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Customer self-determination in value co-creation

Lenna V. Shulga (School of Travel Industry Management, Shidler College of Business, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA)
James A. Busser (William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Journal of Service Theory and Practice

ISSN: 2055-6225

Article publication date: 27 November 2020

Issue publication date: 2 January 2021




The purpose of this study is to deepen the understanding of consumers value collaboration with a service provider, specifically, how consumer self-determination affects value co-creation outcomes.


Self-determination theory (SDT) need-based motivational factors were operationalized in co-creation as commitment to resources (autonomy), feedback (competence) and collectives (relatedness). A between–within factorial experimental design (3 × 2 × 4) was conducted using online scenarios depicting value co-creation in a destination resort setting. Respondents were randomly and equally assigned to strong and weak SDT factor conditions. Next, they were exposed to scenarios depicting four types of value co-creation: co-innovation, co-creation of marketing, co-creation of experience and co-recovery, followed by an assessment of their co-created value (CCV), well-being, satisfaction and service advantage perceptions.


Results revealed that overall strong SDT conditions produce better outcomes. Consumers’ relatedness showed the strongest difference between strong and weak SDT conditions on the CCV dimensions. Further analysis revealed that autonomy and relatedness are crucial for collaboration. CCV meaningfulness is central for customers to improve their well-being, satisfaction and competitive advantage perceptions through co-creation.


The study contributes to a line of research on successful voluntary value co-creation processes between consumers and a company. The integration of service-dominant logic (SDL), axiology of value (AOV) and SDT, uniquely operationalized as commitment to resources as autonomy, feedback as competence and co-creation collective as relatedness offers a better understanding of how customers appraise the dimensions of CCV and outcomes of well-being, satisfaction and competitive advantage.



Shulga, L.V. and Busser, J.A. (2021), "Customer self-determination in value co-creation", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 83-111.



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