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Conceptualization and application of value-configuration spaces in a complex service system: Comparative study of Public Transport Services in industrialized and newly-industrialized countries
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, The Service and Market Oriented Transport Research Group.
Innovation Research in Utility Sectors (Cirus), Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Switzerland.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, The Service and Market Oriented Transport Research Group.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT. (Centrum för Tjänsteforskning/SAMOT)
2012 (English)In: / [ed] Jay Kandampully et al, Beijing, China, 2012Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Public transportation represents a complex service system, which is based on “value-co-production” configuration. Value-co-production configuration involves “…people, technology, other internal and external service systems, and shared information” (Spohrer et al., 2007, p. 2). To fulfil the goals of a sustainable Public transit, innovations should focus the way value is created. The value configuration space (Gebauer et al., 2010; Johnson et al., 2010) is conceptualized consisting of two parties (“customer” and “provider”), who are both resource integrators and beneficiaries in the value configuration space. Both are involved in actor networks (or service systems). Service systems are related to value networks where the value creation relies on resource integration across a value network consisting of firm, network, partners, and customers (Vargo and Lusch, 2008; Edvardsson, et al., 2010). The networks form service systems that survive, adapt, and evolve through exchange and application of resources. Stabell and Fjeldstad (1998) offer another abstraction of value configuration. They have applied the value configuration concept to understand and analyze the firm-level value creation logics across a broad range of industries and firms by exploring the value chain, the value shop, and the value network through mediating technology. The mediating technology delivers value by transforming inputs into products. The value is delivered by resolving unique customer problems by enabling direct and indirect exchanges between customers (ibid).


The aim of this paper is to apply the conceptualization of value-configuration spaces to understand the context of public transit services in a complex service system through different public transit cases. Public transit services in the urban regions of developed countries (Zurich in Switzerland, Hamburg in Germany, and Stockholm in Sweden) and newly-industrialized countries (Cape Town in South Africa, Jakarta in Indonesia and Bogota Guangzhou in China). Despite the importance of sustainable public transit services, existing research does not fully explore how complex service systems drive innovation and value-configuration-spaces; to achieving more sustainable public transit services as a key issue. We are looking for innovative ways to combine service systems and value-configuration spaces; such research in fact substantiates the existing value-configuration-space. The variation in maturity of these different cases allows us to develop a process model of value configuration spaces that assesses social force.


To further embrace these ideas, this paper lays the foundation for enriching the logic of sustainability and value-configuration spaces theories. It extends research on value-configuration spaces. The remainder of the article is organized as follows. The next section presents our conceptual framework. This consists of sub-sections on sustainability and innovation, value creation, value configuration spaces, and the value network. The article continues by applying these four key concepts to our empirical setting based on multiple public transit service networks in Europe. The article concludes with a summary of the main contributions and limitations of the study and directions for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Beijing, China, 2012.
Keyword [en]
Value configuration spaces; service systems; value creation; public transit services; service-dominant logic
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-29784OAI: diva2:657554
3rd International Research Symposium in Service Management (IRSSM-3)Beijing China, 2-7 Juli
Available from: 2013-10-20 Created: 2013-10-20 Last updated: 2016-09-28Bibliographically approved

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