The role of symbols in value cocreation

Melissa Archpru Akaka, Daniela Corsaro, Carol Kelleher, Paul P. Maglio, Yuri Seo, Robert F. Lusch, Stephen L. Vargo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


This article explores the role of symbols in value cocreation in order to develop a deeper understanding of how actors communicate, interact, and reconcile perspectives as they integrate and exchange resources to create value for themselves and for others. We draw on a service ecosystems approach to value cocreation and propose a conceptual framework that highlights varying views of value and articulates the way in which value cocreation results from the integration of resources and interactions among multiple actors. We argue that symbols guide actors in enacting particular practices that enable the cocreation of shared meanings, which help actors determine the value of current and future interactions. In this way, symbols support the coordination of interaction, the communication of information, the integration of resources, and the evaluation of value, among actors. We provide an empirical example of our conceptual framework as supporting evidence for the role of symbols in value cocreation and point toward directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-326
Number of pages16
JournalMarketing Theory
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Institutions
  • practices
  • service ecosystems
  • service-dominant logic
  • symbol systems
  • value cocreation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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