Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Extended Means-End Value Framework-A Model to Measure Co-Created Value

Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Extended Means-End Value Framework-A Model to Measure Co-Created Value

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Value and the process of value creation have evolved from product and firm centric perspectives (Porter 1980) to 'personalized consumer experiences' (Prahalad and Ramaswamy 2004). Originally, value was seen to be embedded in the product and defined in terms of "exchange value" (Vargo and Lusch 2004). The updated concept of value, however, is that it is uniquely and phenomenologically determined by the beneficiary (Vargo and Lusch 2008, 2010, 2011). This conceptualization changes value from being an exogenous variable (Priem and Butler 2001; Srivastava et al. 2001) to an endogenous variable (Lusch and Vargo 2006). This distinction has important ramifications as it implies that value is derived by customers and firms working together to facilitate service success through the co-creation of value (Barnes et al. 2009). Thus value-creating resources are not confined to the firm; customers, suppliers and other stakeholders also contribute operant resources to value creation (Vargo and Akaka 2009). Literature suggests that this new concept of value gets its support from the means-end theory framework (Vargo and Lusch 2004:9 and Woodruff and Flint 2006:185).

Gutman, in 1982 was the first to advocate the means-end theory as a way to understand consumer decision-making in purchasing products. Although means-end chain models was originally intended to describe how consumers categorize information about products in memory (Gutman 1982), pioneering work by Zeithaml (1988) and Woodruff and Gardial (1996) have proved that it can be adapted to capture the essence of customer value. The central thesis of the means-end theory is that individuals are goal directed and use product attributes as a means to infer desired consequences and ends (Gardial et al. 1994). The, current discussion on value, however, imply that in value co-creation, all parties are resource integrators. Therefore, value assessment based on product attributes alone is limiting. Another long standing criticism of the "means-end theory framework has been that means end chains has generally assumed a static goal structure, with little discussion on how goals evolve" (Huffman et al. 2000: 11).

In light of the above discussion, the aim of this paper is to propose an "extended mean-send value framework" (EMEVF) that incorporates the implications of the co-creation concept of value and alleviates its other weakness. To this end, this paper is structured as follows; a brief review of the extant literature on value co-creation and means-end theory is presented. Next, the EMEVF framework is proposed, followed by a brief description of the research context and methodology. Empirical illustrations of the framework for an individual respondent and an aggregate for all respondents will be presented. Finally, the contribution and directions for future research are outlined.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Value co-creation

Consumer behavior literature remains preoccupied with decision making, focusing on what consumers' purchase, and not what they do, per se (Xie, Bagozzi and Troye 2008). This artificial separation of production and consumption, which gets its support from contemporary economics and marketing research, implies that the consumer is not considered a creative actor in the value creating process but rather a passive responder (Firat and Venkatesh 1995). Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2000) challenge this view and emphasize the transformation of customers from "passive" audience to "active players" in the service experience. The S-D logic, proposed by Vargo and Lusch (2004), also challenge the view of buyers as passive consumers, and includes buyers in the value creating process by asserting that the "customer is always a co-creator of value". The realization that consumers are actively involved in creating value and benefits for their own consumption is aligned with the post-modernist view that, as a consumer, one is a "participant in the customization of one's world" (Firat and Venkatesh 1995: 50). …

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