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An investigation into factors affecting value co-creation between businesses

Pathak, B. (2019) An investigation into factors affecting value co-creation between businesses. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00084915


This thesis explores the phenomenon of value co-creation (VCC) in a business-to-business (B2B) context; VCC has received much attention by scholars in recent years, especially with the emergence of service science in which VCC is one of the core concepts for investigating exchange among service systems from the perspective of service dominant logic (SDL) perspective. Successful organisations co-create products and services with their customers and also their business partners. Nonetheless, the VCC literature within the B2B context provides little insight into factors affecting VCC between businesses. This study thus examines value co-creation aiming to investigate (1) factors affecting VCC between an organisation and its business customers, and (2) factors affecting VCC between an organisation and its business partners. To achieve this aim, a conceptual framework of factors affecting VCC between an organisation and customers identified through a systematic literature review was first developed. This resulted in the Customer-Organisation-Technology-Environment (COTE) framework, which is used to guide the empirical investigation. Interviews with executives in nine information-intensive organisations to explore their VCC practices were then conducted to refine the final COTE framework. The final framework captures sixteen COTE-related factors of VCC: Customer-related factors are identified as culture, motivation, perceived value, competence, trust and relationship, and peer influence; Organisation-related factors are motivation, perceived value, competence, policy and governance and organisational culture; Technology factors consist of digital infrastructure, new technology and security and privacy; and Environmental factors are recognised as government policy and regulations, market structure, trends and competition. The findings also reported a new form of co-creation called co-conception of competition, i.e. business customers, often in long-term relationships, helping firms to beat competition. To uncover factors affecting VCC between organisations and their business partners, a framework of factors affecting value co-creation in an alliance (FAVCA) was developed from the literature. A case study research method was adopted. The case chosen is VCC practice between an AlphaVendor and its partners with a global presence and reputation in hardware technology, using multiple sources of evidence: 12 interviews, audio recording and documents were used. The FAVCA consists of four key factors: an alliance governance mechanism, and technology-related collective strengths; these were found to enable actors’ efforts in co-creating value, whereas, actors’ practice of power and politics, and opportunistic behaviours were found to contribute to inhibiting VCC in sales ecosystems. The FAVCA framework represents the nature of multiple actors’ collaboration, and contributes to the debate on co-creation as well as co-destruction of value. The results were further validated with five informants. Overall the FAVCA argues that transaction cost theory (cf. Williamson, 1985) should be considered in the development of service science and SDL to understand the effect of actors’ troublesome behaviours in value co-creation.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Tan, Y. L. and Nakata, K.
Thesis/Report Department:Henley Business School
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Henley Business School
ID Code:84915
Date on Title Page:2018

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