Doctoral Dissertation

15.6.2018 M.Sc. Katja Rantala (Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics, Digital Marketing)


15.6.2018 12:00 — 15:00

Location: Mattilanniemi , Agora, Lea Pulkkisen Sali
Release: Professionals in value co-creation through digital healthcare services (Rantala)
M.Sc. Katja Rantala defends her doctoral dissertation in Digital Marketing "Professionals in value co-creation through digital healthcare services”. Opponent Professor Chanaka Jayawardhena (University of Hull) and Custos Professor Heikki Karjaluoto (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.

Digitization is changing the dynamics within the service sector, including healthcare. The customer access to information and new ways of interacting with the customer challenge the traditional service within healthcare featured by information asymmetry and autonomous role of professionals in decision making. Digitization introduces new service concepts and roles of service actors benefiting value cocreation among the service network. Customer actively participates in the digital service process, which sets demand for new approach, behavior and skills of the professional interacting with the customer.

The present discussion around value cocreation lacks research from the service provider’s perspective in the value cocreation process. Further, in relation to digitization of the service there emerges need for focus on the changes imposed on the professionals’ work and interaction with the service network and the customer. As value co-creation is yet rather unexploited concept in healthcare the dissertation contributes to the development of value cocreation theory and concept of service-dominant logic as well as of management literature of healthcare by introducing the professionals’ perspective on value co-creation.

The empirical material for the dissertation come from single case study representing an organization actively involved in enhancing digital healthcare services with a substantial reference value on its field. The data was gathered through expert interviews, focus group interviews and through observations on multiple occasions within the organization providing in-depth understanding for the research phenomenon. The findings of the study increase understanding of the complex healthcare environment facing challenges due digitization in the customer interface. The findings confirm that digitization challenges professionals in their work requiring changes in how the professionals operate with digital service processes and integrate existing service processes with new, digital service processes enabling value co-creation. The digital service may be seen as threat to the professional autonomy and implementing digital service processes requires strong organizational and managerial involvement to ensure value co-creation. As digitization is yet rather unstructured phenomena in healthcare, the results of this dissertation have several managerial implications providing a perspective to ensure digitization and value co-creation in healthcare. 

Keywords: service-dominant logic, healthcare, value cocreation, digitization, eHealth, professionalism, institutionalism, standard work, digital services

Published: Jyväskylä Studies in Business and Economics ISSN 1457-1986;189). Available:

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Katja Rantala


Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics

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