An ethnographic study of value co-creation in the student experience

Farrier-Williams, E. ORCID: 0000-0001-8856-8597, 2019. An ethnographic study of value co-creation in the student experience. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Following changes in the sector, interest in the value of the higher education experience has undergone a recent and rapid increase in interest from both scholars and practitioners. Similarly, understandings of ‘student engagement’ have been the focus of much research and institutional strategic thought. Despite this attention, higher education research has only narrowly attempted to explain how student engagement and value co-creation are related. This thesis explores the student perspective on value co-creation via the mid-range theory of student engagement experience and Service Dominant Logic (SDL) as metatheory.

This thesis does not aim to argue for the student-as-consumer perspective; however, it does suggest that adopting a marketing-focused approach can provide insight that both supports a student-centred view and is relevant to understanding value co-creation from a user position. Therefore, this thesis draws on both general marketing and marketing in higher education literature to develop a conceptual framework that seeks to explain value cocreation through the student engagement experience. The thesis pursues three objectives that focus on this area, each of which plays an important role exploring the value co-creation process:

1. To identify the main actors contributing to the undergraduate student engagement experience and to evaluate the nature of significance of that contribution.

2. To explain and illustrate how value can be co-created in the student undergraduate engagement experience.

3. To surface student perspectives on value in the undergraduate student engagement experience.

Deploying a philosophical framework incorporating interpretivism and subjectivism, this thesis reports on an ethnographic study of the student experience. Using this novel methodological approach, the researcher was able to immerse herself into the student social and learning environment and gather in-depth data describing the student experience via a range of both people and environments. Through an extensive analysis, this thesis identifies and describes the university ecosystem, recognising key actors and the contexts that students engage with. It then explains the significance of how this engagement interacts with and supports the value co-creation process. This thesis also identifies student perceived benefits, offering a rich insight into the student perspective of value creation from their engagement experiences. Following a discussion that relates the three objectives to study outcomes and to the extant literature, a further analysis is developed that illustrates the student experience journey and highlights the critical co-creation points that arise. This then leads on to a concluding discussion that takes this further longitudinal perspective into account.

The major contribution to knowledge of this thesis is to explain the development of value co-creation through engagement and resource integration in the student experience. There are three key contributions to theory;

1. Revealing the nature of student engagement in the university ecosystem and its relationships with value co-creation.

2. Exploring the relationship between engagement and the student value cocreation journey.

3. Adopting a methodological approach that offers an especially nuanced/ complex understanding of the student engagement and value co-creation experience.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Farrier-Williams, E.
Date: September 2019
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 08 Jul 2020 13:40
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2021 10:16

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