Value propositions as market-shaping devices: A qualitative comparative analysis

Suvi Nenonen*, Kaj Storbacka, Alexey Sklyar, Pennie Frow, Adrian Payne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Forward-looking firms are increasingly viewing markets as malleable and plastic systems that can be influenced. Hence, they are engaging in market-shaping to proactively augment existing business opportunities or to create new ones. One of the recurring themes in the emerging market-shaping literature is the importance of value propositions. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to identify configurations of value proposition characteristics that are effective for focal firms engaging in market-shaping strategies. In our empirical study, we analyze market-shaping actions carried out by 21 case firms using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis. We identify four characteristics of market-shaping value propositions: (1) enhanced resource integration and related support as the core content of market-shaping value propositions, and (2) collaborative value proposing process, (3) systemic and verified value promise, and (4) new representations used in communication as the design characteristics of market-shaping value propositions. Further, we show that even though value propositions can shape markets without displaying all four of these characteristics, none of these characteristics alone can create all the expected outcomes. Hence, we identify distinct configurations of value proposition characteristics that are successful in either changing the elements comprising the market system or inducing an overall system-level market change.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalIndustrial Marketing Management
Pages (from-to)276-290
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Market-shaping
  • Value propositions
  • fsQCA

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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