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Dynamics of wellbeing co-creation: a psychological ownership perspective

Tom Chen (Canberra Business School, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia) (Research School of Population Health and Research School of Management, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia) (Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia)
Sarah Dodds (Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand)
Jörg Finsterwalder (Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand)
Lars Witell (Linkopings Universitet, Linkoping, Sweden) (Karlstads Universitet, Karlstad, Sweden)
Lilliemay Cheung (UQ Business School, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia)
Mareike Falter (University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany)
Tony Garry (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
Hannah Snyder (Department of Marketing, BI - Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway)
Janet R. McColl-Kennedy (UQ Business School, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 2 July 2020

Issue publication date: 27 April 2021




People are responsible for their wellbeing, yet whether they take ownership of their own or even others' wellbeing might vary from actor to actor. Such psychological ownership (PO) influences the dynamics of how wellbeing is co-created, particularly amongst actors, and ultimately determines actors' subjective wellbeing. The paper's research objective pertains to explicating the concept of the co-creation of wellbeing and conceptualizing the dynamics inherent to the co-creation of wellbeing with consideration of the influences of all involved actors from a PO perspective.


To provide a new conceptualization and framework for the dynamics of wellbeing co-creation, this research synthesizes wellbeing, PO and value co-creation literature. Four healthcare cases serve to illustrate the effects of engaged actors' PO on the co-creation of wellbeing.


The derived conceptual framework of dynamic co-creation of wellbeing suggests four main propositions: (1) the focal actor's wellbeing state is the intangible target of the focal actor's and other engaged actors' PO, transformed throughout the process of wellbeing co-creation, (2) PO over the focal actor's wellbeing state is subject to the three interrelated routes of exercising control, investing in the target, and intimately knowing the target, which determine the instigation of wellbeing co-creation, (3) the level of PO over the focal actor's wellbeing state can vary, influence and be influenced by the extent of wellbeing co-creation, (4) the co-creation of wellbeing, evoked by PO, is founded on resource integration, which influences the resources–challenges equilibrium of focal actor and of all other engaged actors, affecting individual subjective wellbeing.


This article provides a novel conceptual framework that can shed new light on the co-creation of wellbeing in service research. Through the introduction of PO the transformation of lives and wellbeing can be better understood.



While the inception of this paper dates back to two workshops in 2016 and 2017, the majority of work has been undertaken and the first versions of this work were presented to conference participants in 2018 and 2019. The authors wish to thank the participants of; CCIS-CE 2018, Co-creation in Service and Customer Engagement Symposium, Adelaide Hills, Australia, 2018; QUIS 16, The 16th International Research Symposium on Advancing Service Research and Practice, Karlstad, Sweden, 2019; The Naples Forum on Service, Ischia, Italy, 2019; and the Workshop on Using Social Marketing to Improve Mental Healthcare, Canberra, Australia, 2019, for their valuable comments.


Chen, T., Dodds, S., Finsterwalder, J., Witell, L., Cheung, L., Falter, M., Garry, T., Snyder, H. and McColl-Kennedy, J.R. (2021), "Dynamics of wellbeing co-creation: a psychological ownership perspective", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 383-406.



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