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Created by Adminsske on 26 April 2012, at 14:22


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Origins: the intellectual roots of co-creation

Co-creation can be seen as a coming-together of aspects of marketing and management theory, psychology and techniques derived from group decision-making, innovation and knowledge processes.

1 Co-creation and the psychoanalytic tradition

At the heart of co-creation are techniques for creative play which resemble both group-decision making and psychotherapy. Co-creation in business environments eliminates the boundary between the firm and its customers; just as in psychotherapy analyst and analysand are able to be both subject and object as they reflect on their desires, identities and wishes. Co-creation also acknowledges consumers’ subjectivity, which is inherently idiosyncratic, contextual and experience-based.

Co-creation facilitates the relationship between customer and company, while creating shared meaning and a common sense of purpose. Since the free, ‘safe’ and unhindered space is not normally available in social environments, such as formal organisations, co-creation is driven by facilitation. By staging encounters (both off- and online), facilitators foster the transitional space necessary for cocreativity to unfold and succeed.

2 Co-creation as decision-making processes

Co-creation can also be understood as a decision-making support system in which the customer becomes involved in decision-making geared towards
the co-creation of (future) value. The customer has to be provided with a space in which he can make his/her own decisions. At the same time, the firm has to learn from naturally occurring group decision-making processes, as well as from the contexts in which these occur.

Ultimately, decision-making is a key process relating to how perceptions are formed and how experience is rendered by and among customers. These decisions result not just in experiences, but representations of information and knowledge reproduced and ‘owned’ by the consumer.
How co-creation can create decision markets involving vast numbers of networked consumers needs further exploration.

Intellectual Lineage of Co-creation as Collaborative Innovation between Firm and Customers

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