Title: Towards a theory of integrated empowerment: a service ecosystems agenda for future

Authors: Milind A. Mandlik; Djavlonbek Kadirov

Addresses: Department of Marketing, University of Auckland, Auckland 1010, New Zealand ' The School of Marketing and International Business, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Abstract: This paper broadens the current understanding of the empowerment phenomenon within the service ecosystems framework. We reviewed and critically analysed extant literature on empowerment theory and noted that the micro-level conceptualisation of empowerment heavily relies on forms of power grab/power share/power transfer to achieve outcomes of power symmetry, also called the state of empowerment. We go beyond current understanding of empowerment as a micro-level (enabling) phenomenon, proposing and arguing for a macro-level conceptualisation, coined integrated empowerment, in which each entity/participant within a given ecosystem is imparted with the required autonomy (power) to participate in a way that enhances overall health of the service ecosystem. Integrated empowerment creates/constructs episodes of service provisioning, and service provisioning is only possible because of integrated empowerment. This paper prompts future research exploring the concept of integrated empowerment and contributes to current understanding of the empowerment phenomenon and its integral role in service provisioning.

Keywords: consumer empowerment; integrated empowerment; service ecosystems; service dominant logic.

DOI: 10.1504/IJQRS.2020.109705

International Journal of Qualitative Research in Services, 2020 Vol.4 No.1, pp.56 - 76

Received: 02 Aug 2019
Accepted: 21 Oct 2019

Published online: 21 Sep 2020 *

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