University of Oulu

Pohjosenperä, T. and Komulainen, H. (2020), "Getting closer by increasing distance: the dynamics of value creation spheres in health care logistics", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 12, pp. 2039-2050.

Getting closer by increasing distance : the dynamics of value creation spheres in health care logistics

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Author: Pohjosenperä, Timo1; Komulainen, Hanna1
Organizations: 1Department of Marketing, Management and International Business, Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-12-23


Purpose: This paper aims to explore the dynamics of value co-creation in the context of health care logistics by focusing on the change in the value creation spheres of a logistics service provider and its customer organization.

Design/methodology/approach: The development of value co-creation between the two organizations was researched through a qualitative case study that focuses on a situation wherein the hospital’s central warehouse was moved to a more distant location. Data consist of the interviews and focus group discussions of both nursing staff and logistics managers before and after the change. The empirical results are reflected to service and value co-creation literature as well as to existing knowledge about health care logistics.

Findings: The new situation compelled the counterparts to plan more structured logistics service procedures, as there was no longer any possibility for nursing staff to pick up urgently needed items from the central warehouse. This strengthened the role of the joint value creation sphere and made it more visible during the change.

Research limitations/implications: The study contributes to the evolving research on health care logistics and connects it to timely service value discussion. This paper proposes that as the physical distance of service facilities increases, the joint co-creation sphere, interestingly, gets widened during the change.

Practical implications: Managerially, the study provides implications for how to develop health-care material logistics to provide more value for both the logistics service providers and their customers.

Social implications: Understanding value co-creation in health care logistics services supports care organizations in developing their processes toward better care for the patients. Thus, health care logistics research facilitates societies and health-care systems to reach their goals in terms of better service and lower costs.

Originality/value: This study presents an up-to-date example of value co-creation in the scarcely researched context of health care logistics.

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Series: Journal of business & industrial marketing
ISSN: 0885-8624
ISSN-E: 2052-1189
ISSN-L: 0885-8624
Volume: 35
Issue: 12
Pages: 2039 - 2050
DOI: 10.1108/JBIM-03-2019-0110
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Funding: The authors acknowledge the support from Business Finland, The Council of Oulu Region, European Union Regional Development Fund and other public and private organizations to two research and development projects during which the empirical material for this study was collected.
Copyright information: © 2020, Timo Pohjosenperä and Hanna Komulainen. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this license may be seen at