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Title: The idiosyncratic consumer : co-creating value in the context of customer loyalty programs
Author: Anthony, Denton Delano
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 9912
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2010
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This research examines the co-creation of customer value in the empirical context of customer loyalty programs. Focus for this research is the Canadian loyalty program market to investigate how customers co-create value and the different roles that they assume in the co-creation process. The empirical context of the research was selected as the popularity of customer loyalty programs continues to grow not only in Canada, but worldwide amongst both consumers and organizations. Equally important, customer loyalty programs present an appropriate medium for the co-creation experience since they represent a value-sharing instrument between the customer and organization (Liu, 2007). The study's research approach is interpretive, and structured around two phases of qualitative data collection and analysis. As a lens for inquiry, the framework of service dominant logic (S-D logic) (Vargo and Lusch, 2008a) was adopted, with guidance from several different bodies of academic literature. The findings suggest that given the appropriate resources and value propositions, customers will accept and flourish in their role as a co-creator of value. The contribution of this research is offered in three distinct ways. First it makes an empirical contribution by adding to the limited empirical work completed in the S-D logic area. The results support the assertion that customer are co-creators of value, usually determined by their experience or participation and use their idiosyncratic abilities in determining value. However the study also points out that consumers can be destructors of value, when they are not fulfilling their roles as operant resources or accepting the organization's value proposition. This finding may suggest that customers are not always co-creators of value due to their negativity toward various value propositions. A significant finding of the research was the identification of a gap in the S-D logic lens that suggests communication needs to play a larger role in Vargo and Lusch's (2008a) framework. Finally, as a result of the two empirical studies this research produced a conceptual framework that can be used in the design of future research studies in the areas of co-creation of value and relationship building programs. Theoretical contributions of this research were made as this study is one of the first to examine customer loyalty programs through the S-D logic lens. As a consequence, the results suggest that consumers can and do assume the role of an operant resource (Constantin and Lusch, 1994), one that produces affects in the context of loyalty programs. In assuming the role as an operant resource, customers used creativity and resources of the firm, including other customers to achieve their co-creation goals. Finally, implications for management practice are brought to light through the results of this study. The results suggest that viewing customer loyalty programs through the S-D logic lens signals a movement to changing roles for both the customer and the organization. This change is one of interdependence, rather than independence for cocreation opportunities to exist.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral