Based on the relevance of ICTs in actor engagement, current work aims at exploring the role of engagement platforms in fostering value co-creation and service improvement. According to Service-dominant logic and Service ecosystems view, TheFork - an application for restaurant booking - is reinterpreted as a service ecosystem embedded in a broader ecosystem. Some key dimensions of TheFork as a service ecosystem (actors, technology, resource integration, institutions) are proposed and then employed as macro-areas for the elaboration of an interview administered to a sample of restaurateurs in Salerno, Italy. Therefore, the key dimensions of the platform and the potential interaction among these elements for co-creating new values and new service features are analysed. The results of the empirical research reveal the lack of the adoption of an all-encompassing and strategic use and management of TheFork as a key lever fostering value co-creation and service improvement. Moreover, resource integration is prevented due to user’s and provider’s negative attitude that can be redefined as an antecedent of co-destruction behaviours. The identification of the main co-creation practices involved in the use of TheFork can contribute to the development of both ICTs and service research. The adoption of a meta-level (analysis of the single elements and of the interactions among them) can lead to bridge the gap between theory and practice in the study of real value co-creation activities. Additionally, detecting the existence of co-destruction practices can establish a research agenda for further studies analysing the difference between value co-creation and co-destruction and the main factors obstructing value co-creation.
Keywords: Service-dominant logic, service ecosystems, ICTs, value co-creation, institutions, technology, resource integration.