Customer participation management: Developing a comprehensive framework and a research agenda

Mekhail Mustak, Elina Jaakkola, Aino Halinen, Valtteri Kaartemo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


Management of customer participation (CP) in service production and delivery is of critical concern for service managers, as CP can result in various positive but also negative outcomes. However, an integrated understanding on how service providers can manage CP is still missing. The purpose of this paper is to gather and synthesize the extant knowledge on the constituents of CP management into a comprehensive framework, and to offer an extensive agenda for future research.

A systematic literature review of existing research is conducted. A total of 181 journal articles are analyzed in five steps: attaining basic understanding, coding, categorization, comparison, and further analysis.

The authors provide identification and categorizations of the customer inputs, their antecedents, the management approaches, and the outcomes of CP. To date, CP management has been addressed from three distinct perspectives: human resource management that treats customers as partial employees; operations management that focusses on customer functioning during the service process; and marketing that highlights the roles and value outcomes for customers.

Research limitations/implications
The authors call for further research that addresses the relationships between the antecedents, customer inputs, management approaches, and outcomes of CP, and argue for extension of contextual diversity. The detailed research agenda provided is helpful for interested researchers.

Practical implications
The study offers managerial insights on how the degree and quality of CP can be improved by applying the various management methods examined in academic research.

As the first comprehensive review on this topic, this paper brings together the dispersed knowledge on CP, integrates it into a comprehensive framework of CP management, and paves the way for future focussed research.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Service Management
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)250-275
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Service management
  • Literature review
  • Co-production
  • Customer parcipation

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management


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