Scope of the paper is improving our understanding of ‘value co-creation’, one of the cornerstones of the Service-Dominant (S-D) logic, which is focused on the undertaking of specific human interactive forms; to accomplish this goals the paper analyzes several organization theories’ insights, and specifically configuration theory, structuration theory, effectuation theory and governance theory. These organizational theories, indeed, can be used to explain the nature of human collaboration within dyadic and/or network-based interactions. Specifically, by adopting a particular systems theory perspective known as the ‘viable systems approach’ this paper purports to integrate these theoretical perspectives, and thus provides insight into the nature of interactions required in the value co-creation process. The paper starts by addressing the literature-based shift from ‘value creation’ to ‘value co-creation,’ and the conceptual complexity associated with the co-creation process. Next, the four organizational theories (i.e., configuration theory, structuration theory, effectuation theory, and governance theory), which examine specific issues of collaboration are briefly discussed. Third, the paper’s interpretative lens, the ‘viable systems approach,’ is introduced and linked to the four organizational theories for the purpose of deriving implications for value co-creation. Finally, the paper closes with a short conclusion. Moreover, a glossary of key terms used in the paper is provided in the Appendix.
Keywords: Value co-creation; configuration theory, structuration theory, effectuation theory, governance theory, viable systems approach.