There is a growing consensus that in order to be successful, firms must embrace value co-creation based business approaches that enable collaboration across the value network including the company, its suppliers, partners, customers and end users. In order for this collaboration to be effective it must support the ability for the end users to co-create value or to effect real change in the products, services and business processes. This research uses empirically derived quantitative methods to study a sample of 287 organizations selected for being representative of the breadth of value co-creation activities. It uses web searches of keywords indicative of value co-creation and applies the Principal Component Analysis technique to extract four components which distinguish value co-creation based practices including: (i) using a community driven open dialog, (ii) developing partnerships for resource sharing, (iii) enabling personalization of offerings through modularity and options and (iv) participating in co-production. All four components are described in terms of the relevance of their underlying activities. The analysis of the results identifies two particular value co-creation approaches: (i) full scale co-creation including all four components and (ii) ecosystem based co-production which excluded the personalization component. Interestingly, the four value co-creation components were also found individually employed. The emergence of the four components is analyzed from two different perspectives-within the context of a potential value co-creation maturity model and as constituents of particular co-creation approaches. The research provides the first empirical identification of the components of value co-creation and formulates insights on the specific practices that should be employed by companies wishing to engage in different approaches to value co-creation. It also identifies sub-samples of companies specializing in different types of value co-creation for future qualitative research. Entrepreneurs could use the research insights in developing and implementing new business activities as part of a given value co-creation approach. The validation of the methodology will be useful for academic researchers and students as a basis for further research focusing on other aspects of co-creation such as user driven innovation, value chain reconfiguration and business ecosystem new niche development.
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