Milk, Moon and Money: A Qualitative Exploration of Value-Co-creation in the UK's Milk Home Delivery Business

Hoerger, Christian (2021) Milk, Moon and Money: A Qualitative Exploration of Value-Co-creation in the UK's Milk Home Delivery Business. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/CV22RE36

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10712 HOERGER Christian (2021) Milk, Moon and Money - A Qualitative Exploration of Value-Co-creation in the UK's Milk Home Delivery Business - Accessible.pdf - Accepted Version
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This exploratory research is a practical attempt to contribute to ongoing discussions in the domain of Service-Dominant-logic (S-D-logic) first presented by Vargo and Lusch in the article ‘Evolving to a new dominant logic for marketing’ in the Journal of Marketing (2004). It considers the value-co-creation of the actors involved in an asynchronous, repetitive interaction process. Aim/Research objective: The purpose of this research is to understand the interaction process within the service context of UK milkmen, a traditional, regular milk home delivery service to Britain’s doorsteps at night. The research contributes to the current understanding and interpretation of value-co-creation methodologically and theoretically. The methodological contribution results from the use of an ethnographic approach to researching value-co-creation in a traditional home delivery service. Theoretically, the aspects of time, place, and asynchronous interactions are linked with the existing knowledge on value-co-creation. Methodology: The study is based on an inductive approach exploring the subjective meaning of the research context. Based on an interpretivist perspective, this thesis uses ethnographic fieldwork consisting of my observations of service providers (= milkmen) and semi-structured interviews with service users (= customers). Furthermore, customers’ online feedback is used to reflect on their perceptions of the value proposition offered by the milkmen. These various data sets are analysed by applying Kuckartz’s (2014) qualitative text analysis approach. Results: This thesis applies Vargo and Lusch’s theoretical framework of S-D-logic to the milk home delivery service. Through this, it becomes transparent that (reliable) rhythms, (contextual) romanticisation and (interactive) relationships are implicit coordination mechanisms to the value proposition that is offered by the milkmen and subjectively perceived by their customers. The impact of those elements on value-co-creation becomes even more relevant if they are based on mutual projections, reflections, and individual understandings of the commonly shared place of customers’ doorsteps, at the specific time of interaction. Contribution: This research offers methodological and conceptual contributions to the ongoing discussion in services marketing. The methodological contribution arises chiefly from the ethnographical approach of accessing the field and gathering data. Conceptually, the asynchronous process of interactions between milkmen and their customers on Britain’s doorsteps by night presents, on a micro-level, insightful knowledge on the relevance of place and time in value-co-creation. Additionally, other relevant phenomena impacting the subjective value conceptualisations of the parties involved becomes transparent. Hence, this thesis does reveals the underlying mechanisms, by which value is co-created in an iconic business.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Milkman; Home delivery; S-D-logic; Value-co-creation; Ethnographic fieldwork; Joint sphere; Rhythms; Romanticisation; Relationships
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5410 Marketing
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5428 Retail Trade
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2022 12:32
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2024 15:10

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