Every Piece Matters: Technology and Service Integration for Individual Empowerment

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Individual well-being is increasingly important to examine in a techno-society driven by constant digital innovation and platforms. It may be easy to overlook the individual in a fast-paced marketplace driven by automated solutions and efficiency. However, a rising interest in consumer health and well-being is evident from both researchers and practitioners, such as in service and marketing research. Indeed, individual empowerment for well-being and the self-management of health is at the heart of recent trends like health promotion and current agendas for healthcare integration. But how does individual empowerment relate to personal technologies and to broader service systems where providers leverage new technology and incessantly innovate? This doctoral dissertation addresses this question by positioning individual empowerment as the center piece and launching a multi-level inquiry on how technologically driven services can be developed to support individuals in the context of their health and well-being.
Three studies are conducted to explore relevant socio-technical phenomena, starting from the individual level, and moving to the social, service, and wider platform ecosystem (PE) levels. Therein, two health and well-being contexts are studied - self-tracking (ST) and integrated care (IC) -, both promising individual empowerment with personal sensing technologies that may potentially connect to digital platforms. The first study is a semistructured literature review of ST empowerment clarifying how ST can be both empowering and disempowering. The second study, an integrative review, conceptualizes upcoming socio-technical platform solutions that support the coordination of care and help address the fragmentation of chronic care services. The third study extends this context with a qualitative study in Finland - it explores the enabling requirements and the barriers potentially impeding PE emergence.
The dissertation is multi-disciplinary and contributes to literature in marketing and service research, health management, and strategic management. Taken together, the studies provide researchers and practitioners with a socio-technical understanding of tech-driven empowerment and of multi-level dynamics giving equal credence to individual, social, organizational, and systemic levels for the architecture and orchestration of distributed organizations that feature multi-provider service integration. The title “Every Piece Matters” points to the interdependence of these layers with the emergence of complex, empowering service systems requiring alignment of several interrelated pieces.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
  • Heinonen, Kristina, Supervisor
  • Ciuchita, Robert, Supervisor
Award date31.08.2023
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Print ISBNs978-952-232-495-5
Electronic ISBNs978-952-232-496-2
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • 512 Business and Management
  • technology
  • ecosystem
  • platforms
  • integrated care
  • orchestration
  • empowerment
  • service marketing


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