Value co-creation, is an emerging innovation, marketing and business paradigm describing how customers and users are seen as active participants in the design of personalized products, services and experiences (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004; Payne, Storbacka, & Frow, 2008). Often this participation is organised via the Internet to enable the opportunity for customers to integrate their knowledge, experience and skills into existing, modified or entirely new market offerings reflecting their personal preferences, needs and contexts (Sawhney, Gianmario & Prandelli, 2005). There is a growing body of literature dedicated to the discussion of value co-creation frameworks, mechanisms and processes, however, these typically focus on the study, discussion and analysis of a small number of cases using deep, ethnographic description of their practices aiming at conceptualization and categorization of the different types of interactions between end users, the firm and the value network. Although very useful, such an approach misses the advantages of an empirically driven quantitative approach that would be able to benefit from larger size samples of firms and that could be more appropriate for theory building through the development and testing of hypotheses. It is important, therefore, to seek the development of a research methodology that would be able to combine the benefits of both qualitative and quantitative research approaches to studying the nature of value co-creation. The present paper suggests a way of how is this to be done by providing a first attempt to identify the main research steps of such methodology. It provides some preliminary results on the key components of value co-creation between firms and end uses or customers based on the application of web search and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) techniques. The analysis of these preliminary results is then used as an opportunity to identify a number of research questions to be addressed in future research. The emerging research questions follow the inner logic of the value co-creation phenomenon as well as the nature of the results reported in the present paper. Fortunately, the specific nature of the results was found to be suitable for the application of the so-called small-N techniques such as the Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) technique which combines the advantages of both qualitative and quantitative techniques. One of the main contributions of this paper is to suggest and explore the possibility for using the QCA technique in future research on value co-creation.
Software, Services & Semantic Technologies, 2009, p. 200-209
value co-creation; web search techniques; Factor analysis; qualitative comparative analysis
Main Research Area:
<strong>International Conference on Software, Services and Semantic Technologies</strong>, 2009