Sarah Wikner successfully defended her doctoral thesis, titled ”Value co-creation as practice - On a supplier's capabilities in the value generation process" on 21 January 2011.
The thesis is a study of a supplier and four customer companies to determine how suppliers can contribute to their customers’ value creating processes. The results show that different customers integrate the competence of a common supplier into their own processes in different ways. How this occurs, depends on an array of factors. One is the role that the customer and the supplier expect the supplier to play in the relationship. This role is not always explicitly discussed between the parties.
Another factor is that the supplier needs to have well performed processes in order to support the customer. This can be difficult if the corporate culture enhances some processes and neglects others. In fact, it requires more than well-performed processes for the customer to perceive that a supplier differentiates itself from competitors. The key in the customer-supplier interaction is to hold a continuous dialogue on value-in-use, i.e. the value that the customer wants to create with its processes.
Faculty opponent was Professor Björn Axelsson from the Stockholm School of Economics. Examining committee was Professor Tore Strandvik from Hanken School of Economics, Associate Professor Kajsa Hulthén from Chalmers, and Professor Leif Melin from Jönköping International Business School. Chair of the defence was Professor Ethel Brundin, Jönköping International Business School.