Akaka, Melissa Archpru, Stephen L. Vargo and Robert F. Lusch (2012), “An Exploration of Networks in Value Co-creation: A Service Ecosystems View,” Review of Marketing Research, forthcoming.



The purpose of this paper is to further explore the concept of value co-creation from a service ecosystems view, by considering the importance of networks and the configuration of relationships and resources in markets.


We use a conceptual approach to extend a service-dominant (S-D) logic, ecosystems view of value co-creation by drawing on the literature regarding networks in marketing and related research.


A service ecosystems approach to co-creating value-in-context is proposed, which points toward networks as mediating factors in value co-creation because they influence the ability to access, adapt and integrate resources by establishing exchange relationships and shaping the social contexts through which value is experienced.

Research Implications

This research suggests that value co-creation is a complex and multidimensional process that is best studied in the context of dynamic networks, or ecosystems of service exchange.

Practical Implications

This research suggests that networks mediate value co-creation, and, thus, firms should consider the configurations of relationships and resources to develop more compelling value propositions.

Social Implications

This research draws on the idea that exchange relationships are embedded within society, and suggests that processes of value co-creation not only draw on, but also contribute to the social contexts that frame market exchange.

Originality/value of paper

This research extends the value co-creation and S-D logic literature by exploring the role of networks in service ecosystems. In this framework, networks are mediators of value co-creation because they enable access to resources and help to (re)shape social contexts through which value is derived.