Integrating Experience-Based and Practice-Based Perspectives on Value Co-Creation in Collective Consumption Contexts

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Carol Kelleher of Cork University, Hugh N. Wilson of the University of Warwick, Emma K. Macdonald of the University of Warwick, and Joe Peppard of MIT. They recently published an article in Journal of Service Research entitled “The Score Is Not the Music: Integrating Experience and Practice Perspectives on Value Co-Creation in Collective Consumption Contexts,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they reflect on this research:]

What motivated you to pursue this research?

Three interrelated and enduring research questions motivated this study as well as my other studies on collective consumption: 1) what is the individual experience of the collective? 2) what is the collective experience of the individual? and 3) how do they impact each other?
In many service settings, such as when attending a live orchestral music performance, the value that a customer derives from the experience depends on their interactions not just with service employees (such as when buying tickets, being ushered to a seat, or when hearing the music played by the musicians) but also from interactions with other customers in the service environment (such as others in the audience who sit together – in silence or not – to enjoy the musicians’ playing). We label these collective consumption contexts. Other examples, which have their own ‘rules of behaviour’, include spectator sports, choral singing, slimming clubs and orienteering, and examples in the online world include multi-player gaming and peer-to-peer IT support.

A key challenge for service managers in these contexts is to understand how customers coordinate with each other, particularly when there is variation in customers’ skill levels. Despite the difficulty, it is ultimately the service provider’s responsibility to ensure that the service experience is optimised for all customers irrespective of individual variation, lest it detract from the value that customers perceive.

What has been the most challenging aspect of conducting your research? Were there any surprising findings?

To address this challenging managerial issue, I conducted a six-month immersive study with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), a world leading orchestra, as part of my PhD. At the time, the LSO had a strong understanding of its core customers but did not know why 70% of first-time attendees failed to return. The problem did not appear to be pricing, as discounting a second visit did not improve return rates. Rather, this study’s findings resulted in the recognition that a key problem was how to support social learning.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

An overarching implication for service managers is that they need to anticipate potential barriers to value co-creation that can arise from differences in customers’ prior learning. Immersive customer insight is needed to identify whether individual customers are able to learn the accepted ways of behaving, what barriers exist to this social learning, and where more expert customers will be only too happy to help less experienced peers. Service organizations can then design ways to facilitate social learning between novices and experts so as to optimize value for all.

What advice would you give to new scholars and incoming researchers in this particular field of study?

First, study and research what you are passionate about – this will be your energy source. You will always have a smile on your face, continue to be surprised and never be bored.

Second, research and scholarship is a shared social construction within the community of practice of experts and novices to – be generous and give generously. We need to appreciate the opportunity and responsibility to sustain such communities, assist junior or novice scholars and, each in our own way, leverage our shared endeavors to contribute to the greater good.

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Pedro Monteiro and Davide Nicolini on Material Elements in Institutional Work

[We’re pleased to welcome Pedro Monteiro and Davide Nicolini, both of the University of Warwick. Their paper, “Recovering Materiality in Institutional Work: Prizes as an Assemblage of Human and Material Entities,” recently appeared in the January 2015 issue of Journal of Management Inquiry.]

In summer 2014 the Victoria and Albert inaugurated in JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointLondon an exhibition on the role of objects in movements for social change. From banners to provoke debate, t-shirts and badges that unify a campaign or tents used in peace camps, objects are central for activist groups struggling to alter the world.

The transformations and stability of society is an issue that accompanies the social sciences from its birth. In organization studies, this translates in a field of inquiry on institutional dynamics, that is, the processes through which changes or maintenance of taken-for-granted social elements happen. Traditionally these studies emphasize the (institutional) entrepreneurs and their heroic battles – overlooking that battlefields are usually full of soldiers, not generals, as Brecht puts in his famous “Questions From a Worker Who Reads”.

Bringing attention to the distributed and situated effort of multiple actors, authors proposed the notion of institutional work to shift attention to the struggle (not always coherent or successful) of individuals to change or maintain stabilized practices, industry regulations and similar structures. However, to date, these studies focus mostly on humans despite our daily experience that protests are made not only of human demonstrators, but also signs, loudspeakers and similar materials. The current paper is a call to arms to takes seriously the role of objects in institutional dynamics and embraces a more ecological thinking that focus not on single humans but on the alignment among individuals, materials and discourses in social processes.

You can read “Recovering Materiality in Institutional Work: Prizes as an Assemblage of Human and Material Entities” from Journal of Management Inquiry for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

s200_pedro.monteiroPedro Monteiro is a PhD researcher at Warwick Business School and visiting student at São Paulo Business Administration School (FGV-EAESP). His doctoral project explores multidisciplinary collaborative work in the development of high-complex products based on ethnographic methods and practice theory. His main interests are around the organizing and work involved in collaboration, knowledge circulation, and innovation. He is also interested in feminist and queer analyses of organizations and the use of visual representations to communicate interpretive methods and theory.

davide_nicolini_smallDavide Nicolini is professor of organization studies at Warwick Business School where he codirects the IKON Research Centre. In the past he has held positions at The Tavistock Institute in London and the University of Trento and Bergamo in Italy. His work has appeared in a number of major North American and European journals. His current research focuses on the development of the practice-based approach and its application to phenomena such as knowing, collaboration, innovation, and change in organizations. His latest monograph Practice Theory, Work and Organization. An Introduction was published by Oxford University Press in 2013.