Value co-creation in service marketing: A critical (re)view

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The present study critically explores and discusses the concept of value co-creation as revealed and recognized in the research streams that have formed the conceptual basis for the construct: service-dominant logic, service logic, and customer-dominant logic. The study is positioned within critical hermeneutics; thus, a hermeneutic review strategy is applied and the subsequent critical discussion is inspired by a Habermasian understanding of society as composed of a system and lifeworld. The findings of the study are twofold; they reveal how different underlying assumptions frame the perception of the unit of analysis when focusing on value co-creation and how that the relocation of the locus of value creation from the company to the customer sphere hides that value is an economic concept in service marketing research. Moreover, the analysis reveals that in services market research, the concept of value co-creation in a company is applied to analyze the customer domain. This dimension has not received much academic attention despite that the existing concept might be applicable neither analytically nor empirically. Extant literature on value co-creation acknowledges that the meaning of the concept is still obscure. The present study therefore contributes to literature with a refined conceptual understanding of how the underlying perceptions of the concept lead to different analytical foci in existing research and by identifying questions for further research. Moreover, the review and the discussion are based within a hermeneutic paradigm and contribute as such with a rarely applied review methodology within the field of service marketing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation Studies
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)73-83
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2020


  • Value co-creation
  • Service dominant logic
  • Service logic
  • Customer dominant logic
  • Critical hermeneutics

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