Value (co-)creation in B2B sales ecosystems

Sami Rusthollkarhu, Pia Hautamaki, Leena Aarikka-Stenroos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Purpose: Digital ecosystemic business environments challenge dyadic approaches to value creation and particularly to business-to-business (B2B) sales. This paper aims to offer a novel conceptualization of the connection between value creation and B2B sales, which indicates practical implications and builds an agenda for future research. Design/methodology/approach: This conceptual paper integrates theoretical insights on service-dominant logic, service ecosystems, interactional value co-creation and B2B sales. This paper uses anecdotal evidence from the field of B2B sales to illustrate theoretical concepts developed in the paper. Findings: The paper develops the concept of value idea emergence (VIE), the process through which B2B entities become aware of a pursuable benefit. The paper further proposes that value (co-)creation in ecosystems happens through VIE’s intertwinement with the process of value proposition creation, a process, which includes all activities needed to bring a value proposition to a customer. The paper then discusses the role of B2B in these processes and proposes an agenda for future research. Practical implications: The novel conceptualizations of value (co-)creation can help B2B sales managers to understand the ecosystemic nature of the interactions that affect sales and value creation in the current business environment. Originality/value: The paper contributes to the literature on B2B sales and value creation by proposing a novel concept of VIE, introducing a conceptual model of interactive value (co-)creation in ecosystems and reformulating the role of B2B sales in value creation. These theory-developing insights can be used to guide both academic and managerial attention to interactions happening in the ecosystem outside of the buyer-seller dyad.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-598
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Issue number4
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • B2B sales
  • Co-creation
  • Digitalization
  • Ecosystem
  • Interaction
  • Value creation

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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