Purpose – This paper aims to demonstrate how psychological safety influences individual contributions in customer groups where multiple customers co‐create a service experience. It also shows the influence of other customers' contributions on an individual customer's own contribution to the service experience as well as the individual customer's perception of his/her own and of other customers' contributions toward service satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach – This empirical research paper is based on structural equation modelling to examine customer group experiences of two different service providers, a white water rafting company and an indoor soccer company. Data from a survey of a combined total of 273 consumers were utilised to test the research model. Findings – The results demonstrate that, on an aggregate level, psychological safety affects an individual customer's perception of his/her own and others' contributions to a service experience. The findings show that the contributions of others have a significant influence on one's own contribution. No influence or relationship could be found regarding one's own contribution and service satisfaction; however, other customers' contributions have a negative effect on an individual's service satisfaction. The results vary on a subsample level. Research limitations/implications – The generalisability of the findings is limited to two customer group services, one group sport experience and one group leisure experience. Practical implications – This research provides insights for service firms with respect to managing the provider‐to‐multi‐customer co‐creation interface. Originality/value – This article contributes to the analysis of co‐creation efforts of individuals in groups with respect to a specific environment (psychological safety). It adds value to the discussion of factors that influence the partial creation of a service by individuals while interacting with one another and the impact on the perceived outcome. The paper provides a platform for further research on aspects of co‐creation in customer groups.
Managing Service Quality – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 15, 2011
Keywords: Customer groups; Service experience; Psychological safety; Contribution; Satisfaction; Customers; Group behaviour
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