Special Issue – Toward a Better Understanding of the Role of Value in Markets and Marketing: Volume 9


Table of contents

(16 chapters)
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List of Contributors

Pages vii-viii
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Editorial Board

Pages xi-xii
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Review of Marketing Research, now in its ninth volume, is a well-established publication covering the important areas of marketing research with a more comprehensive state-of-the-art orientation. The chapters in this publication review the literature in a particular area, offer a critical commentary, develop an innovative framework, and discuss future developments, as well as present specific empirical studies. The first eight volumes have featured some of the top researchers and scholars in our discipline who have reviewed an array of important topics. The response to the first eight volumes has been truly gratifying and we look forward to the impact of the ninth volume with great anticipation.

In this introduction we clarify the nature and scope of value in service-dominant (S-D) logic, as well as briefly discuss how the essays in this volume relate to this framework. We also share some thoughts on the need for, and S-D logic's role in, the further theory development about value and value cocreation, in general, and marketing, in particular.

Purpose – The purpose of this essay is to explore further the concept of value cocreation from a service-ecosystems view, by considering the importance of networks and the configuration of relationships and resources in markets.

Methodology/approach – We use a conceptual approach to extend a service-dominant (S-D) logic, ecosystems view of value cocreation by drawing on the literature regarding networks in marketing and related research.

Findings – A service-ecosystems approach to cocreating value-in-context is proposed, which points toward networks as mediating factors in value cocreation because they influence the ability to access, adapt, and integrate resources by establishing exchange relationships and shaping the social contexts through which value is experienced.

Research implications – This research suggests that value cocreation is a complex and multidimensional process that is best studied in the context of dynamic networks or ecosystems of service exchange.

Practical implications – This research suggests that networks mediate value cocreation, and thus, firms should consider the configurations of relationships and resources to develop more compelling value propositions.

Social implications – This research draws on the idea that exchange relationships are embedded within society and suggests that processes of value cocreation not only draw on but also contribute to the social contexts that frame market exchange.

Originality/value of essay – This research extends the value cocreation and S-D logic literature by exploring the role of networks in service ecosystems. In this framework, networks are mediators of value cocreation because they enable access to resources and help to (re)shape social contexts through which value is derived.

Purpose – The aim of this chapter is to investigate how a focal market actor may design or redesign business models for improved value co-creation.

Findings – We posit that value is co-created in use as actors integrate resources in practices, which makes practices a fundamental unit of value creation. Greater density of resources, relevant to a specific practice and to the goals or mission of the actor, corresponds to greater value. The role of a provider is to support other actors in their value-creation processes by providing resources that ‘fit’ into their practices.

We identify 12 categories of business model design elements that need to be defined and developed in parallel. We conclude that a focal actor needs to strive for both intra-actor and inter-actor (meso-level) configurational fit of business model elements in order to enable purposeful co-creation in specific practices.

Finally, we propose that meso-level configurations develop in a three-phase process of origination, mobilization and stabilization. A focal actor wishing to improve co-creation in a network needs to develop value propositions not only for customers but also for other actor domains. Overall, the performative power of a market actor is dependent on its network position, the relative strength of its business model and the actor's ability to author compelling meanings.

Originality – The research contributes to the discussion on value co-creation by identifying three shifts in the unit of analysis: (1) we argue that use-value is co-created as actors integrate resources in practices, rendering practices a fundamental unit of analysis, (2) as practices are outcomes of business models, we identified business model design as a key unit of analysis for the improvement of value co-creation and (3) our view on business models is network-centric and we focus on how to introduce new business model elements in a specific actor network.

Practical implications – The realization of the fact that value creation occurs in networks of interdependent actors pinpoints the need for increased transparency both between functional silos and between actors. The business model framework identifies 12 design elements, which can act as a ‘checklist’ for managers wanting to engage in co-creative business models.

Purpose – The aim is to introduce a sociological perspective on resource integration and value co-creation into service research using a service systems approach.

Methodology/approach – Conceptual and a case study of the service system a Telecom Equipment and Service Provider is embedded in is reported.

Findings – The service practice of the service system is framed by social structures of signification, legitimation, and domination. However, the practice is also independent of the structures since it is embedded in and shapes the structural realm.

Research implications and limitations – Drawing on structuration and practice theory, the chapter offers a new framework describing how social and service structures and practices can inform and reveal mechanisms of service system dynamics. Based on the framework, three propositions are developed focusing on the mechanisms of resource integration and value co-creation. The implications need to be generalized in future research by studying other empirical contexts.

Practical implications – The chapter provides some tentative guidelines on how organizations can design service systems that enable and support customers and other actors in their resource integration and value co-creation processes by paying attention to social structures and forces and not only resources as such.

Originality – The chapter explicates how social structures have implications for value co-creation and resource integration in service system. It makes systematic use of structuration and practice theory to understand the social dimensions of service systems. A distinction between intended and realized resource integration is made.

Purpose – This chapter proposes three main objectives in relation to understanding customer involvement in business networks. First, to identify important aspects of the network structure and environment and how the actions of the customer and other network participants create and maintain these. Second, to identify and explore the mechanisms and processes of resource integration in the network. Third, to identify the capabilities and competencies that customers bring to the network, and to understand how these are enhanced and developed.

Methodology/approach – Conceptual.

Research implications – We recognize that aspects of the resources themselves are important and that the characteristics of the resource and the way in which partners align them were key components of resource analysis.

Practical implications – We note that the interaction of different operant and operand resource combinations opens new doors to customer knowledgeability and involvement, where power over either authoritative or allocative resources in itself will not guarantee value creation.

Social implications – We support the call for the development of more sociologically enriched and complex models of interagent resource exchange. In particular, we would advise the need for a better understanding of how different network structures and environments are created and maintained through domination, legitimation, and signification processes.

Originality/value of chapter – This chapter addresses the gap in our understanding of how customer involvement in business-to-business networks may influence learning, value cocreation, and innovation. This chapter makes an important contribution to research in the field in that it investigates how the inclusion of the customer in business networks alters current assumptions and practices.

Purpose – The paper develops a conceptual framework for assessing value-creating service ecosystems that contains four core dimensions: medium, meaning, usage, and network. Its purpose is to identify and discuss the implications of the changes that occur in these dimensions when exchanges within the ecosystem that have long been mediated by physical products become direct instead.

Methodology/approach – The analysis employs the historical method and is based on a systematic investigation of the evolution of the recorded-music market during the past 150 years.

Findings – The analysis shows that the key dimensions of the recorded-music-service ecosystem evolved only gradually and incrementally during the era of physical formats that were dominant until the mid-1990s. With the advent of “liquid” music, the elements of the service ecosystem changed dramatically, leading to instability and redefining roles and exchange mechanisms in the ecosystem.

Research limitations/implications – The investigation focuses on a single ecosystem (music), and conclusions stemming from it are subject to the assumptions inherent in the historical method. Nevertheless, the paper contributes to knowledge in the Service-Dominant Logic (S-D logic) domain by offering a robust framework and a set of core dimensions that are useful for systematically analyzing the nature and consequences of changes that occur in rapidly evolving service ecosystems.

Practical implications – Apart from direct implications for the music market, the proposed framework can help managers working in other ecosystems to adopt a macro perspective in addressing value-creation issues and to pay particular attention to the underlying dynamics that influence value creation in those ecosystems.

Originality/value of paper – The development of a conceptual framework that adopts a macro-level, market-wide perspective for understanding value creation in service ecosystems is a distinct contribution of the paper, as is the application of the historical method in analyzing such an ecosystem.

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Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to provide a comprehensive understanding of current literature on value. In exploring perspectives on economics, choice, consumption and evaluation of value, assumptions and limitations of extant approaches are highlighted and an integrative framework of value is proposed. It is suggested that this integrative perspective on value has a number of implications for marketing theory and research.

Methodology/approach – This chapter conducts an extensive review and assimilation of value from management, marketing, philosophy and economics.

Findings – The chapter categorises the existing value literature into six themes of value understanding: utility, economic worth, perceived satisfaction, net benefit, means end and phenomenological experience. In so doing, the chapter identifies implicit assumptions in philosophy, chronology and consciousness of value and offers an integrative value framework which brings in the literature to understand the contextual invariances of value creation within a phenomenon (i.e. offering, affordance, context, agency and individual resources). In addition, it reconciles creation with choice and evaluation of the value ex ante and ex post. Finally, our chapter proposes the paradox of value – value which can be assessed, measured and even judged by an individual cannot be the value created.

Research limitations/implications – In shifting value away from exchange towards use, it is suggested that marketing positioning, segmentation and targeting strategies may need to consider five elements identified in the integrative value framework. Furthermore, as proposed by the framework, new business models may be achieved from understanding value creation in context.

Originality/value of chapter – This chapter extends existing literature on value through reconciliation of various theoretical literatures in management, marketing, philosophy and economics. Notably, it highlights implicit assumptions in philosophy, chronology and consciousness of value and their potential limitations. It proposes an integrative framework that can be used for understanding the future of marketing and new business models.

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Publication date
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Review of Marketing Research
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
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