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Service appropriation: how do customers make the service their own?

Matthieu Mifsud (University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France)
Anne-Sophie Cases (University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France)
Gilles N'Goala (University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 19 October 2015




The purpose of this paper is to propose a comprehensive framework for service appropriation, specifying the different facets of the phenomenon.


A literature review summarizes views of the appropriation concept from various disciplines (human and social sciences, information systems, marketing), reinforced by an exploratory study in the health sector.


Six underlying dimensions of service appropriation emerge: service knowledge; service consciousness; self-adaptation to service; service control; service creation; and psychological ownership of the service.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is mainly conceptual and requires empirical testing in other domains to confirm the applicability of the proposed framework.

Practical implications

This study offers insights into how service providers and managers should design services and integrate customers in the service coproduction process.


The complementary view of appropriation in the context of services defines it as a cognitive, measurable state. The outcome of this approach is an original, integrative framework applied to services, not just spaces or immersive experiences.



Mifsud, M., Cases, A.-S. and N'Goala, G. (2015), "Service appropriation: how do customers make the service their own?", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 706-725.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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