Personal Stories

Disclosing Shared Value in Business Ecosystems

Any holistic user experience – especially when designing for ‘transformation’ – should create shared value. That means: Solutions for users do not only have to be aligned and negotiated with the economic realities of the service provider, but also with its attached partner ecosystem and society in general. The clever and resilient configuration of “value flows” in business ecosystems will therefore more and more become a prerequisite for the development and delivery of truly “new” and complex value propositions (e.g. service design for health care, environmental matters, etc.).

A problem however is: Everyone talks about “shared value creation” (especially since Michael Porter made the concept famous). Yet only a few people so far have developed practical and/or theoretical approaches that help you tackle occurring trade-offs (e.g. “superior user value a.k.a. desirability” +/vs. “feasible technology” + “financial viability” +/vs. “responsible eco-footprint”) when trying to either find the »sweet spot between all of them« – or better – finding creative resolutions that makes our conception of mutual exclusiveness obsolete.

I personally believe that a good starting point is to develop a holistic and clear understanding of what actually “value” is, how the staging of user/actor experiences contribute to its perception and on what levels it can be experienced by the different actors (e.g. of a business ecosystem). Knowing this may also give first hints on how to master the delicate balance/resolution of fore-mentioned trade-offs for the creation of new offerings with service-market-fit AND benefits for society/environment .

Some nice literature on the topic

Ng, I. C. L., & Smith, L. A. (2012). An Integrative Framework of Value. Review of Marketing Research, 9, 207–243. Cite

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