Technology-Enabled Value Co-Creation and Technology-Driven Service Design: A Conceptual Framework and Research Proposition

Technology-Enabled Value Co-Creation and Technology-Driven Service Design: A Conceptual Framework and Research Proposition

Ming-Hsiung Hsiao (Department of Information Management, Shu-Te University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJESMA.2019010103
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The purpose of this article is to explore the role of the future technology such as mesh apps in the process of value co-creation from the service-dominant logic perspective, and how mesh apps can help users complete the activities and gain value. By reviewing the extant literature, this study proposes a conceptual framework which describes technology as a supportive role in helping users accomplish their tasks and co-create value. Moreover, it also proposes the technology-driven service design thinking in that technology triggers the service design process by detecting the actual behavior of activity engagement and provides information services and/or other necessary operand resources. Technology-driven service design tends to disregard beneficiaries' evaluation of the value created from the previous task accomplishment when it determines what operand resources will be provided in assistance with the next task engagement. Such design thinking without regard to the human's knowledge and previous experiences is expected to limit the value created by such future technology.
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1. Introduction

In 2015, Gartner (2015) revealed its new list of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2016, including some new ideas such as the device mesh, ambient user experience, and mesh app and service architecture. The device mesh, which encompasses the full range of endpoints with which users may interact with people, social communities, governments and businesses, creates the foundation for a new continuous and ambient digital experience. The digital mesh affects how services are designed and delivered in the future. Old services will either be turned into service innovation in the environment of the digital mesh, or be replaced by new apps across multiple endpoint devices and can coordinate with one another to produce a continuous digital experience. It is likely that the old ‘square icon, unilateral, launch-and-switch’ apps will fade out soon (Coxon, 2016). In the near future, the mobile apps and services will “target an orchestrated collection of devices being used together, rather than an individual device used in isolation” (Gartner, 2015).

With all these technology people are quickly moving away from task-oriented user experience to contextual user experience where devices can learn and adapt to their needs based on specific situations, location and context of use (Smyk, 2016). Simply put, these technologies are context-aware so that they can predict user’s needs in different contexts, always staying a step ahead of them and eventually making user interfaces superfluous (Pscheid, 2016). Such an ambient user experience seamlessly flows across a shifting set of devices, enabling users to transit from one context to another without any input from the users. By using these mesh apps users can organize their daily activities and accomplish their tasks in each activity more easily in such a natural way that users will even not notice the technology surrounding them.

From the economics perspective, tangible products are consumer direct demand seen as intangible products, add-ons to tangible products, less-than-ideal products, or not-such-good “goods” (Vargo and Akaka, 2009). Such a traditional economics perspective was labeled as goods-dominant logic (G-D logic) in contrast with service-dominant logic (S-D logic) coined by Vargo and Lusch (2004) and Lusch and Vargo (2006). Lusch and Vargo (2006) contended that ‘service’ (in singular form) is the fundamental basis for exchange where all the value of products, including tangible goods and intangible services (in plural form), is created through the ‘service’ that is provided for customers. S-D logic posits that service providers and beneficiaries (customers) utilize operand resources (natural resources, goods, and money) and operant resources (competences, knowledge, skills, and experiences) to produce ‘service’ where goods, services and money are all service-provision vehicles.

The role of technology is especially interesting in this process of exchange. Technology is the practical application of knowledge and thus is considered operant resource based. However, technology can also create new operand resources; for example, it can produce new services or service innovation. The role of technology, therefore, is often portrayed as being dual, an operand and an operant resource (Lusch and Nambisan, 2015). The influence of the future technology is immense, not only on how individual goods and services are produced, but also on how the whole ‘service’ is organized, designed, and delivered. The application of digital mesh and mesh app, in particular, is even more noticeable because they are closely connected with people daily activities. The role of technology in creating value for actors has been widely discussed in the literature; e.g., Maglio and Spohrer (2008), Edvardsson et al. (2010), Lusch and Nambisan (2015), and Breidbach and Maglio (2016). How these future technologies, with its particular characteristics can be well integrated into the value co-creation process, however, is still unclear.

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