B2B Value Co-Creation


Theory and Practice of Value Co-Creation in B2B Systems, Special issue of Industrial Marketing Management, Edited by Marko Kohtam?ki, Risto Rajala and Stephen L. Vargo; Deadline 1 Sep 2014




Special issue on THE ‘Theory and practice of value co-Creation in B2B SYSTEMS’

Deadline for submissions is September 1, 2014

Special issue editors: Marko Kohtamäki, Risto Rajala and Stephen L. Vargo

Rationale and aims:

This special issue explores perspectives on value co-creation in business-to-business (B2B) markets, placing special emphasis on marketing management issues related to value creation in multi-stakeholder systems. Understanding creation and capture of value as systems or networked phenomena – rather than simply considering the value created within the boundaries of a single firm – is an emerging theme within the marketing literature and beyond, in both theory and practice. Attention has centered on topics of value co-creation, including value co-production through co-development, co-learning and co-innovation.

While the existing body of business and management research highlights the potential of value co-creation, studies rarely provide evidence of the mechanisms and processes that determine the outcomes of value co-creation within multi-actor systems. In particular, we particularly encourage attention to the question of how value co-creation influences organizational boundaries. For this reason, this special issue calls for research addressing these issues in their inter-organizational context.

For the purposes of this special issue, we adopt the distinction of service-dominant (S-D) logic between “value co-creation,” representing the multiple-actor, systemic nature of all value creation and “co-production,” the more-restricted and more-strategic, co-creation of the value proposition (offering) through co-design, co-innovation, co-assembly, etc. (see Vargo 2008; Vargo and Lusch 2008; 2011). Both “co-creation of value” and “co-production” as well as their relationship, represent appropriate focal topics in this special issue. 

As this special issue aims to provide a broad methodological perspective to value co-creation in multi-stakeholder systems, we call for both conceptual and empirical studies on the phenomenon. Papers may include exploratory and confirmatory approaches and apply qualitative (including case study) or quantitative methodologies. Studies must address the appropriate, existing body of scientific knowledge related to their specific focus. In addition, all submitted research papers must provide a sound methodological account of the selected approach.

Relevant topics for the special issue include, but are not limited to:

·         Current and future management challenges and practices of collaborative value creation. We call for conceptual and empirical research contributions centered on the present challenges and future avenues of inter-organizational value co-creation and co-production. A need also exists to study how value is co-created and co-produced in complex B2B systems. Moreover, there is a need to explore the leadership capabilities required in collaborative value creation. Submitted papers can examine how managers cope with the new forms of networked value creation and capture.

·         Organizational and behavioral perspectives to value co-creation. It is evident that inter-organizational value creation may affect firm boundaries; however, a need exists for research to deepen the current understanding of the influence of collaborative value creation on organizational boundaries and management practices, and the drivers and effects of boundary spanning interactions in inter-firm value systems. Submitted papers can also take social and behavioral perspectives to investigating the new governance structures and contract arrangements that facilitate value co-creation.

·         Business models for inter-firm value creation and capture. We call for empirical contributions on where we are going regarding open business models in B2B settings. Interesting phenomena include, for example, the roles of service triads and platforms in the creation and capture of value. Conversely, submitted papers could add to the current body of scientific knowledge on the management of business models in multi-stakeholder systems.

·         Performance effects of value co-creation. Organizational performance outcomes of co-learning and co-innovation within value systems are relevant. In particular, further research could investigate the firm level and network-related outcomes of effective value creation and value capture. In addition, there is room for practically oriented research on the effects of leveraging value through multi-actor interplay in value systems on individual actors’ strategy and performance.

In addition to the academic original researcher papers, the issue will invite commentaries on these topics by business practitioners.

Editorial team:

·         Marko Kohtamäki, Professor, Department of Management, University of Vaasa, Finland [marko.kohtamaki@uva.fi]

·         Risto Rajala, Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Aalto University, Finland [risto.rajala@aalto.fi]

·         Stephen L. Vargo, Shidler Distinguished Professor and Professor of Marketing, University of Hawai‘i, USA [svargo@hawaii.edu]

Important dates:

The deadline for submissions is September 1, 2014.

Guide for authors:

Submissions should follow the guidelines given in a recent issue of Industrial Marketing Management (under the topic “Notes for Contributors”). An extensive package of instructions is available online at the journal website:



Submitted papers should comply with the following guidelines:

·         Letter size paper

·         One inch margins

·         Double space except for tables

·         12pt font (except for tables and references, which can be of smaller font)

·         Please place all tables, figures, appendices, etc. in their places within the text directly in the MSWord file.

All papers must be submitted as a single MSWord attachment to Marko Kohtamäki (marko.kohtamaki@uva.fi) with a copy to the editor Peter LaPlaca (plaplaca@journalimm.com).


Chesbrough, H. (2012). Why companies should have open business models. MIT Sloan Management Review, 48(2), 22–28.

Grönroos, C. (2011). A service perspective on business relationships: The value creation, interaction and marketing interface. Industrial Marketing Management, 40(2), 240–247.

Gunasekaran, A., Lai. K-H., & Cheng, T.C.E. (2008). Responsive supply chain: A competitive strategy in a networked economy. Omega, 36(4), 549–564.

Jacobides, M. G., Knudsen, T., & Augier, M. (2006). Benefiting from innovation: Value creation, value appropriation and the role of industry architectures, Research Policy, 35(8), 1200–1221.

Kohtamäki, M., Partanen, J., Parida, V., & Wincent, J. (2013). Non-linear relationship between industrial service offering and sales growth: The moderating role of network capabilities. Industrial Marketing Management, 42(8), 1374–1385.

Ramírez, R. (1999). Value co-production: Intellectual origins and implications for practice and research. Strategic Management Journal, 20(1), 49–65.

Santos, F. M., & Eisenhardt, K. M. (2005). Organizational boundaries and theories of organization. Organization Science, 16(5), 491–508.

Vargo, S. L. (2008). Customer integration and value creation Paradigmatic Traps and Perspectives. Journal of Service Research, 11(2), 211–215.

Vargo, S. L., & Lusch, R. F. (2006). Service-Dominant Logic: What it is, what it is not, what it might be. In R. F. Lusch & S. L. Vargo (Eds.), The Service- Dominant Logic of Marketing: Dialog, Debate, and Directions (pp. 43–56). Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe.

Vargo, S. L., & Lusch, R. F. (2011). It’s all B2B…and beyond: Toward a systems perspective of the market. Industrial Marketing Management, 40(2), 181–187.


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