Revisiting the Value Chain: An Examination of Customer-As-Provider Co-Creating Value in High-Tech Companies




Arabie, Hope

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For the past several decades, corporate leaders have used the traditional value chain, popularized by Porter, to describe and examine value creation inside their companies. However, since its creation, the business world has changed dramatically. The economy has gone from a largely product-based economy to a more service-oriented economy. As a result, some companies are adapting the value chain in order to create value in new ways. One industry in particular where companies are making adaptations to the traditional value chain is the high-technology industry. In this industry, companies have found that they can use its existing customers to co-create unique value. This thesis explores the concept of value co-creation in the high-technology industry more closely to uncover differences and similarities across companies that engage in this activity. I have compared and contrasted two large, well-known, public companies within the high-technology industry. I chose to focus specifically on the marketing and service segments of the value chain to examine how companies can co-create value with their customers. Using a qualitative research approach, I found information pertaining to these segments of the value chain by examining the web-based communities of these two companies. In my research, I have found that both companies approach value co-creation differently and that the traditional value chain may be outdated for these two companies. I introduce a new model for value co-creation as a result of my research, and provide a number of suggestions for how companies interested in value co-creation in the high-technology industry can create value through online communities.



value chain, customer-as-provider, co-creation, value, co-valuation, high-technology, value chain model, end-customer, customer-company relationship, Honors College


Arabie, H. (2019). Revisiting the value chain: An examination of customer-as-provider co-creating value in high-tech companies (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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