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Commentary: Strength-based co-design that EMPOWERs – Lessons from codesigning with older adults

Bernardo Figueiredo (School of Economics Finance and Marketing, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Torgeir Aleti (School of Economics Finance and Marketing, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Diane M. Martin (School of Economics Finance and Marketing, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Mike Reid (School of Economics Finance and Marketing, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Jacob Sheahan (School of Design, College of Design and Social Context, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Larissa Hjorth (School of Media and Communications, College of Design and Social Context, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 13 September 2023

Issue publication date: 21 November 2023

351

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to address the existing gap in co-design frameworks by introducing the EMPOWER framework, a strength-based co-design methodological approach specifically designed to tackle the key empowerment challenges associated with co-designing alongside individuals experiencing vulnerability. The purpose of this study is to provide a set of easy-to-remember empowering guidelines to enhance the co-design process.

Design/methodology/approach

EMPOWER is based on lessons from the field, through five years of working with older adults.

Findings

The framework includes seven guidelines to overcome common challenges in co-design research. The acronym EMPOWER refers to guidelines for extending, multiplying, publicising, outsourcing, widening, enabling and reflecting on co-design research.

Research limitations/implications

Although extendable to other experiences of vulnerability, the examples provided focus on the experiences of ageing consumers.

Practical implications

EMPOWER has direct relevance to practitioners wishing not only to work with consumers experiencing vulnerabilities but also to empower these consumers through purposeful research actions.

Social implications

Although drawing on co-design research with older adults, these guidelines can be applied to empower other groups experiencing vulnerability.

Originality/value

There is a relative lack of guidelines on how to strengthen the co-design process in a way that empowers consumers experiencing vulnerability. To address this, this paper offers a framework and some grounded examples contributing to the current knowledge of co-design in marketing.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the U3A Network Victoria and the City of Whittlesea for their participation in the project mentioned in the text.

Funding: This project was funded by a grant from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN). The operation of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.

Since acceptance of this article, the following authors have updated their affiliations: Jacob Sheahan is at the Institute for Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh and Diane M. Martin is at the Department of Marketing, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland.

Citation

Figueiredo, B., Aleti, T., Martin, D.M., Reid, M., Sheahan, J. and Hjorth, L. (2023), "Commentary: Strength-based co-design that EMPOWERs – Lessons from codesigning with older adults", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 37 No. 9, pp. 1105-1112. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-12-2022-0393

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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