Characterizing Value as an Experience Implications for Service Researchers and Managers

Journal of Service Research (Impact Factor: 2.73). 02/2012; 15(1):59-75. DOI: 10.1177/1094670511426897


Within contemporary discourse around service-dominant logic, phenomenologically (experientially) determined value has been placed at the center of value discussion. However, a systematic characterization of value in the experience has not been presented to date. In this article, the authors outline four theoretical propositions that describe what value in the experience is, which are then illustrated using a narrative data set. The propositions consider both lived and imaginary value experiences and posit that current service experiences are influenced by previous and anticipated service experiences. The article contributes to the service literature by characterizing value in the experience as an ongoing, iterative circular process of individual, and collective customer sense making, as opposed to a linear, cognitive process restricted to isolated service encounters. The authors recommend that service researchers should consider the use of interpretive methodologies based on the four theoretical propositions outlined in order to better understand the many ways that service customers experience value in their lifeworld contexts, which extend well beyond the service organization’s zone of influence. Service managers should also consider how a richer understanding of past, current, and imaginary value in the context in service customers’ individual lifeworld contexts might generate novel insights for service innovations.

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Available from: Anu Helkkula, Dec 13, 2013
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    • "Despite this increased focus on the customer as a key player in value creation, customer value remains an elusive concept (Carù and Cova, 2003; Gummerus, 2013). Addressing this elusiveness, the Nordic school has treated services as idiosyncratic, contextual and experiential emphasizing how services need to be understood from the perspective of individual differences between customers (Helkkula et al., 2012). Addressing this view within the Nordic school, this paper builds on the value spheres of the service logic (Grönroos and Voima, 2013) to argue that psychological distance may play a part in better understanding customer value at an individual level. "

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    • "Practice theory and activity theory form the basis for the third new logic, customer-dominant logic, which focuses on the role of the customer in the service (Heinonen et al., 2013). It emphasizes the value-in-experience, customers' activities, and the role of service in them (Helkkula, et al., 2012; Mickelsson, 2014), by which it is possible to extend understanding through shifting attention to customer's world. Three types of customer activity are core activity, related activity, and other activity. "
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