A Classification Schema of Co-production of Goods: An Open-Systems Perspective

Publication Date


Document Type



Fernando R. Jiménez, Kevin E. Voss, Gary L. Frankwick, (2013) "A classification schema of co-production of goods: an open-systems perspective", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 47 Issue: 11/12, pp.1841-1858, https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-09-2011-0459


Purpose – A growing body of literature reveals that the domain of customer co-production of goods is expansive. Many research articles in the area of co-production of goods, however, have focused on specific sub-areas within the larger domain. One result of these multiple lines of inquiry is that they establish overlapping construct names and definitions. The purpose of this article is to propose a classification schema of customer co-production of goods based on general systems theory (GST).

Design/methodology/approach – A logical partitioning approach was employed.

Findings – A classification schema of co-production of goods is derived from two criteria: the nature of the customer’s input and the customer’s autonomy. The classification suggests six sub-areas of co-production of goods: restricted co-manufacturing, unrestricted co-manufacturing, co-ideation, co-design, mass customization, and participation loop.

Practical implications – The distinction of activities involving co-production of goods guides practitioners in the generalization of research findings and the selection of participation opportunities for their customers.

Originality/value – This study proposes the first classification schema of co-production activities resulting in tangible goods. The classification reduces the overlap of constructs and definitions, defines the domain of co-production of goods, aids in the construction of nomological networks, and delimits generalizations drawn from empirical research. The authors recommend that researchers interested in co-production of goods should use the schema to guide their theory development and empirical research designs.