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Why should I attend? The value of business networking events
Vincent-Wayne Mitchell
, Bodo B. Schlegelmilch
, Sorina-Diana Mone
City University London, UK
WU Vienna, Austria
Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania
abstractarticle info
Article history:
Received 15 February 2014
Received in revised form 22 March 2015
Accepted 2 April 2015
Available online 26 May 2015
Value creation
Qualitative methods
Despite an increasingvariety of technological means enabling business people toexchange information without
ever meeting in person, the events industry continues to grow. To help to understand why this is, a study was
conducted based on 35 in-depth interviews with attendees and event organizers. The ndings highlight the
main types of value individuals extracted and identify the implications for measurement practice for what,
where, how and when to assess value. These insights can help in determining the ROI of networking events for
Crown Copyright © 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
The most important value of an event is everything related to
making relationships, professional or personal.(attendee)
Despite the large variety of technological ways of exchanging informa-
tion between individuals in business, the events industry continues to
grow with more than 50 million trips worldwide and an estimated value
of 30 billion dollars yearly (Caribbean Tourism Organization, 2012). This
is partly because MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions)
are used for internal company purposes, such as salesforce motivation or
cultural alignment as well as for external commercial gain such as business
networking, business development, customer loyalty, and brand building
(Arcodia & Robb, 2000; Schmitt, Brakus, & Zarantonello, 2015). While
the business and industrial marketing literature has studied value for com-
panies and businesses (see Lindgreen, Hingley, Grant, & Morgan, 2012,for
a recent review), less has been said about value from the personal perspec-
tive of the individuals involved in the business relations, the so-called
consumerization of B2B. Since many networking events attendance deci-
sions are individually driven, rather than company driven, even to the ex-
tent that individuals can pay for them themselves, this paper focuses the
individual value created. Networking events are unusual in that attendees
create value for other attendees, yet relatively little is known about how
customers engage in co-creation of value (Woodruff & Flint, 2006)and
there are few models or frameworks to explore this despite calls for further
research (Grönroos & Ravald, 2011).
Thus our rst research question is,
what value is created for individuals attending networking events?
Measuring the customer value created in business markets has been
identied as a key research area (ISBM, 2011; Lindgreen et al., 2012;
Ostrom et al., 2010) and accountability has been highlighted as a
major trend in the MICE sector with calls for developing standardised
methods and measures(Getz, 2000; Getz, 2008; MacDonald, Wilson,
Martinez, & Tossi, 2011). Using a qualitative study with delegates, orga-
nizers and speakers from networking events, we build on previous work
(Phillips, Breining, & Phillips, 2008) to tackle these issues in the context
of MICE events to help delegates andsuppliers to measure and manage
customer value to better understand ROI. Such understanding would
potentially benet at least three stakeholders namely; individual at-
tendees, sponsoring companies and the MICE industry. On an individual
level, better measures allow them to justify any individual or company
time and money spent on attendance. At the company level, MICE
events are one of the last bastions of accountability in a company's mar-
keting budget and better measures help in justifying its share of the
budget. On an industry level, better measures help the industry justify
the value they create and gives event businesses more ammunition to
get more clients and fuel the continued growth. Thus our second
Industrial Marketing Management 52 (2016) 100108
Corresponding author.
E-mail address: (V.-W. Mitchell).
To be clear, here we are talking about networking events and not strategic netsor
network congurationsof companies as identied in the research from the Industrial
Marketing and Purchasing Group (Axelsson & Easton, 1992) which also involve interac-
tions, relationships and networks (Gummesson, 1996), but of an existing and enduring
0019-8501/Crown Copyright © 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Industrial Marketing Management
research question is, how can the value created for individuals attend-
ing networking events be measured?The paper beginswith a review of
the value concept before briey discussing the qualitative methods
used. The ndings of what value is created in networking events and
proposals for a new framework to measure better the value of network-
ing events are then explained.
2. Conceptualising value
Despite the value concept being discussed in many streams of the mar-
keting literature, including relationship marketing, pricing and consumer
behaviour (Khalifa, 2004), there is little consensus in terms of explaining
and conceptualizing value (Boksberger & Melsen, 2011), hence a special
issue in 2013 on the topic in Industrial Marketing Management. At a
macro level value has been divided into organizational, and customer in-
cluding customer perceived value (Huber, Herrmann, & Morgan, 2001).
In the organizational context, some authors speak about economic bene-
ts, technical benets, service benets and social benets (Anderson,
Jain, & Chintagunta, 1993; Anderson & Narus, 1999), while others speak
about episode benets, relationship benets (Ravald & Grönroos, 1996),
product-related benets, service-related benets, and relationship-
related benets (Lapierre, 2000). Traditional views on BtoB relationship
value see it as either some higher-order construct dened by its dimen-
sions such as; product quality, service support, delivery, supplier
knowhow, time to market, personal interaction, price, and process costs
(Ulaga, 2003). In this sense it is a proxy for the whole notion of value
rms exchange between them. An alternative perspective denes it as
being based on three aspects: economic, strategic and behavioural, each
of them connected both to attributes that can be measured (hard attri-
butes) and to other attributes that are more difcult to quantify (soft attri-
butes) (Wilson & Jantrania, 1994), such as; providing activity links,
resource ties, and actor bonds from an Industrial Marketing and Purchas-
ing group perspective (Axelsson & Easton, 1992; Hakansson, 1982).
Customer value has been dened as the consumer's overall assess-
ment of the utility of a product based on perceptions of what is received
and what is given(Zeithaml, 1988) and in general, can be seen as the
difference between total customer value (i.e. the bundle of benets
customers expect from a good or service) and the total customer cost
(i.e. the bundle of costs customers expect to incur in evaluating,
obtaining, using, and disposing of the good or service, e.g. monetary,
time energy and physic costs) (Kotler, 2000; Holbrook, 1996; Rokeach,
Cost therefore is the other major component of the value equation
and is seen as a broader construct than price alone, as it includes
both monetary and non-monetary costs of a purchase experience
(Boksberger & Melsen, 2011) such as; time, search costs, learning
costs, emotional costs, (Huber et al., 2001) episode sacrices and rela-
tionship sacrices (Ravald & Grönroos, 1996), and even risks associated
with a particular purchase (Cronin, Brady, Brand, Hightower, &
Shemwell, 1997). Surrounding this general value framework, some
authors have suggested a fairvalue, which is the value each party ap-
propriates from a relationship and is driven by the power-dependence
balance (Cox, 2000 cited in Pinnington & Scanlon, 2009). Building on
this transactional costsbenets approach, Khalifa (2004) suggests
two further conceptualisations, namely, the value build-up model
(i.e. where value is built as an evolution from transaction to relationship)
and the value-dynamics model (i.e. a classication of the elements of
customer value into ve categories: satisers, dissatisers, exciters,
value magniers and value destroyers). This work sets the scene for our
rst research question: what value is created for individuals attending
networking events?
3. Research method
As there was little information on customer perceived value in net-
working events, we began our exploration using qualitative interviews
(Creswell, 2009; Miles & Huberman, 1994). Whereas the vast majority
of the BtoB value literature is focused on the rm as the unit of analysis,
for networking events, the individual is theprime focus of attention and
measurement and reects the debate on the similarities and differences
between value creation in BtoB and BtoC (Sheth, 2011). In order to
achieve our objective, we aimed to improve the scope of our data by
obtaining insights from respondents that were highly experienced and
from the two major stakeholders in events namely, providers and
attendees (Richards, 2009). 18 customers (event attendees, for personal
purposes and/or representingan organization) and17 providers (event
organizers, speakers, trainers, and facilitators) were purposefully selected
based on their experience in attending or organizing all types of profes-
sional events that make up the MICE sector. Most of the respondents
(both attendees and providers) had been involved in more than one
type of event and their experience ranged from small events (trainings
and workshops with 2030 participants), to large events (conferences
and forums with 200 participants) and even mega events (congresses
with up to 20,000 participants). Almost half of the provider respondents
had more than 1015 years of experience in the eld and some are in
organizations that were leaders in their markets.
Semi-structured interviews took place in 2012 and 2013, either face-
to-face or via electronic means (i.e. Skype), with respondents from three
European countries and from three countries in Asia. The interviewees
were provided with the context of the study by a brieng before and a
debrieng after the interview (Kvale, 1996). Separate interview guides
were developed for customer and provider respondents. The guides
were adapted as the interviews were conducted to reect the new learn-
ings. As our purpose was to understand how value is jointly created in
networking events and how event value is perceived by attendees, as-
pects related to motivations that people have towards attending events,
criteria used to judge the success of an event and the experience itself
(prior to, during and after the event) were explored. Discussions lasted
from 30 min to 1 h, were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and trans-
lated all to English for a uniform analysis. Data were analysed using man-
ual coding. To ensure data reliability and validity, we continuously
checked on the transcripts and codes for accuracy and correctness, trian-
gulated data from the interviews (attendee versus provider) with data
from other sources (specialized literature), and employed peer
examination. To answer our second research question of How can the
value created for individuals attending networking events be
measured?, we used; some data from the interviews, especially event
organizers, looked at the current literature (e.g. Phillips et al., 2008)
and used the team of researchers carrying out the study to brain storm
4. Findings and discussion
In networking events, value is created not only for the organization
via the individual (i.e. professional and learning value), but also person-
ally for the individual in the shape of social, emotional and hedonic
value and it is on these we focus to answer our rst research question
of what value is created for individuals attending networking events?
With the possible exception of professional value, these are not new
values as such, and in Table 1 we outline both consumer and organiza-
tional types of value in the existing literature which are similar to those
we have found.
4.1. Professional values
From a personal viewpoint, learning value (i.e., nding out informa-
tion and practices to improve activities or solve particular issues) is a
core value from events and a variation of the consumer epistemic value
(Sheth, Newman, & Gross, 1991) as highlighted in the following quotes.
If I attend knowledge events, it's important to nd out what other orga-
nizations or other people do different or better than me(attendee). As
an organizer, I want my event participants to gain knowledge shared by
101V.-W. Mitchell et al. / Industrial Marketing Management 52 (2016) 100108
the trainer and other participants and be able to bring in back to their or-
ganization(provider). This exemplies existing organizational learning
value which has been related to the dimensions of absorptive capacity:
recognition, assimilation and exploitation of external knowledge by the
organization (Berghman, Matthyssens, & Vandenbempt, 2011)andarises
from the ability of exploiting current actor competencies through effec-
tive knowledge transformation and sharing in strategic nets (Möller &
Rajala, 2007).
What we call professional value is generally acquired only in the
context of networking events and can be seen as a form of functional
value (Leek & Christodoulides, 2011), as it translates into benets for
the individual within the organization such as: gaining new customers,
business partners, suppliers which are mediated by that individual:
The networking and interactions during breaks were useful, at least for
me; I have completed a business with a contact met there(attendee).
You can relate to other participants. You can establish all sort of collab-
orations with them, they can become your customers, your suppliers
(attendee). Even the fact that I work here at [] is a result of an
event attended, where I met the CEO and had rst talks with him
Innovation value results from networking such as obtaining access to
new markets and technologies; speeding products to market; pooling
complementary skills; acting as a key vehicle for obtaining access to ex-
ternal knowledge (Pittaway, Robertson, Munir, Denyer, & Neely, 2004).
it's one if the easiest and best ways to showcase novel things to people
as you can demonstrate them on the spot and it makes the event more
interesting for everyone, the more new experiences they can have.
(exhibitor). []nd out new industry trends or gossips, meet compet-
itors and partners, benchmark yourself or your company is often a very
exciting part of a training or conference(attendee).
It is through personal networking that companies access this
complementary information, markets and technologies (Ford et al.,
2003 cited in Corsaro, Ramos, & Henneberg, 2012), which they require
to innovate and directly helps the diffusion of innovations (Almeida &
Kogut, 1997).
We also found reputation value which is associated with how
customers perceive the employer brand value in networks (De
Chernatony, 1999) and is linked to esteem value (Miles, 1961). Here
we see reputational value as being the value which organizations or in-
dividual derive by doing business with rms with high brand equity
which in turn reects well on all their business partners; everyone
want to talk to most prestigious suppliers and get an intro into their
4.2. Personal values
A core value that is generated by networking events is social value
(Sheth et al., 1991) which involves meeting with people at events to
create and/or consolidate various types of relations and enhancing
one's social standing, rather than creating professional connections:
People are social creatures, thus, to see and be seen, as well as interact
[] is often a very exciting part of a training or conference(provider).
You can create relations with other participants(attendee).
Some of this social value transfers into developing relationship value.
Here we see relationship value on an individual level and as a distinct
and separate psychological construct within the overall value exchange
process and dene it as the value of knowing the person with whom
you on behalf of your company are transacting, as opposed to not
knowing the person. [When we opened a plant in India] we wanted
to get to know our partners and their culture. So we had some sort of
a kick-off event there. We talked about important issues with the part-
ners, but we also learned something about the countrywe are operating
Events are also likely to produce emotional value for participants
(Sheth et al., 1991), which means an activation of feelings and emotions
for the individuals involved. I disliked that there were many partswith-
out interaction or emotions. We had the possibility to participate, but
sometimes it wasn't activating(attendee). [Event success criteria
would be] to see if you have reached the attendees Communication,
happiness, activation, these are important criteria(provider).
Finally, we found hedonic value (Holbrook, 2006) which reects
the sensorial experience of the customer (i.e. where the pleasure in
consumption is appreciated as an end in itself) and altruistic value (i.e.
where one's own consumption behaviour affects others) (Holbrook,
2006) as illustrated by the following quotes. The location of the event
should be somewhere in the city centre. In the evening it should be
easy to go out and see the city, have something to eat, and combine
work with some sort of relaxation(attendee). Making relations in
Vienna, having a nice weekend with cultural sightseeing, these things
you cannot transport online[in a webcast] (provider).
4.3. The process of value creation in networking events
Taking as an example, the typical atmosphere of a BtoB trade fair set-
ting which encourages socializing behaviours useful to generate bonds
and commitment and, ultimately, enhances the relationship quality
(Sarmento, Simões, & Farhangmehr, 2015),we can consider such events
as a service encounter having two components of: 1) the process of de-
livery, such as communicating with attendees and creating the physical
environment or servicescape(Bitner, 1991), and 2) the service content,
i.e. the core service interaction, which, in the case of events, is often
provided by speakers or exhibitors. In terms of the process of creating
value at MICE events, Fig. 1 reects some of the value drivers we have
identied for each of the value types, showing how the multiple actors,
including customers themselves, contribute to the joint creation of
For example, professional value can be enhanced by event providers
with a series of event interventionsor treatmentsto encourage
contact and interactions: How the rooms are being organized and
how looks the roadthat participants have to make from one room to
another is also important, to be and encourage interactions, but don't
have to wait in a queueand also If I want to meet someone from the
speakers or the participants, I expect them to be able to introduce me
Table 1
Individual value types created in networking events taken from the organizational and consumer value literature.
Value dimensions Author(s)
Learning, epistemic, knowledge Berghman et al. (2011),Sheth et al. (1991),Möller and Rajala (2007)
Innovation Rogers (1998),Corsaro et al. (2012),Pittaway et al. (2004),Walter, Ritter, and Gemunden (2001),Almeida and Kogut (1997)
Reputation, status, esteem, branding Petrick (2002),Holbrook (1996),Leek and Christodoulides (2011),Morgan et al. (2007)
Professional Mitchell et al. (2015)
Social Anderson et al. (1993),Anderson and Narus (1995),1999, Sheth et al. (1991),Holmlund and Törnroos (1997),Holmlund (2004)
Relationship Ulaga (2003), IMP Group (Axelsson & Easton, 1992; Hakansson, 1982), Walter et al. (2001),Pinnington and Scanlon (2009),
Eggert et al. (2006),Payne and Holt (1999),Wilson and Jantrania (1994),Gummesson (1996),Ravald and Grönroos (1996),Flint,
Woodruff, and Gardial (2002),Lapierre (2000)
Emotional Sweeney and Soutar (2001),Petrick (2002),Sheth et al. (1991),Lynch and de Chernatony (2004)
Hedonic, entertainment, service excellence Holbrook (2006),Mathwick, Malhotra, and Rigdon (2002)
Adapted from: Morar, D. D. (2013). An overview of the consumer value literatureperceived value,desired value. Marketing From Information to Decision,(6),169186.
102 V.-W. Mitchell et al. / Industrial Marketing Management 52 (2016) 100108
to that person, if I ask them to facilitate me such an introduction(at-
tendee). Other interventions might include; on-site event managers
who are responsible for collecting business cards and making an intro-
ductory round with each newly arrived person or some form of speed
networkingsession where people give and collect business cards as a
contest. Better pre and post event interaction between the event pro-
viders and attendees can also create more value (i.e. complete, timely
and courteous communication before the event and a follow-up after
the event with materials and contacts). For example, attendees expect
to receive presentations or contacts lists after the event, or simply like
to be kept updated by event providers related to future initiatives:
It's useful if the organizers prepare and send me a summary of what
happened, and also follow up with lists of the participants, maybe
even create a network and offer contact alternatives(attendee).
For learning value, the content from speakers is the main driver, aided
by the extent to which the other attendees share their own knowledge
and experience. Interestingly, the physical environment in terms of
technology, room/stage arrangement, ambiance etc. (e.g., screen size)
can facilitate or obstruct the creation of learning. For example, offering de-
tailed information before the event (e.g., receiving clear and well-dened
information about the timings and appearances or who is attending), as
well as following up with materials (e.g. at the end of a workshop, people
make a contract with themselves, give the organizer the contract who
sends it back to them after a few months). They can then reect on
whether they applied what was in the contract. Other ideas include:
having roomswhere participants are encouraged to reect on the
past, think about what they have learned in the present or sending any
questions they have via twitter to get answers.
Hedonic value is generally created by the servicescape(Bitner,
1991) of the event setting, food and aesthetics and by extra-event
opportunities that may be offered by the location, such as cultural
activities: The location of the event should be somewhere in the city
centre. In the evening it should be easy to go out and see the city,
have something to eat, and combine work with some sort of relaxation
(attendee). The servicescapeis a combination of service and land-
scape, referring to the manmade surroundings, as opposed to the
natural environment, that includes ambient conditions (temperature,
air quality, noise etc.), space (layout, equipment, furnishings etc.) and
signs and symbols (personal artefacts, style of décor etc.) which result
in the sensory presentation of the service (e.g. sights, smells, sounds,
tastes etc.) and the behaviour and appearance of the service providers
(Sandström, Edvardsson, Kristensson, & Magnusson, 2008) as well as
other delegates. Emotional value can be generated by how the other at-
tendees relate to the each other, as well as by the empathy of the guests
and how the event is designed: I disliked that there were many parts
without interaction or emotions. We had the possibility to participate,
but sometimes it wasn't activating(attendee).
Of particular importance is the interaction between attendees
and we build on the notion of networking events as a service net-
work which has been dened as two or more entities connected for-
mally or informally which directly provide a range of resources and
activities that create value and help customers solve short- or long-
term problems(Morgan & Tax, 2004). Peer-to-peer value creation
can inuence service creation and service quality perceptions
(Finsterwalder & Tuzovic, 2010)andreects the importance of cus-
tomer involvement in the co-creation of value (Vargo & Lusch,
2004). If you see no interactions and no empathy between speakers
and attendees, and between attendees themselves, this cannot be a
successful event(attendee). Research conrms the mediating role
of co-creation of value in a BtoB context (Watanabe, 2014) and has
identied two primary conceptual value co-creation dimensions of
co-production and value-in-use (Ranjan & Read, 2014). This value-
in-use perspective proposes that value emerges in the customer pro-
cesses (MacDonald et al., 2011; Vargo & Lusch, 2004; Vargo, Maglio,
& Archpru Akaka, 2008), rather than in the service provided
(Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). It also implies that value is realized
when a service is used and users of services are both the co-creators
and the judges of service value (Sandström et al., 2008)asisthecase
with MICE events where both operand (natural resources, goods
etc.) and operant resources (competence, knowledge, skills etc.) do
not have value per se, but value is instead co-created with the at-
tendees when resources are used.
Event organizer Speaker / trainer / facilitator Other attendees Value-in-use
Event concept (breaks;
dedicated sections for
networking; introductions);
communication (before the
event; follow-up)
Method of the speaker / trainer
/ facilitator / moderator
(propensity to interact with
and encourage interactions
among attendees)
Attendees’ composition and
propensity to interact
Social value
Interact with peers
Gain new friends and consolidate
existing relations
“Servicescape” (technology;
site arrangement; ambiance);
communication (before the
event; follow-up)
Knowledge, method and
performance of the
Attendees’ contribution with
questions, debates, knowledge
from own experience shared
Learning value
Acquire knowledge
Be able to apply and generate
Courtesy of customer service;
“Servicescape” (site
Empathy and method of the
Meeting special attendees who
they ‘connected’ with sharing
of woes and successes.
Emotional value
Just meet with people, not for
commercial gain
Activate feelings and emotions
Extra conference activities,
Quality of hotel, spa,
bedrooms etc.
Humour of
Enjoying being with other
attendees and interactions
being humourous.
Hedonic value
Pleasure, enjoyment, feeling good,
Fig. 1. Examples of some personal value drivers for individuals within networking events.
103V.-W. Mitchell et al. / Industrial Marketing Management 52 (2016) 100108
Finally, from the interviews, we were able to identify some of the
general characteristics which make multi-actor service encounters,
like events, somewhat different from typical service encounters. For ex-
ample, there is generally increased customer contact (Bowen & Lawler,
1992; Chase, 1978; Silvestro, Fitzgerald, Johnston, & Voss, 1992)before
and after the event itself, as well as a longer contact time during MICE
gatherings. Second, attendees co-create value (Vargo & Lusch, 2004)
by electing to ask questions or interacting with the other actors. Third,
perceived risk (Mitra, Reiss, & Capella, 1999) can be higher than in
two-actor services, as more actors lead to more uncertainty and more
chances that the service is not delivered as expected. Fourth, pre- and
post-interactions are more important in the case of networking events
since value can be highly inuenced prior to the event when
participant's expectations are set. What I like to receive is an agenda,
to see exactly what will happen there(attendee) and also For exam-
ple, at fairs, it's very useful to have catalogues with all the participants
that have a stand, with contact details and a description of their activity
(attendee). It is after the event when an attendee gets to apply some-
thing learned and improve the way of doing things (i.e. learning
value), as well as close a business deal or obtain a job (i.e. professional
value). If I attend business networking events, it's important to get
something out of it, something that can generate a future business or
a future collaboration afterwards(attendee). Table 2 contrasts these
characteristics of service encounters between traditional services and
multi-actor services, such as networkingevents, but we must be careful
not to over generalise these observations to every context. From these
observations on what value is created and the process of creation,
we can devise a framework for better understanding, measuring and
managing the value which we now discuss.
5. Practical implications
To answer our second research question of how can we measure
the value is created for individuals attending networking events?,we
build on previous work (Phillips et al., 2008) and propose some of the
possible measures which could be used within a what, how, when and
where framework. It should be noted that any single measure is likely
to measure more than one component of What’‘How’‘Whereand
Who, but for convenience, each measure appears only once in Fig. 2
as an illustration of the type of measure that could be used for that
category. For ease of implementation, Fig. 2 also organizes the measures
as before, during and after an event.
5.1. What values should we measure in networking events?
In terms of what we should measure, our results suggest theneed to
measure the values of; professional, learning, reputational, innovation
as well as social, emotional, hedonic and relationship. In addition,
there might be some overall evaluation of the total MICE event such
as; satisfaction, Net Promoter Score, quality of event, which need to be
supplemented with attendee and supplier interviews to get some qual-
itative data to help interpret the overallmeasures. Fig. 2 lists someof the
things which could be measured to show ROI from events and organizes
them on how tangible the measure is.
5.2. How should we measure individual networking event value?
Essentially the measures fall into two types; attitudinal and behav-
ioural. Referring to each of the values identied, here we give some
suggestion for both types of measures. Social value could be measured
by; number of event queries, social media connections such as Linkedin
or twitter, and even press coverage. It's very important how the
participants talk about the event after having attended, what they tell
their friends, what message they send forward(provider). On-site
observation was mentioned, together with questions in the feedback
form related to attendee perceptions of the networking opportunities
they encountered at the event: At the event itself you can observe
and question. Observe: is there a queue at the check-in, does the
event work as it should, are there problems occurring etc. You can tell
from the rst look if everything looks good. The second step is to see if
you reached the attendees. Did they sit there and listen to all the ideas
and got active, did they participate or refused to participate. Do they
laugh, do they enjoy it(provider)? Manual observation within an
event setting could be complemented by video recording which
would enable a more thorough analysis of the dynamic of interactions
during the event and of attendee behaviour to cover: what content
makes them engaged, when and how they interacted with peers, what
obstacles there were, and even noise levels as a proxy for conversations
at open networking sessions.
Learning value could be measured by the degree of interaction with
exhibition stands, attendance at speaker sessions, the number of aha
moments delegates thoroughly enjoyed, whether they had an new
original thought, the number no shows, ratios of number of registered
and counts of people whoactually attended the sessions may all provide
indications of the perceived learning value. If people interact, it means
they were interested in the subject, if they raise questions it means they
have processed the information and these are some signals that say
whether the event was successful or not(provider).
Emotional value could be measured using unobtrusive measures
such as analysis of any photographs taken randomly throughout the
event which are often used for promotional purposes, but could also
be used to analyse the facial expressions of the delegates to judge
their emotional states. A new survey measurement tool could be devel-
oped by building on the scale is known as PERVAL (Sweeney & Soutar,
2001) which has 19-items used to assess consumers' perceptions of
functional, social and emotional value.
For hedonic value, in addition to the survey asking about the quality of
the venue, extra-curricular events, food and beverages, other behavioural
Table 2
Some general characteristics of traditional versus multi-actor service encounters.
Traditional service Multi-actor service
Individual service Collective service
Providercustomer One-to-one Many-to-one One-to-many Many-to-many
Example service encounters Lawyer Management consultants Conference speaker Networking event
No. of typical providers and customers
(examples only)
Low (11) Low (31) High (11000) High (10001000)
Interaction between customers Usually very little Usually very little Usually little individual interaction Often high individual interaction with
other delegates
Pre and post service encounter
Usually very little Potentially post event Usually very little Both pre and post event
Level of value created by the customer for
other customers
Usually very little Usually very little Often little except when within
groups of friends
Often very high value derived from
other delegates
When is most value created (before,
during, after)
Mainly during the service
Mainly during the service
Mainly during the service
Most likely, after the service
104 V.-W. Mitchell et al. / Industrial Marketing Management 52 (2016) 100108
measures could be used such as: the number of drinks and food portions
consumed per head.
Finally, to measure professional value, the number of personal con-
tacts and friends, as well as job opportunities and career progression
could be estimated. For ex ample, the number of c ontacts made between
exhibitors and delegates can be assess by noting the number of business
cards exchanged or by each delegate having a unique QR code on their
badge and each exhibitor having a QR code reader on their phone.
Tangible Intangible Perception Behaviour On-site Off-site Delegates Providers
PRE Social Media hits on
likeliness to come
Lengh of registration
television coverage
of event
No of current
ongoing projects the
event is
linked to
How was the registration
How was the customer
How clear were the
directions to meet, and
locations, pre-event.
Number of totally new
contacts to make
No of new potential
business projects to start
Probability of collective
innovation to be formed
Marketing of event
Positive social
media comment
about event
Negative social
media comment
about event
How ambient
was the
welcome met?
Regarding the
supplier pre-event
customer pre-
event interaction
Supplier- supplier
pre event
interaction (in
case of multiple
providers only)
Invitations to
Registration list length
Customer perceived
value (pre)
Thinking strategic
responses to anticipated
reactions set up by
Ratio of expected ROI to ROI
Alternatively creating ROI
scorecards – criterions such as
Inputs, Objectives, Impacts,
Setting up reaction for attendees
through the event by aligning
EVENT No. of business cards
given out/obtained
No of new contacts
No of existing
contacts seen again
Hedonic value
Emotional value
Reputation value
Hedonic value
Emotional value
Can be summarized by
the following macro-
scorecard measures:
This is relevant to my
Video recordings of
No of food and
drink portions
On site observation
Video recordings
of event
Number of
freebees taken
Gained ability to
contact attendees
Twitter activity
Crowd interaction patters
Photographs to analyse
Customer perceived
value (during)
Relationship Value
Transaction value
No of information
taken/given out
work at the present time
This is important to me
and my success
This is a good
of behaviour in future
On site
observation of
POST No of thank you
messages sent
Proceedings from
Number of enquiry
emails within 3
weeks of event.
Amount of useful job
information/society issues
information gained
New knowledge, ideas and
insights from the event
Knowledge about the
event organizers.
(Largely learning,
knowledge and
professional value)
Willingness to
I will come again to
these events
I will bring other
colleagues to these
I had the chance to
effectively communicate
what my business does.
I had a number of very
in-depth high quality
work related
Social Media tweets
or blogs or LinkedIn
connections of event
Number of social
network references
to the event at 2 and
4 weeks after the
Quality of event
The event
image is …
about evaluation
to delegates
No of
registrations for
future events
Number of
hits/downloads on
pages for future
Percentage of
attendees with
recollection of
event post-1 year
No of existing
relationships renewed
Professional value, social
value, learning value,
customer perceived value
Number of new members
joining some aspect of
the event organizing
Number of responses to
thank you email follow-
up sent by the organizers.
ROI (%)
Measured as (No of contact
associations made/Amount of
money spent)X
No of new business projects
started with attendees met at
event (intrinsically related to
ROI measure above)
Fig. 2. Examples of types of possible measures of networking event value.
105V.-W. Mitchell et al. / Industrial Marketing Management 52 (2016) 100108
Recent advancements in event-based mobile social networks (MSNs)
have proved helpful in planning, organizing social events like meetings,
conferences, and tradeshows (Ahmed, Qiu, Xia, Jedari, & Abolfazli,
5.3. When should we measure individual network event value?
As value is created at different times (Lovelock, 1995), measures
need to be taken before, during and after the event. Pre-event interac-
tion refers to the extent of interaction between the delegates and
suppliers before the main service encounter, and has been found to be
a very important service in networking events: Before the event,
what inuences my perception is the customer servicethey have. It
doesn't have to be something very formal, but if there is a contact per-
son, that person should answer to my emails and questions really fast
and really clear(attendee).
During the event, the importance of measurement becomes clear,
not only to establish ROI, but also to act as a mechanism for feedback
and change of things that are not going well. In terms of which type of
value is created when, we suggest that hedonic and emotional value
mostly emerge during the event itself, whereas social, professional
and learning value are mostly created after the event.
Post-event interaction is also important as one attendee explained,
it would be nice if the provider would contact you afterwards and ask
you if you have some further questions. That would improve the
value. Just to make sure if he could help the attendees and provide
some further support(attendee). With respect to the difculties in
post-event assessments of value, one supplier mentioned: Of course,
it is also interesting to have something that is also measurable after
the event. On the one hand it is really difcult because you don't
know how much impact the event had and how much impact was
derived from other factors. So if you have an event for Mercedes, you
also have TV-spots, a discount then you have an increase in sales.
Great. But you can't tell which factor lead to this effect. Was it the
event, the discount or just the economic situation?(provider)
5.4. Where should we measure individual network event value?
There are two places to measure MICE value, inside the eventvenue
itself and outside the event venue, such as online and social media.
Clearly some measures need to be taken in the event, such as crowd in-
teraction patterns and photographs to analyse emotions of participants.
The number of new contacts made can be taken from the central
database of bar scanning equipment given to exhibitors. Other
measures, such as downloads, online conversations etc. need to be
taken from online sources; evaluation of speakers, information, and
enjoyment will need to be assessed via an online questionnaire of
delegates just after the event.
5.5. Who should we measure individual network event value from?
Value in events need to be measured from a sample of all the actors
involved, which means the participants/delegates and the suppliers
who are the organizers, speakers/trainers, stand providers/exhibitors
and sponsors of the event. On the question of sample type and size,
for any survey measure, the sample needs to be representative of the
6. Conclusions and further research
Our paper makes three contributions. First, to the best of our knowl-
edge, this is one of the rst empirical studies to address the joint
creation of value in service encounters characterised by multiple
providers (provider network approach, proposed by MacDonald et al.,
2011) and multiple customers (customer group approach, proposed
by Finsterwalder & Tuzovic, 2010) at the same time and studied from
the perspectives of both sides. Despite highlighting the importance
of researching beyond a dyadic co-creation method (Homburg,
Workman, & Jensen, 1997; Morgan, Deeter-Schmelz, & Moberg, 2007),
most research efforts have focused on the providercustomer dyadic
encounter and value from a provider perspective, ignoring the measure-
ment of customer value in multi-actor service encounters. We also
identify special characteristics of multi-actor events which make them
different from typical dyadic service encounters. Second, we supplement
previous research on customer value from the providers' view (Flint,
Blocker, & Boutin, 2011) by showing how the design and execution of
service impacts customer value. We also build on the approach to co-
create value in customer networks (Chandler & Vargo, 2011)basedon
a switch from customer value proposition to customer network value
proposition, which assumes that value is co-created not only between
customers and suppliers, but also by the organization's partners
throughout the network who take part in the process (Cova & Salle,
2008). Third, our paper adds to the value literature by providing a con-
textual exploration of value creation using the increasingly important
context of networking events. In particular, we identied the dimensions
of event value for individuals (professional, learning, reputational, inno-
vation as well as social, emotional, hedonic and relationship) and show
how these relate to existing individual values found from the consumer
and business literature. This can help to explain their growth despite
technological substitutes for them being widely available and more
cost efcient. Finally, from a managerial perspective, our study brings
new ideas for event organizers and attendees in understanding when
and where value is created and therefore when and how it should be
measured using a what, how, when, where and who framework.
In terms of further research, the challenge will be to build an instru-
ment which measures the different types of value created within MICE
events and to integrate multi-methods into a comprehensive assessment
of the total merit of such activities. There are several considerations when
considering this approach. For example, when measuring the value of
MICE events, our focus is restricted to those who are directly participating.
We do not consider the value for ancillary services such as hotels, restau-
rants, taxis, recreational pursuits which can be considerable for large
events. Also, most research has focused on existing working relationships
rather than understanding the nature of value prior to when rms have
any relationship or are in the very early stages of a relationship, such as
in networking events. Additional research is needed to fully understand
how buyers and sellers view value creation in the different stages of
the relationship life cycle (Eggert, Ulaga, & Schultz, 2006), because per-
ceptions of value change depending upon the stage in the value delivery
process (De Ruyter, Bloemer, & Pascal, 1997). Recent work at the rm
level identifying organizational networking as having four dimensions,
i.e. information acquisition, opportunity enabling, strong-tie resource mo-
bilization and weak-tie resource mobilization (Thornton, Henneberg, &
Naudé, 2014), suggests that organizational capabilities in this area will
also affect their ability to extract value. Lastly, it must be acknowledged
that our study may not be generalizable to all multi-actor networking
events and further research efforts should consider other multi-actor
service contexts.
We would like to thanks the two anonymous reviewers for their
helpful comments as well as Yash Joshi and Agnieszka Zablocki for
their assistance with this manuscript.
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... Many studies show that people participate in C&E for direct or indirect "sales" purposes. They participate in events to sell or buy products and services (Rittichainuwat and Mair 2012), promote new products/services (Mitchell et al. 2016;Jung and Choi 2008;Blythe 1999), know about customer demand (Gebarowski and Wiazerwicz 2014), enhance their corporate image (Mitchell et al. 2016), or establish relationships with customers for sales motives (Gebarowski and Wiazerwicz 2014; Jung and Choi 2008;Hansen 1996;Sharland and Balogh 1996). People attend events also to obtain better information, insight, and knowledge about market trends. ...
... Many studies show that people participate in C&E for direct or indirect "sales" purposes. They participate in events to sell or buy products and services (Rittichainuwat and Mair 2012), promote new products/services (Mitchell et al. 2016;Jung and Choi 2008;Blythe 1999), know about customer demand (Gebarowski and Wiazerwicz 2014), enhance their corporate image (Mitchell et al. 2016), or establish relationships with customers for sales motives (Gebarowski and Wiazerwicz 2014; Jung and Choi 2008;Hansen 1996;Sharland and Balogh 1996). People attend events also to obtain better information, insight, and knowledge about market trends. ...
... They must essentially have F2F interaction, emotional intervention, or immersion to convey "knowledge of experience" that is created "here and now" in a specific, practical context that cannot be taught by books, manuals, or online (Nonaka et al. 2000;Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995, p. 61). Mitchell et al. (2016) suggest the importance of socialization, which represents all values of C&E, such as building relationships and networking. ...
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This study presents a new perspective on conventions and exhibitions (termed “C&E”) as places of knowledge exchange and conversion in which participants acquire, create, and disseminate tacit and explicit knowledge. C&E is defined as a temporary cluster promoting tacit knowledge exchange, which cannot be conveyed without meeting in person. However, C&E has been forced to convert to online/virtual events owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and is now changing to a hybrid mode of on-site and virtual events. This phenomenon is expected to continue post-pandemic, as long as socialization for tacit knowing is still the primary concern for people attending events.
... In a service branding context, we argue that perceived value (PV) is central to brand equity creation, which is deeply grounded in the direct experience touchpoints [see Kumar and Reinartz (2016); Roy et al. (2019)]. Although the relationship between direct service experience and perceived value is recognized in the literature (Mitchell et al., 2016;Verhoef et al., 2009), empirical investigation related to service brand equity construction is still sparse. The above discussions, therefore, lead to the following hypotheses: H1. ...
... The two strongest positive significant effects of ASDE → PV and BC → PV validate the theoretical notion of creating value of the service brand. Mitchell et al. (2016) argue that consumers realize value through various interactions with multiple actors and service encounters, instead of a dyadic co-creation mechanism. Over the service consumption journey, consumers encounter a series of direct touchpoints through which various types of benefits i.e., functional, time, efforts, emotional/psychological, are experienced at the expense of monetary, time, physiological and psychological efforts. ...
Over time, scholars have argued that consumer-based brand equity (CBBE) models are less suitable for service-dominant brands, mainly because the role of customer experience with services is often disregarded. Also, the absence of two essential components, brand consistency and perceived value, signals a lack of depth in creating service brand equity. To address these gaps, we examine service-branding theory by conceptualizing and validating a consumer-based service brand equity (CBSBE) model in Sarker et al. (2019) in the context of airlines. Airline service direct experience and brand consistency are highly important aspects for strengthening brand equity components of services. Subsequently, maximizing perceived value, followed by creating favorable brand meaning are the nucleus of branding services. Using the most advanced PLS-SEM techniques, our CBSBE model is highly robust in explaining the theoretical notion of creating service brand equity. Thus, achieving a pleasant and desirable experience and maintaining consistency across direct service touchpoints would be an effective strategy for service organizations.
... Moreover, digital content serves as an indicator of both the B2B firm's brand knowledge and the inclination toward knowledge dissemination for their customer's benefit (Taiminen and Ranaweera, 2019). Since informational value is crucial in B2B markets (Holbrook, 2006;Mitchell et al., 2016), engagement with digital content has been attributed to increased sales leads in the B2B context . For example, digital content generated by firms such as Adobe, IBM and Maersk have proved to be as effective as traditional selling methods (Kovac, 2016). ...
Purpose-The unprecedented changes in the marketplace induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant accelerated corporate migration to virtual ecosystems have added several unique research opportunities and theoretical gaps, especially in business-to-business (B2B) small-and medium-sized enterprises (SME) markets in the service sector. Particularly, customer interactions in B2B services that were once sustained by the "people mix" now demand a huge overhaul in light of the "new normal" restrictions. Hence, the purpose of this study is to explore how B2B service firms can engender firm value through virtual customer interactions during and in the post-COVID-19 era from an SME's perspective. Design/methodology/approach-This study adopts an exploratory qualitative inquiry to contribute to this discourse by proposing a conceptual framework based on prior literature and relevant theoretical frameworks, as well as qualitative interviews with SME managers, CEOs and/or owner-managers. Findings-The qualitative findings reveal organizational preparedness, empathy, digital content and trust as key enablers of effective B2B virtual interaction that enhances cocreated value, thereby augmenting firm value. This study offers a much-needed examination of virtual interaction in B2B contexts and proposes a business customer virtual interaction model. Research limitations/implications-The exploratory nature of this study is one limitation, and future studies with a bigger representative sample size that uses survey or experimental data drawn from large enterprises might add value to the current findings. Also, while this study is conducted in dynamic markets due to the COVID-19 crisis, future research must examine the customer/firm's experiences in other forms of crises-led market ecosystems. Practical implications-B2B service firms must be strongly inclined to continuously take steps to develop and maintain virtual interaction with customers. Proactive efforts to familiarize internal and external stakeholders with virtual interaction platforms are a crucial step for effective customer engagement. The effectiveness of B2B virtual interactions can be strengthened through digital content that elicits trust and exhibits empathy, especially in crises led-markets. Also, the value created for the firm must be redeployed strategically to sustain positive customer engagement behaviors that continue to deliver value to the firm and the customer. Originality/value-This paper contributes to the increasing B2B customer engagement literature by exploring the ongoing dialogue on how B2B firms can strive and succeed in the post-COVID-19 era or related crises-led market ecosystems through enhanced virtual B2B customer interaction efforts.
... In addition, cooperation through pro-active engagement also entails the organization of targeted network events, which suggest a third route to enhance cooperation in cross-border regions. Indeed, previous studies have found that networking events are important for cultivating cooperation, particularly for business (Mitchell, Schlegelmilch, and Mone 2016;Kitchen 2017). ...
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The European Union fosters cooperation in cross-border regions through the European Cohesion Policy (ECP). The implementation of ECP instruments requires a participatory approach, in which stakeholders’ views are acknowledged. However, the multiple of views among and between stakeholders of cross-border initiatives complicate their involvement in a participatory approach. A prerequisite for a meaningful involvement of all stakeholders is an in-depth understanding of their viewpoints on what facilitates cross-border cooperation. However, to date, these viewpoints are poorly understood. This study aims to identify and analyse stakeholders’ viewpoints on the facilitation of cross-border cooperation. The viewpoints of a sample of entrepreneurs, members of education institutes, and members from local institutions (policymakers and industry representatives) in the Dutch-German cross-border region Rhine-Waal were collected via Q methodology and complemented through interviews. Four viewpoints emerged: cooperation through pro-active engagement, cooperation through targeted policies, cooperation through an aligned institutional setup, and cooperation through socio-cultural proximity. Results can inform policy-making aimed to increase stakeholder involvement in participatory approaches in cross-border regions.
... Recent literature also demonstrates that customer perceived value has become an object of interest of many hospitality and tourism industry related research studies (e.g., Lee et al., 2014;Mitchell, Schlegelmilch, & Mone, 2016;Peña, Jamilena, & Molina, 2012;Prebensen, Woo, Chen, & Uysal, 2013;Scaglione & Mendola, 2017). In general, there are two approaches in conceptualising perceived value: uni-dimensional and multidimensional. ...
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The tourism industry has emerged as one of the main contributors of gross domestic product (GDP) in many countries, including Singapore. Though the direct benefits associated with the growth of tourism industry is promising, the social-culturally and environmental problems that arisen simultaneously must not be overlooked. This paper presents five hypotheses for understanding the interrelationship between millennial tourists' evaluation on tourism experience, their attitude towards the tourism experience, attitude towards the destination as well as their responsible tourism intention by using the consumption value theory, the halo effects and the theory of planned behavior as guiding frameworks. The paper proposes that the perceived value of millennial tourists is made up of six distinctive dimensions, which will have a positive effect on their attitude towards the tourism experience. Their positive attitude arisen from tourism experience will, then, affect their attitude towards the destination and thus their intention to engage in responsible tourism behavior. This paper offers opportunities to refine concepts and build on existing theories.
... According to these authors, market orientation is based on a focus toward the customers, the competitors, and inter-functional coordination, whereas network orientation relies on relations between individuals, groups, or organizations [Rasmussen et al., 2015]; informal collaboration [Kreiner and Schultz, 1993]. Here relationships are based on mutual benefit, trust, and reciprocity [Mitchell et al., 2016]. ...
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Introduction and Aims: Entrepreneurship and the business environment, in general, are being influenced by the existence of formal and informal institutions. This study focuses on the negative versus positive perceptions of Moroccan, Chinese, and German entrepreneurs to formal and informal institutions, and the associations of these perceptions with self-efficacy and market versus network orientation of the business environment. Methods: In a sample of n = 319 female and male entrepreneurs, we have examined similarities and differences in the perception of informal and formal institutions and their effects on self-efficacy and business strategy, while conducting t-tests and linear regressions. Results: In all three cultural contexts, both formal and informal institutions play a significant role because of different reasons. Conclusion: The nature of entrepreneurship is complex as both formal and informal institutional factors are differently associated with businesses. The results could enhance the understanding regarding the coexistence of formal or informal institutions within the business environments of different countries and the connections between business orientation and self-efficacy.
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The high level of dissatisfaction from an employability perspective and decreasing employment rate of international students in New Zealand is an increasing concern for higher education providers and their students. Education New Zealand research in 2019 and Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus Graduate Outcome report 2019 support these findings. It highlights a need for a strategy to develop and enhance international student employability skills. The purpose of this study was to investigate the connection between the graduates’ employability and their participation in extracurricular activities (ECAs) and the outcomes from their involvement. This study explored the views of Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus alumni who graduated in 2019 from various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Using descriptive and thematic analysis, this study analysed the impact of extracurricular activities on Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus graduates’ employability. Convenience sampling was used for data collection. A total of 112 participants completed an online survey, and 7 participants undertook semi-structured interviews. The data collected from the survey identified the level of engagement in different extracurricular activities, the motivations to participate, the barriers to participation, the development of soft skills from graduates’ perspective, and employment rates. Using the descriptive analysis, data was compared and correlated. The data collected from interviews provided an in-depth understanding of how international students perceive the benefits of engagement in extracurricular activities and shared their outcomes. Recommendations were provided for future and current international students and to Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus as a facilitator of employability skills development based on the findings.
Senior management needs to align global marketing strategy with an appropriate organizational design. This chapter introduces some pertinent aspects of organizational design encountered by companies with a global footprint. We structure the discussion into three parts. First, we look at the “anatomy” of an organization, which captures the roles, the responsibilities, and the distribution of assets. In this context, the “integration-responsiveness dilemma” is a particularly important concept. We introduce different organizational responses that try to bridge the local versus global tension, such as matrix structures, transnational networks, and regional headquarters. Next, we focus on organizational “physiology,” which concerns the flow of information through the organization, as well as the processes and relationships. We introduce different approaches to coordination and discuss the allocation of responsibilities across hierarchies and value chain activities. Different facets of the relationship between global and regional headquarters, between regional headquarters and national subsidiaries, and among national subsidiaries are also discussed. Finally, we take a brief look at organizational psychology, which relates to norms, values, and culture. As the tacit social order of an organization, corporate culture is often a key lever for improving corporate performance.
Despite the key roles of competitiveness to increase companies’ market shares, the results of previous studies show that most companies disregard the importance of aligning content marketing strategy with the competitiveness goals. Thus, this study aimed to present a conceptual model for planning B2B content marketing in line with firms’ competitiveness goals. For this purpose, a conceptual review was conducted. Through this comprehensive review, content marketing pillars are identified, and the integrated model of competitiveness was selected for designing content marketing model in line with firms’ competitiveness goals. Also, ERG motivation theory was selected as an appropriate motivation basis to create the three classes of content, consistent with the preliminary informational needs, relatedness needs, and growth needs of industrial customers. At the next step, a case study was conducted to assess the customers’ satisfaction on the content of the website of a B2B firm before and after implementation of the content marketing strategy. The result of t-pair test confirmed a significant difference in customers’ satisfaction from the content of the website after the implementation of the B2B content marketing strategy. Besides, other empirical research was conducted to identify the most commonly used content types under each class of content on Instagram and LinkedIn as two popular social networks. The comparison of mean ranks of the Kruskal-Wallis test uncovered the most effective content types on the improvement of the customers’ engagement metrics on social networks. Finally, this research offers the model of B2B content marketing in line with the firms’ competitiveness strategy, which is confirmed by PLS test in SmartPLS.
Manufacturing plays a substantial role in the economic development of any country because of its multiplier impact on the growth of value addition. Currently, industry 4.0 requires manufacturers to deliver highly customized products without compromising on quality at a reduced life cycle. The objective of this study was to find out a solution for the optimum operation of manufacturing firms. By applying resource-based view, dynamic capability, and effectuation theory, this study has proposed an integrated framework of the organizational network, entrepreneurial bricolage, strategic agility and business performance in the context of the industry 4.0. Moreover, the positive effect of the organizational networks on the strategic agility ultimately improves the business performance of manufacturers. Furthermore, strategic agility is also claimed to play its role as mediator between organizational networks and business performance.
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Although marketing researchers pay increasing attention to the co-creation of value, switching costs and customer share, not much is known about their interrelationships. This study extracts prior research by developing a conceptual framework linking all of these constructs in the business-to-business (BtoB) service setting, including the detailed examination of the process of co-creation of value. On the basis of the achievements in services marketing and relationship marketing, this study hypothesises that co-creation of value mediates switching costs and that indirect customer values and co-creation of value are positively related to customer share. The author tests the hypotheses on data obtained from corporate managers in charge of their banking relationship. The results of the study support most of the hypotheses and, in particular, confirm the mediating role of co-creation of value in a BtoB context.
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The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of context in service provision and, more broadly, in market co-creation. We oscillate foci from an individual actor at the micro level to a market at the macro level to make the scaleable influence of context more salient. This reveals the meso level, which is nestled between the micro and macro levels. We discuss how these market levels influence one another. We conceptualize markets as simultaneous, continuous exchanges that are bounded by each of these levels of context.