Yours, mine &amp; ours: The use of social networks in co-creation
The objective of this dissertation is to empirically test factors believed to influence customer decision to co-create and evaluation of customer co-created products using social network theory as a foundation.
Manuscript I: Customer Competence and Product Co-Creation examined the process surrounding the customer's decision to engage in co-creation through two empirical studies. Study I determined drivers of customer co-creation, through a survey conducted among students. Study II and Study IIA, determined if firms gain a competitive advantage selling customer-designed products to non co-creating customers. Findings suggest that competence is the strongest driver of customer decision to co-create, and to co-create individually. In addition, co-creation leads to higher self-brand associations. Results also showed that non-co-creating customers do not better evaluate customer co-created products, and more research is needed.
Manuscript II: Collaborative Co-Creation and Social Networks uses an experiment simulating a real collaborative co-creation experience and investigates relationships between social networks, co-creation and satisfaction. It examined how the customer's perceived co-creation competence and intrinsic motivation drove their collaborator choice (tie selection) for collaborative co-creation and evaluated its influence on the customer's process and product satisfaction. Specifically, this research tests the effects of customer competence and product involvement in decision to co-create individually versus collaboratively. In addition, it also tests the effects of customer competence (Hi, Lo) and intrinsic motivation (Hi, Lo) on collaborative co-creation outcomes, using a 2x2 experimental design delivered via the computer. Findings suggest that higher competence and intrinsic motivation lead to customer selection of stronger ties, higher process and output satisfaction.
Customer perceived competence guides the customer's choice of co-creation offering a better understanding of what type of co-creation (individual or collaborative) if any, the customer seeks and how it increases self-brand associations. Second, customer's intrinsic motivation and perceived competence, influence their choice of collaborator as well as their resulting process and product satisfaction reported after the co-creation experience. Finally, it gives marketing managers tools and information on how to successfully approach and engage customers in co-creation as a way to strengthen their relationship with the brand and possibly create brand communities in the process (Piller et al., 2005).