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Co-Creation during New Product Development: Downsides and effects of a booming activity
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Co-creation is nowadays a booming activity implemented by companies in order to be closer to their customers and to fulfil their needs. By using co-creation, a company involves their customers in the process of creation aiming to get ideas and insights that allow the company to launch a new product or to improve an existing product. Nevertheless, most of the companies think that implementing a co-creation process is a question of methodology. Companies believe that by building on a formalized method and by using a step-by-step implementation, the co-creation will be successful. The truth speaks something else. Recently, researchers started to pop-up trying to highlight how the co-creation is a complex process arising the likelihood of having a value co- destruction rather than a value co-creation as a result of the process. Further, in 2015, a study states the importance of studying and understanding the negative consequences of value co-creation. For these reasons, the purpose of our thesis is to understand the downsides of co-creation during new product development and their effects on the relationship between the company and the customers. Our research question is: What are the downsides of the co-creation process and their effects on the relationship between the company and customers during new product development?

In order to answer this question, we conducted a qualitative study to collect our primary data using an in-depth semi-structured interviews. Data have been collected from eleven participants involved in the co-creation field. From experts of co-creation to designers and researchers, we wanted to have a practitioner point of view rather than from a customer perspective. Indeed, the objectives of conducting these interviews were to gain a focus understanding and a comprehensive perception of the individuals using, implementing, researching on, or consulting about the co-creation process. From the data collected, we analysed our interviews using a thematic network analysis approach. From then, we tested and discussed our empirical results and our concepts from our theoretical frame of references.

Through the analysis of the interviews data, we are able to state that there are four main downsides of the co-creation process during new product development: misbehaviour of the company, mismanagement of the environment, miscommunication and mismanagement of the process. The effects of these downsides will affect: the company, the product, the customer satisfaction, trust and commitment and the emotions. Further, we are capable to confirm the importance of the variables of trust, commitment and customer satisfaction in the management of a relationship. Finally, we compromise the idea of customer self-blaming, and the term of “failure”. Indeed, our analysis shows that the responsibility of co-creation belongs to the company that owns the project. Hence, the customer will not blame themselves or feel guilty in case of unsuccessful outcomes. Interestingly, our analysis debates about the use of the term failure to express unexpected negative outcomes from the process. We conclude that a mismanaged co-creation can be perceived as a learning process rather than a failure per se, leading us to confirm that we cannot consider the co-creation outcome as a failure. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 114 p.
Keyword [en]
Co-creation, new product development, relationship, trust, commitment, customer satisfaction, value co-creation, downsides, co-destruction, training, failure, co-creation downsides
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-122718OAI: diva2:940809
Educational program
Master's program in Business Development and Internationalisation; Master's Programme in Marketing
Available from: 2016-06-27 Created: 2016-06-21 Last updated: 2016-06-27Bibliographically approved

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