Value co‐creation and university teaching quality: Consequences for the European Higher Education Area (EHEA)

Montserrat Díaz‐Méndez (Business Administration Department, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain)
Evert Gummesson (School of Business, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Publication date: 3 August 2012



The purpose of this paper is to investigate value co‐creation in assessing higher education (HE) teaching quality by acknowledging the influence of all interacting parties: teachers, students and general university service. The paper questions the appropriateness of student satisfaction surveys for assessing lecturer performance.


By introducing co‐creation and interaction between several stakeholders the paper deals with a complex problem which is best addressed through multiple approaches. The paper uses a literature review of HE quality together with empirical case study research of one university based on data from documents, student surveys and interviews with lecturers. The data are interpreted in the light of the recent theory of service (S‐D) logic and many‐to‐many marketing.


The paper highlights the complexity of HE service and recommends that EHEA assumes a co‐creation perspective. Resources are provided by lecturers, students and university service which require an interactive approach through which the parties integrate these resources. The information asymmetry between lecturers and students invalidates student satisfaction surveys as an instrument to assess teaching quality. The complexity of HE teaching cannot be boiled down to a single number that forms the ground for comparison between lecturers.


The paper offers a more valid perspective on HE quality by applying the concepts of value co‐creation and resource integration. It shows that the current one‐sided student evaluation of teachers is inadequate.



Díaz‐Méndez, M. and Gummesson, E. (2012), "Value co‐creation and university teaching quality: Consequences for the European Higher Education Area (EHEA)", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 571-592.

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