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Customer effort in mandatory and voluntary value cocreation: a study in a health care context

Tram-Anh Ngoc Pham (UWA Business School, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia and School of Industrial Management, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, VNU-HCM, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Jillian Carol Sweeney (UWA Business School, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia)
Geoffrey Norma Soutar (UWA Business School, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 16 November 2020

Issue publication date: 14 July 2021




This study aims to examine the impacts various types of resources had on customer effort in mandatory and voluntary value cocreation activities and the contribution of efforts in these different activity types to quality of life.


Data from customers across five chronic health conditions were collected through an online survey. Rasch analysis helped identify hierarchies of activities representing varying levels of effort across four activity types (mandatory (customer), mandatory (customer or organization), voluntary in-role and voluntary extra-role activities). The conceptual model that was developed to examine the relationships of interest was analyzed using partial least squares structural equation modeling.


While clinical resources helped mandatory activities and personal network resources facilitated voluntary activities, psychological resources had greater impacts on customer effort across the whole range of activities. Effort in each activity type contributed to the quality of life differently, with voluntary activities having the greatest impacts on quality of life.

Practical implications

This study lends support to a holistic approach to health service that requires the mobilization of networks of resources to encourage customers’ engagement in a broad range of activities. Understanding the resources facilitating effort in distinct activity types provides insights to develop strategies to drive value cocreation efforts that subsequently contribute to improvements in quality of life.


Drawing on an extensive and nuanced categorization of activities, this study broadened the understanding of the networks of resources that are integrated in customer value cocreation processes and the link between value cocreation efforts and quality of life.



This research is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship at The University of Western Australia to the lead author.


Pham, T.-A.N., Sweeney, J.C. and Soutar, G.N. (2021), "Customer effort in mandatory and voluntary value cocreation: a study in a health care context", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 381-397.



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