Exploring consumers' motivations to engage in innovation through co-creation activities

Deborah Roberts*, Mathew Hughes, Kia Kertbo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to explore what factors motivate consumers to engage in co-creation innovation activities. The authors propose that motivations differ across types of activities, whether working independently, as part of a community or directly with the firm. They offer theoretical explanations as to why this might be the case. Design/methodology/approach: Adopting an exploratory research design, the study consists of a series of online interviews with participants in the gaming and video games industry. Findings: Motivations appear to differ across types of co-creation efforts. Innovating independently of the firm appears to be driven by egocentric motives; innovating as part of a community appears to be driven by altruistic motives; and innovating directly in collaboration with the firm appears to be driven by opportunity- (or goal-)related motives. Practical implications: Understanding the factors that motivate consumers to engage in co-creation activities enables firms to strategically manage their co-creation relationships and innovation processes. Originality/value: The study shows that although motivations diverge across types of co-creation activities, a set of common motivators exist that underpin engagement regardless of the form of co-creation. However, these overarching motivators differ in how they can be successfully used towards co-creation. The study draws on theories of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, tension-reducing, self-efficacy and expectancy theories, to explain why differences persist. This enables researchers to consider how value might be optimised across varying forms of co-creation, and build better studies into the management and performance implications of consumer value co-creation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-169
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Consumers
  • Innovation
  • Motivation theory
  • Social exchange theory
  • Value co-creation

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