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The unpowered customer: Co-creation as tactics of the weak

Appiah, Gloria, Bonsu, Samuel K., Sarpong, David (2021) The unpowered customer: Co-creation as tactics of the weak. Journal of Business Research, 133 . pp. 317-326. ISSN 0148-2963. (doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2021.04.053) (KAR id:89102)


Co-creation has been lauded for the exceptional benefits it offers to engaged actors, with a particular emphasis on its ability to empower previously passive, and sometimes disadvantaged, customers. Drawing on de Certeau’s notion of the tactics of the weak, we problematize this romantic view, unpacking some of the often unarticulated, opportunistic motives and behaviours of firms in co-creation processes in practice. We develop our contribution in the context of a small software business and its clients, collecting data through semi-structured interviews, observations and archival documents. Our findings provide insights into the organizing practices that reinforce the disadvantaged positions of business customers. We outline three stages of opportunism that unfold inadvertently in the assumed democratised value-creation space. We conclude with a discussion of the managerial and theoretical implications, and directions for future research.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2021.04.053
Uncontrolled keywords: Co-creation dark side; de Certeau; opportunism; tactics of the weak
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Depositing User: Chat Gloria
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2021 14:08 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 13:54 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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