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Innovation through co-creation : Strategies to manage the Challenges of Co-Creation
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Co-creation has become an important source of competitive advantage for many businesses in the modern world. Therefore, managing co-creation has become an important topic among practitioners and researchers, but there has been little research done on addressing and managing the challenges faced by co-creating companies. The purpose of this study is to build a conceptual framework that identify the key challenges companies face when co-creating with consumers, and how to best manage them to foster a successful co-creation process. In this thesis a challenge is defined as anything that hinders or obstructs the smooth facilitation of the co-creation process between firms and their consumers. Our research focus is on companies that are engaged in business-to-consumer co-creation process.


With the purpose in mind, we were motivated to collect primary data through a qualitative study using in-depth semi-structured interviews with Interviewees already engaged in co-creation from different industries. The objective of the interview was to gain a comprehensive and reliable perception of the problem setting and situation. We gathered and analyzed our interview data using an inductive thematic analysis approach and tested our concepts and categories that emerged from our empirical findings.


The information we gathered from our Interviewees shows that our initial perception appeared to be appropriate, however, not all-inclusive. Through the analysis of the interview data we realized that the key challenges of co-creating with consumers are: word of mouth, consumers lack skills and knowledge, intellectual property rights, information overload, integration of knowledge and skills, time consuming process and biased consumers.  Our initial thought of the strategies to manage the challenges of co-creation were mostly supported and proven relevant. Thus, we have identified outsourcing of co-creation as an additional strategy


To improve this research we suggested using a mixed methodology to investigate the consumer’s experiences and perceptions. A quantitative study would help in gaining a solid understanding about the co-creation experience and challenges from consumer’s perspective beside that of the firm. We thought that conducting a longitudinal study could have revealed how the complex relationship between the company and consumers change overtime. In addition, we thought that examining the relationship between co-creation and accelerating growth in SME’s would be an interesting area for research.  Last but not least, since our research covered different industries, future research that are less broad and limited to a particular industry would be of interest.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 76 p.
Keyword [en]
Co-creation, mass customization, designs innovation, co-creation challenges – Consumer participation, consumer-generated content – online innovation communities– collaborative innovation – value co-creation.
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-105508OAI: diva2:826125
Educational program
Master's program in Business Development and Internationalisation
2015-06-04, S310, Umea University, Umea, 15:00 (English)
Available from: 2015-06-25 Created: 2015-06-24 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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