The purpose of this paper is to provide a conceptual analysis on value proposition tools to be used in future empirical research and in building managerial insight. The conceptual analysis focusses on a living lab framework and recent theoretical developments around the concept of value that are reflected in the context of three managerial tools for creating value propositions.
Using abductive reasoning, the descriptions of the tools were analysed as cultural texts, as language-in-use in a social context.
In the context of the living labs approach, the Value Proposition Builder™ (VPB) seems to conflict with the ideas and premises of user-centric innovation processes. In the Value Proposition Canvas (VPC), the co-creation aspect is rather vague, as the enterprise and its offerings are presented as creators of value for the customer. Thus, this tool somewhat contradicts the living lab approach. The People Value Canvas (PVC) is aligned with the service-dominant logic and the premises of living labs. However, all three tools largely neglect a deeper acknowledgement of the role of the wider context, the service ecosystem, and the role of networked actors as resource integrators. Moreover, none of the tools explicitly point out the role of enterprises as intermediaries in constructing invitations for value co-creation.
The paper contributes to the SDL and living labs literature by conceptual analysis on different value proposition tools; the VPB™, the PVC, and the VPC which are relevant for academics as well as practitioners creating new understanding and insights on the connectedness of the living labs framework and SDL as well as their relationship to managerial tools. By identifying the absent elements of S-D logic from managerial value proposition tools, the paper contributes to current discussions by giving attention from scholars towards investigating managerial tools and by providing a new conceptual analysis for future empirical research. The critical analysis of the managerial tools contributes to managerial practice by emphasising the need to consciously evaluate the benefits and failures of tools for developing their organisations.
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