This article explores how seemingly distinct actors contribute to value creation and evaluation in a fundamentally similar way. It shows that the division of actors into dichotomies such as ‘producers’ and ‘consumers,’ ‘paying’ and ‘non-paying’ customers, and ‘adopters’ and ‘non-adopters,’ is based on narrow, unidirectional, transactional, and dyadic views on value creation and delivery. The article highlights the limitations of these views and draws on a service ecosystems perspective and its broader notion of co-created and contextual value to overcome these limitations. More specifically, the article, by connecting two frameworks (markets-as-practice and institutional work), extends a generic actor-to-actor conceptualization of value creation, in showing that all economic and social actors participate in value creation in a fundamentally similar way. That is, they enact value co-creation practices and simultaneously shape these practices by creating, maintaining and disrupting the institutions that guide their (re)enactment. Thus, the article proposes a unified view on actors’ participation in value creation that not only points to the involvement of broader actor categories in value creation and market formation processes, but also provides important strategic implications in the form of a research agenda.
Heiko Wielanda (California State University Monterey Bay), Kaisa Koskela-Huotari (VTT and Karlstadt University), Stephen L. Vargoc (University of Hawaii at Manoa): Extending actor participation in value creation: an institutional view