An Exploration of Co-Creation in the Knowledge Economy: Conceptualization, Measurement, and Consequences

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Embargoed until 2024-07-31
Copyright: Yu, Ava
This thesis reports three interrelated studies of co-creation (CC) in the services domain, with special reference to higher education and the knowledge economy. The first study presents a comprehensive conceptual framework of CC in services based on a scoping review of 272 published papers. The framework draws together knowledge of CC, its antecedents, and consequences, and considers moderating factors and feedback. Derived from the framework are seven key propositions about the CC process. The second study delves deeper into interpreting CC in practice with the help of 54 insiders—students, teachers, and professional staff from Australian higher education institutions. Through a series of interviews and focus groups, the mechanisms of CC are examined to identify some insights hitherto neglected in the literature. Light is cast on the CC continuum, CC evolution, and two layers of the CC feedback loop. We draw attention to several important moderating factors and, as well as noting the positive consequences of CC, we highlight negative outcomes such as co-destruction and reactance. To facilitate further empirical investigation of CC, the third study develops a CC scale. We use the C-OAR-SE approach, which mixes qualitative and quantitative methods in the scale development procedure. Also demonstrated is the application of the new scale in a survey of 697 participants to explore relationships between CC and its consequences. Considered too are the moderating impacts of perceived competition, work experience, class size, and stage of learning. The thesis identifies a comprehensive literature-based framework and a practice-based overview of CC, deepening our conceptual and theoretical understanding of the focal concept. Methodologically, it offers a new CC scale and lends credence to the application of the C- OAR-SE method, providing a tool for future inquiries. Practically, this thesis provides evidence-based guidance for practitioners to leverage CC for better educational service outcomes. Acknowledging the concern of generalizability and unexplored propositions, researchers could extend the empirical investigation of moderators, feedback, negative outcomes, and boundary conditions.
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PhD Doctorate
UNSW Faculty