Jungle of “co”

Kaisa Koskela-Huotari, Pirjo Fredrich, Minna Isomursu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


In this paper we examine the concepts used to describe the collaboration between different actors (e.g. customer and service provider) in the context of service innovation. Today, several concepts exist related to this phenomenon that all include the prefix “co” (such as cocreation, co-production and co-design). These “co-concepts” are often mixed up and used in a confusing manner in both the academic and managerial discussions. The idea for this paper stems from the experiences of three researchers who all examine collaboration in the context of service innovation, but come from different disciplinary backgrounds and have repeatedly faced the challenge related to the ambiguity of the terminology. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to bring forth the existing confusion related to the “co-concepts”, examine their background and provide clarifications for the used terminology in the context of collaborative service innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationService Dominant Logic, Network and Systems Theory and Service Science
Subtitle of host publicationIntegrating three Perspectives for a New Service Agenda
EditorsE. Gummesson, C. Mele, F. Polese
Place of PublicationNapoli
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
EventThe Naples Forum on Service - Ischia, Italy
Duration: 18 Jun 201321 Jun 2013


ConferenceThe Naples Forum on Service


  • Co-creation
  • co-production
  • co-design


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