different services having different configurations of roles which shape the interaction. Limited to eight service cases, the results only exemplify aggregate role configurations. Moreover, by focusing only on the perspectives of firm representatives, the results do not allow a closer analysis on customer-specific roles in the value creation process. Originality/value – This research presents an empirical analysis and interpretation of the service co-production/value co-creation process, complementing the extensive theoretical research on the topic. Particularly, the results display different depths of interaction between firms and their customers in co-producing and co-creating value, which suggests that it is not necessarily meaningful to consider everything co-creation from an empirical perspective.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)155-170
    Number of pages16
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2013
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Customer service management
    • Finland
    • Firm-customer interaction
    • Real estate
    • Roles
    • Service provision
    • Servicing
    • Value co-creation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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