Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Hanken School of Economics

No 545: Activityscape Mapping: Consumer Activity Systems as Service Context

Jacob Mickelsson ()
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Jacob Mickelsson: Hanken School of Economics, Postal: Arkadiankatu 22, P.O.B. 479; FIN 00101 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: Activity systems are the cognitively linked groups of activities that consumers carry out as a part of their daily life. The aim of this paper is to investigate how consumers experience value through their activities, and how services fit into the context of activity systems. A new technique for illustrating consumers’ activity systems is introduced. The technique consists of identifying a consumer’s activities through an interview, then quantitatively measuring how the consumer evaluates the identified activities on three dimensions: Experienced benefits, sacrifices and frequency. This information is used to create a graphical representation of the consumer’s activity system, an “activityscape map”. Activity systems work as infrastructure for the individual consumer’s value experience. The paper contributes to value and service literature, where there currently are no clearly described standardized techniques for visually mapping out individual consumer activity. Existing approaches are service- or relationship focused, and are mostly used to identify activities, not to understand them. The activityscape representation provides an overview of consumers’ perceptions of their activity patterns and the position of one or several services in this pattern. Comparing different consumers’ activityscapes, it shows the differences between consumers' activity structures, and provides insight into how services are used to create value within them. The paper is conceptual; an empirical illustration is used to indicate the potential in further empirical studies. The technique can be used by businesses to understand contexts for service use, which may uncover potential for business reconfiguration and customer segmentation.

Keywords: Service; value; activityscape; consumer activity systems; service-in-context; value-in-context

27 pages, December 2, 2009

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