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Role of commercial friendship, initiation and co-creation types

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

Journal of Service Theory and Practice

ISSN: 2055-6225

Article publication date: 28 October 2019

Issue publication date: 21 November 2019




The purpose of this paper is to introduce and test customer perceptions of four types of value co-creation (VCC), explore VCC a priori condition of relatedness, operationalized as commercial friendship, examine customer voluntary participation in VCC through initiation (customer vs company), and the influence of these factors on relational outcomes of VCC: satisfaction, loyalty and trust.


A scenario-based 2×2×4 experimental design was set in a destination resort context: weak vs strong commercial friendship, customer vs company co-creation initiation and four types of VCC. The 248 resort guests were equally and randomly assigned to experimental conditions. Multivariate analysis of variance and repeated measures analysis of variance was utilized.


Results demonstrated that customers perceived VCC processes differently. Co-creation of experience and co-recovery outcomes had significantly higher relational outcomes when compared to co-creation of marketing and co-innovation. Experiencing stronger commercial friendship, as customer–company relatedness and being invited to co-create resulted in stronger customer relational outcomes.


The core theoretical contribution of this study is the comparative analysis of customer perceptions of four distinctly different types of VCC: co-innovation, co-creation of experience, co-creation of marketing and co-recovery. A priori conditions of relatedness and co-creation initiation were established as antecedents of VCC processes among customers and service providers. When a service provider initiates VCC, it can positively affect customers’ relational outcomes of satisfaction, loyalty and trust.



Busser, J.A. and Shulga, L.V. (2019), "Role of commercial friendship, initiation and co-creation types", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 488-512.



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