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Studying customers’ resource integration by service employees in interactional value co-creation

Loïc Plé (Department of Management, IÉSEG School of Management, LEM-CNRS (UMR 9221), Lille, France)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 11 April 2016




Noting that resource integration is a pivotal dimension of value co-creation in Service-Dominant logic, this paper aims to explore how service employees engaged in co-creation processes with customers integrate the latter’s resources.


To address the limitations of previous research on customer resources and their integration by service employees, this study turns to the concept of customer participation to identify the nature of customers’ resources. A conceptual framework of their integration by service employees underpins nine key propositions. This foundation leads to the development of theoretical contributions, managerial implications and avenues for research.


Customers can use 12 types of resources in value co-creation. Contrasting with earlier findings, the conceptual framework reveals that service employees may not only integrate these customers’ resources but also either misintegrate or not integrate them. Non-integration and misintegration may be intentional or accidental. Accordingly, value co-creation or co-destruction may result from interactions.

Research limitations/implications

This conceptual and exploratory text requires complementary theoretical and empirical investigations. It also does not adopt an ecosystems view of co-creation.

Practical implications

Knowing the different steps of resource integration and what influences them should increase the chances of value co-creation and limit the risks of value co-destruction.


Scant research has examined the nature of customer resources and how service employees integrate them. This paper also is the first to distinguish among resource integration, misintegration and non-integration.



The author would like to thank Steve Baron, Associate Editor of the paper, for his help in the editing process, as well as the three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments.


Plé, L. (2016), "Studying customers’ resource integration by service employees in interactional value co-creation", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 152-164.



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