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PhD Defence Patrick Weretecki | Value co-creation in multi-actor ecosystems

Value co-creation in multi-actor ecosystems

Due to the COVID-19 crisis the PhD defence of Patrick Weretecki will take place (partly) online.

The PhD defence can be followed by a live stream.

Patrick Weretecki is a PhD student in the research group Product-Market Relations (PMR). His supervisor is prof.dr.ir. J. Henseler from the Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET).

The common denominator among all companies ever created is their striving for value creation. What sets (most of) them apart from marketing research on value creation is their interpretation of what value is and where, when, how, and by whom, it is created. While most companies and their managers still tend to focus on value-in-exchange—that is, the amount of money or the price received in exchange for products and services—to access the value they have created (Vargo et al., 2017), marketing (research) has evolved (Eggert et al., 2018) and is increasingly focusing on the value-in-use perspective, specifically, considering the (individual) value customers derive from using the products/services in their contexts (Holmqvist, Visconti, et al., 2020; Macdonald et al., 2016; Medberg & Grönroos, 2020; Sandström et al., 2008; Yu & Sangiorgi, 2018).

While the concept of value has been discussed since Aristotle (Vargo et al., 2008), the more recent evolution from a goods-dominant logic, which is based on the idea that companies (on their own) can create and embed value into products/services before they are transferred to customers, towards the service-dominant logic, which considers value creation to be a co-creative process of joint resource integration, as the dominant logic for marketing, only represents one important milestone in a discussion that, by all accounts, is far from over. Most recently, research has started to acknowledge the increasing relevance of taking different actors, their behavior, and their interactions with each other, in the respective service ecosystems, into account (Rapp et al., 2020). This is where this thesis joins the discussion. By means of four stand-alone research papers—Chapters 2 to 5 in this dissertation, respectively—this work addresses two important questions:

RQ1: What characterizes selling actors and their behavior in multi-actor ecosystems?

RQ2: How can these actors and their behavior be influenced?

By means of a variety of different qualitative and quantitative methods, this thesis goes beyond a theoretical discussion on selling actors identities and their behavior in multi-actor ecosystems to deduce actionable insights from theory and practice and provides researchers and managers with tools—such as the first salesperson-selling actor relationship/behavior typology or a holistic experiential value measurement scale for multi-actor ecosystems—to actually “walk the talk” and encourage customer participation and citizenship behavior, and in consequence value co-creation in multi-actor ecosystems.