Customers as “partial” employees of organizations: good or bad?

Weiling Zhuang (College of Business and Technology, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Virginia, USA)
Barry J. Babin (College of Business, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana, USA)
Adilson Borges (NEOMA Business School, Mont-Saint-Aignan, Haute-Normandie, France)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Publication date: 19 June 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to address the following research questions: How do customer input and service provider (in this study, the terms firm and service provider are used interchangeably) input coproduce customer experience and response? Do different components of customer input influence customer experience differently?

Design/methodology/approach

Structural equation modeling (SEM) was adopted to conduct tests of the measurement model and the main hypotheses represented in Figure 1. LISREL 8.80 (Jöreskog and Sörbom, 1993) was applied for data analysis in the current study. A survey instrument was designed and used to gather data for use in this study. Data were collected using an online survey administration tool (www.qualtrics.com).

Findings

The results indicate that two dimensions of customer participation – information resource and codeveloper activities – demonstrate distinct impacts on customers’ responses. Specifically, customer participation (information resource) is negatively related to customer shopping values and satisfaction. However, another dimension of customer participation (codeveloper activities) is positively related to the same outcomes.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is among the first to integrate customer participation and customer orientation to understand the phenomenon of customer co-creation. The study applies for a two-dimensional customer input construct and empirically tests their impacts on customer experience. Both utilitarian value and hedonic value are included in the research framework to assess customer value experience.

Keywords

Citation

Zhuang, W., Babin, B. and Borges, A. (2019), "Customers as “partial” employees of organizations: good or bad?", Management Research Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MRR-09-2018-0344

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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