Orchestrating value co-creation in online communities as fluid organisations: firm roles and value creation mechanisms

Diah Priharsari, Babak Abedin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The lack of authority of the sponsoring firm in online communities raises questions about how to orchestrate members of an online community in value co-creation. Hence, this study aims to examine how online communities co-create value with community members. The authors draw upon service-dominant logic (SDL) to study two comparable, and yet different, Indonesian firm-sponsored online communities.

Design/methodology/approach: The authors build on an earlier systematic literature review and triangulate it with semi-structured interviews of 28 community members and content analysis of over 35,000 online comments. The data collection was conducted from February to October 2018.

Findings: The findings revealed that (1) value co-creation in online communities is orchestrated through the fluidity of the online community, which is represented by three mechanisms: consensus-making, consensus settlement and changing boundaries, and (2) the mechanisms can be conditioned by switching firm roles (as a co-creator and facilitator).

Research limitations/implications: The study has enriched the body of knowledge in fluid organisations by explicating three mechanisms, consensus-making, consensus settlement and changing boundaries, that explain the coordination efforts between individuals who have options to participate or not and changing boundaries, that reveals actors' responses in online communities. The mechanisms demonstrate the dynamics of a service ecosystem.

Originality/value: This study offers valuable insights into how sponsoring firms orchestrate value creation in online communities where they do not have full control of participants' reactions. The authors hereby contribute to enriching the understanding of co-creating value with customers in a fluid organisation, such as online communities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalInformation Technology and People
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Nov 2021


  • Fluid organisation
  • Value co-creation
  • Value facilitation


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