Creating more value in services

In our service economy we create value together.
Integrating  ecosystem services can create more value.

Services differ from products when it comes to value creation. Unique to services is that value is always co-created between the service provider and the customer. In the service industry, suppliers and customers think continuously about improving the process of value creation to remain competitive in a long term perspective.

This month a new scientific article (Matthies et al., 2016) came online which proposes that in a modern service approach we should include ecosystem services as well. Ecosystem services are the benefits we all obtain from ecosystems defined as networks of interactions among organisms, and between organisms and their environment. The ecosystems in the world provide us with clean air, clean water, food and a healthy climate. The ecosystems can be classified in four categories: supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural.

ecosystem-services-diagram Source:

To create more value in services, suppliers and customers can perhaps evaluate more explicitely how their service contributes and/or encumbers to the ecosystem services. To make such an evaluation it can be helpful to find out what the sustainability attitude (Zoeteman, 2013) is of the supplier and the customer.

Norbert Bol


Jacobs, S., Dendoncker, N., & Keune, H. (Eds.). (2013). Ecosystem services: global issues, local practices. Elsevier.

Matthies, B. D., D’Amato, D., Berghäll, S., Ekholm, T., Hoen, H. F., Holopainen, J., … & Valsta, L. (2016, in press, corrected proof). An Ecosystem Service-Dominant Logic?–Integrating the ecosystem service approach and the service-dominant logic. Journal of Cleaner Production.

Zoeteman, B. C. (2013). What is behind the leadership shift in sustainable development from politicians to CEOs?. Environmental Development, 8, 113-130.

Photo credit: autan via / CC BY-NC-ND



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s