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Exploring the ‘black box’ of customer co-creation processes
Griffith University, Australia.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2887-2463
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.
Southern Cross University, Australia.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Services Marketing, ISSN 0887-6045, E-ISSN 0887-6045, Vol. 31, no 3, p. 265-280Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - Many firms use customer co-creation practices with the aim of benefiting from their customers' knowledge, skills and resources. This paper aims to explore co-creation processes which involve users with different background characteristics and motivational drivers.

Design/methodology/approach -The study builds on an analysis of data from six teams in which users collaborated with in-house professionals for the development of new service concepts. Observations and open-ended questionnaires provided insights into the teams' development processes. Independent experts rated the generated concepts. The data were analysed using cross-comparison matrices.FindingsThe findings suggest that the co-creation process and outcomes can be influenced by numerous intra-team factors, including relationship and task conflicts, participation style, team bonding, team identity and cohesiveness and intra-team collaboration. Their occurrence and influence seem to be linked with a specific team composition. A conceptual co-creation process model and six propositions are used to describe the complex relationships between team composition, intra-team factors and key innovation outcomes.

Research limitations/implications - Research that investigates user involvement in teams needs to consider the complexity of intra-team factors affecting the development process and outcomes. The findings are limited to a specific setting, design task and user sample. Future research should replicate this study in different sectors.

Practical implications - Key to customer co-creation is the systematic recruitment of users based on their background characteristics and motivational drivers. For instance, the involvement of users with very specific innovation-related benefit expectations can cause conflict, leading to narrowly focused outcomes. This, however, can be mitigated by the form of facilitation and roles adopted by in-house professionals. Understanding intra-team dynamics can allow the firm to assemble and facilitate customer co-creation so that generated outcomes can align with set innovation targets.

Originality/value -This paper provides original insights into the "black box" of the customer co-creation process and the complex relationship between team composition, intra-team factors and key innovation outcomes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2017. Vol. 31, no 3, p. 265-280
Keywords [en]
Service innovation, Team research, Service design, Customer co-creation
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-63551DOI: 10.1108/JSM-03-2016-0120OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-63551DiVA, id: diva2:1141544
Available from: 2017-09-15 Created: 2017-09-15 Last updated: 2018-06-26Bibliographically approved

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