University of Oulu

Lassila, E., Heikka, E.-L. and Nätti, S. (2023), "Supporting value co-creation through interaction during the pre-purchase customer journey: empirical evidence from B2B HR services", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 38 No. 13, pp. 63-73.

Supporting value co-creation through interaction during the pre-purchase customer journey : empirical evidence from B2B HR services

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Author: Lassila, Elina1; Heikka, Eija-Liisa1; Nätti, Satu1
Organizations: 1Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-08-25


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the role of interaction in supporting value co-creation during pre-purchase customer journey stages when selling professional B-to-B services. First, value co-creation in professional service firms (PSFs) is reviewed, and, second, the role of interaction in the different stages of a customer’s pre-purchase journey is explored, specifically in the context of B-to-B human resource management services.

Design/methodology/approach: Qualitative, semi-structured interview data was collected from potential B2B customers of a PSF in question, providing a broad coverage of prospective clients in architecture, engineering and IT sector.

Findings: In general, the findings of this study indicate that interaction plays a crucial role in pre-purchasing stages of a customer journey. In particular, these findings form understanding of how various interaction channels and content support PSF’s ability to co-create value with its prospects.

Originality/value: The existing research tends to concentrate on how value is created for existing customers, and far less attention has been paid to the perspective of prospects. This study contributes theoretically by providing novel insights into the current literature on value co-creation in PSFs by providing an understanding of how interactions in pre-purchase phases affect the co-creation of value from the perspective of prospects, which is a less researched viewpoint. Empirically, this study offers managers much-needed, context-specific knowledge of PSFs by comparing differences and pulling together similarities from each customer journey stage of PSF prospects.

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Series: Journal of business & industrial marketing
ISSN: 0885-8624
ISSN-E: 2052-1189
ISSN-L: 0885-8624
Volume: 38
Issue: 13
Pages: 63 - 73
DOI: 10.1108/JBIM-12-2021-0552
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Copyright information: © Elina Lassila, Eija-Liisa Heikka and Satu Nätti. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. 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 licence may be seen at