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Title: Do you need to trust to co-create? : an exploration of the influence of interpersonal trust on value co-creation in customer-salesperson interaction in transactional and relational service exchange
Author: Baumann, Jasmin
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2012
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This qualitative study explores how interpersonal trust influences the co-creation of value in transactional and relational customer-salesperson interaction in service industries. Despite the suggestion that value co-creation is the purpose of interaction and professional relationships and the identification of trust as a vital antecedent of successful customer connections, this potentially significant interrelation has not yet been examined. Through 46 semi-structured interviews with customers and specialists (i.e. salespeople) as well as other employees of six internationally operating fine arts auction houses, a conceptual model and set of propositions is developed that consider the perspectives of both actors and analyse the generative mechanisms involved in value co-creation on the interpersonal level. It was found that trust gradually evolves across intertwined interaction levels through continuous re-evaluation of the other actor’s trustworthiness, which is based on their perceived ability, integrity, benevolence and the establishment of rapport. The priority of these antecedents, however, varies significantly between customers and specialists. The emergent mutual trust enables the customer to exercise their causal power to disclose their value-generating processes and the specialist to understand and participate in these. Furthermore, there was strong evidence that the nature of the value sought by customers can be distinguished into episode and relationship dimensions – the value proposition of the specialist, however, initially only covers the former facet. Thus, the disclosure and identification of the customer’s value systems also enables the specialist to use their own causal power to adapt their value proposition according to the customer’s desired value dimension, thereby differentiating their service from competitors. Driven by mechanisms such as a commitment to work together, share interests and achieve common goals, this process results in the co-creation of episode and/or relationship value structures for the customer. It was further shown that due to the customer’s input, the actors also realise concrete episode and/or relationship value structures for the specialist, therefore engaging in mutual instead of unidirectional value co-creation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available