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Making Inconsistent Worlds: A Conceptual Framework For Co-competition

Jacob L. Hiler, Laurel Aynne Cook, William Magnus Northington

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Purpose This paper aims to investigate the phenomenon of co-competition, within service-dominant logic, whereby multiple parties with mutually exclusive goals compete for the rights to co-create with a firm. Design/methodology/approach Within the context of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, the paper uses a naturalistic inquiry approach guided by the core objectives of qualitative research provided by Belk et al. (2012). These objectives include understanding the construct of study, the antecedents and consequences of what is being studied and, finally, the process used by the consumer during the phenomena. Additionally, the results are presented within an idiographic framework. Findings This study finds that co-competition arises when heterogeneous segments of consumers attempt different co-creation strategies with the firm, an overlooked dark side of co-creation and co-production of value. Additionally, the study finds evidence that co-competition may have led to co-destruction of value for both consumer parties and the firm. Originality/value The outcomes of this process could have significant financial and reputational impacts for the firm resultant from alienating both types of consumers competing for the rights to co-create. The conceptual framework established here provides a guide through which further investigation of co-creative forces can occur.