How consumers shape the market: ethics and value co-creation

Roberta Sebastiani, Daniele Dalli, Francesca Montagnini

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


Purpose – Consumer ethics is growing in importance influencing customer choices as well as increasing the role of social movements in the market process (Thompson, Coskuner-Balli, 2007; Thompson, 2004; Buechler, 2010; Hollenbeck, Zinkhan, 2010). In this research we aim at demonstrating how ethically driven consumers‟ concerns shape the relationships between suppliers and customers and to what extent they influence the co-creation of value. In this context, a special attention will be dedicated to the role of social movements in the co-creation process, since they can play a critical role in “value-in-context” generation (Vargo, 2008). Methodology/approach – In the paper we analyze three different cases (Eataly, GAS Roccafranca, Carrotmob) in which customers, directly as individuals and indirectly as members of social movements, affect the supplier-customer relationship and give room to the transformation of traditional business models and the rise of new ones. We consider several aspects of these cases through archival data, interviews with founders, managers, staff and customers. Findings – Results - Results emerging from our research show that companies are able to adapt to several alternatives, some of which imply the transformation of the traditional market exchange. On the other hand, if consumers do not find adequate response to their ethical concerns, they are able (directly or through social movements and communities) to develop new “business” models. In all these cases co-creation occurs and customers play a major role. Social networks emerge to be a innovative way to explore new paths of value co-creation. Originality/value – Our study addresses a substantial gap in the literature about co-creation: ethical dimension in the value co-creation process need to be further explored. Moreover, we aim at expanding the understanding of value-in-context, by complementing it with the social movements key concepts.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteService Dominant logic, Network & Systems Theory and Service Science
EditorEvert Gummesson, Cristina Mele, Francesco Polese
Numero di pagine14
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011


  • co-creation
  • ethical consumption
  • social movement
  • sustainability


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