The Impact of Customer Participation on Customer and Firm Outcomes

  • Katharina Kils

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The objective of this thesis is to develop a better understanding of the impact of customer participation on customer and firm outcome variables. Customer participation relates to the customer being active in the production, delivery, maintenance or recovery stage of the core offering of the firm. The findings in literature are inconclusive, with some research finding a positive impact of customer participation on outcomes and other research finding negative results. Therefore, a meta-analysis was conducted for this thesis with the purpose of studying the effect customer participation exerts on customer and firm outcomes. Furthermore, moderators are tested regarding their impact on the
customer participation — outcome link. Key findings are that overall, customer
participation is a beneficial strategy for customer and firm and generally should be used. The moderators tested only further strengthen or weaken the positive impact of the marketing strategy on outcomes. It is a good strategy for firms to force customers into participating and for firm performance variables it is beneficial for firms to make use of technology in customer participation situations. However, attention needs to be paid to employees, as customer participation seems to increase an employee’s job stress. Additionally, firms need to ensure that customers do not feel exploited when being involved in customer participation and clearly communicate the benefits so that the customer’s perceived justice / fairness is enhanced.
Date of AwardSept 2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHeiner Evanschitzky (Supervisor), David Gilliland (Supervisor) & Neil Shepherd (Supervisor)


  • Participating Customers
  • marketing strategies
  • trade off situations

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