Value co-destruction: problems and solutions

Matthew Alexander, Niklas Vallström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


The concept of value co-creation (VCC) is central to service-dominant logic (SDL) and forms its second axiom, namely that “Value is cocreated by multiple actors, always including the beneficiary” (Vargo & Lusch, 2016, p.8). In parallel with the evolution of VCC in SDL, the term “value co-destruction” (VCD) has also emerged within the services and marketing literature (Echeverri & Skålén, 2011; Plé & Cáceres, 2010). Value co-destruction is pitched as a reverse concept to VCC—another side of the same coin (Plé, 2017)—capturing how interactions, practices, and resource integrations between actors might have negative impacts on value formation. Research on VCD has both expanded and fragmented (Echeverri & Skålén, 2021), but the concept has not been subject to the same scrutiny as VCC. In this article, we question the logic underpinning VCD conceptualization and problematize its use. We articulate three specific problems: first, the need to view VCC as a normative statement; second, a logical flaw in how VCD captures negative outcomes; and third, an issue with the “co” in co-destruction. We offer two solutions for researchers in this area: first, given that VCC is representative of a metatheory, we present mid-range theories as providing opportunities for exploring the role of valence in interactive service experiences; second, we identify literature that presents a continuum of contrasting negative and positive value outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-210
Number of pages11
JournalAMS Review
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2023


  • value
  • value co-creation
  • value co-destruction
  • service-dominant logic
  • customer engagement
  • mid-range theory


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