Service Sustainability: A Tripartite Value Co-Creation Perspective

Service Sustainability: A Tripartite Value Co-Creation Perspective

Kunio Shirahada (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan) and Raymond P. Fisk (Texas State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4663-6.ch005
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The main topic of this chapter is service sustainability. Currently, the modern economy has huge planet-wide sustainability issues. The authors focus on the sustainability of service and propose the perspective of a tripartite value co-creation for achieving service sustainability. In the perspective, service providers collaborate with customers to improve not only their mutual value but also enhance the value of natural capital by establishing a voice for nature in service processes. Questions for changing behavior to achieve sustainability of service are discussed.
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The Concept Of Service And Its Parasitic Aspect

Interdependent Structure of Service Economy

It is well known that vast quantities of living creatures are interdependently surviving with each other by using the natural resources of our planet. Today, the economic transformation of the service economy makes our world more and more interdependent and also makes the interdependent structure more difficult to understand. This is because service activity requires value co-creation between parties and such activity is becoming more complex, for example, “social, technological, economic, environmental, and political change are all interdependent” (Spohrer 2009, p.i) and service is “the ‘glue’ which holds the artificial world together” (ibid, p.i).

While our service economy is very complex, our overall economy functions interdependently with other living things in the biosphere and with natural resources as shown in Figure 1. Every service activity depends on the planet’s original resources such as lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Also, service depends on the biosphere elements such as animals, fisheries, insects, and plants. For example, many services such as supermarkets, restaurants and even hospitals provide food to their customers. Therefore, we should never forget that all human service activities depend on the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. We should know more about what type of interdependence our economy creates with other spheres.

Figure 1.

The relationship between our economy and environments


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