Value cocreation in service ecosystems Investigating health care at the micro, meso, and macro levels

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Gabriela Beirão
Lia Patrício
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to understand value cocreation in service ecosystems from a multilevel perspective, uncovering value cocreation factors and outcomes at the micro, meso, and macro levels. Design/methodology/approach - A Grounded Theory approach based on semi-structured interviews is adopted. The sample design was defined to enable the ecosystem analysis at its different levels. At the macro level was the Portuguese Health Information ecosystem. Embedded meso level units of analysis comprised eight health care organizations. A total of 48 interviews with citizens and health care practitioners were conducted at the micro level. Findings - Study results enable a detailed understanding of the nature and dynamics of value cocreation in service ecosystems from a multilevel perspective. First, value cocreation factors are identified (resource access, resource sharing, resource recombination, resource monitoring, and governance/institutions generation). These factors enable actors to integrate resources in multiple dynamic interactions to cocreate value outcomes, which involve both population well-being and ecosystem viability. Study results show that these value cocreation factors and outcomes differ across levels, but they are also embedded and interdependent. Practical implications - The findings have important implications for organizations that are ecosystem actors (like the Portuguese Ministry of Health) for understanding synergies among value cocreation factors and outcomes at the different levels. This provides orientations to better integrate different actor roles, technology, and information while facilitating ecosystem coordination and co-evolution. Originality/value - This study responds to the need for a multilevel understanding of value cocreation in service ecosystems. It also illuminates how keystone players in the ecosystem should manage their value propositions to promote resource integration for each actor, fostering resource density and ecosystem viability. It also bridges the high-level conceptual perspective of Service-Dominant logic with specific empirical findings in the very important context of health care.