The purpose of this paper is to distinguish experiences from practices and relate this distinction to current developments in value research within service‐dominant (S‐D) logic and the broader service domain.
The paper provides a conceptual overview of how experiences and practices have been characterized in the literature to date, how they differ from each other, and if and where they intersect. Following this, the epistemological and methodological differences between practices and experiences are illustrated using narrated experiences and practical observations of car‐washing.
While practices are primarily routinized patterns of behaviour, experiences focus more on individuals' value determinations in different contexts. Thus, different types of methodology are needed to observe customers' behaviour in value‐creating practices and interpret customers' sense making of value experiences.
Both phenomenological value experiences and value co‐creation practices contribute to value research: while practices are the shared possession of the collective, internal and individual differentiation is included in practices. Practices may change or evolve over time, possibly resulting in improved value outcomes or experiences. Opportunities and challenges should be considered by value researchers including the temporal nature of practices and experiences, evidence about value, and the intersubjectivity of social relations.
To better facilitate individual experiences and collective practices, service providers need to understand both experiences and practices in order to co‐create value with individuals and their networks.
This study is the first systematic attempt in service research to present an analysis of the distinction between experiences and practices, and to analyze the relevance of this distinction for value research.
Helkkula, A., Kelleher, C. and Pihlström, M. (2012), "Practices and experiences: challenges and opportunities for value research", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 554-570. https://doi.org/10.1108/09564231211260413Download as .RIS
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