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Customer co-creation in service innovation: a matter of communication?
Karlstad University, Sweden BI Norwegian School Management, Norway .
Karlstad University, Sweden .
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Quality Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Service Management, ISSN 1757-5818, Vol. 23, no 3, 311-327 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - Customer co-creation is becoming increasingly popular among companies, and intensive communication with customers is generally seen as a determinant of the success of a new service or product. The purpose of this study is to analyze customer co-creation based on four dimensions of communication - frequency, direction, modality, and content - in order to understand the value of customer co-creation in service innovation. One of the key aims of the study is to investigate whether all dimensions of customer co-creation have an effect on product and market success, and if the effect depends on the degree of innovativeness of a development project. Design/methodology/approach - The authors conducted a study including 334 managers with experience in new service and product development to examine how development projects applied customer co-creation in terms of communication in order to address future customer needs. Data were analyzed using partial least squares (PIS). The first analysis was performed with a sub-sample of 207 development projects regarding incremental innovations. A subsequent analysis was performed with a sub-sample of 77 development projects on radical innovations. Findings - A total of three of the four dimensions of customer co-creation (frequency, direction, and content) have a positive and equally significant effect on product success when developing incremental innovations. For radical innovations, frequency has a positive effect and content has a negative significant effect on product success. These findings suggest that co-creation and innovation can be combined, but that the choice of methods for co-creation differs depending on whether incremental or radical innovations are developed. Originality/value - Despite a general consensus that co-creation with customers is beneficial, there is a lack of agreement regarding how and why. The present article addresses this shortcoming and shows that co-creation is largely about communicating with customers in order to understand their future needs. On the other hand, a company working on radical innovations may wish to limit customer input that is too concrete or solution based.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald , 2012. Vol. 23, no 3, 311-327 p.
Keyword [en]
Customer co-creation; Innovation; Service-Dominant Logic (SDL); Communication; Pro-active market orientation
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-86567DOI: 10.1108/09564231211248426ISI: 000308627000002OAI: diva2:579052
Available from: 2012-12-19 Created: 2012-12-19 Last updated: 2013-03-22

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