Value co-creation within the digital divide : how organizations can co-create value to maintain and attract older adults as their customers
Abstract: Digitalization has made it possible for organizations to propose value to their customers through digital services. Meanwhile, due to digital development, the digital divide has increased in society, since many older adults do not know how to use the proposed digital services. The purpose of this study was to investigate the challenges and dilemmas that older adults face within digital services and how organizations can co-create value with older adults to maintain them and attract them as their customers. This study aimed to analyze existing data, but also to embrace new findings, therefore, an abductive approach has been used. Seven interviews were accomplished, one with the head of sales development at our case organization Skånetrafiken, and six interviews with older adults, who contributed with their thoughts about the digitalization, digital services, and value. The digital divide does not only depend on the digitalization but also that older adults feel forgotten as customers since they do not follow with the digital development, which leads to older adults not knowing how to use digital services. Organizations may co-create value with older adults through a change of mindset, education, information, and interaction. Moreover, this may lead to that organizations attract and maintain older adults as their customers, meanwhile minimize the digital divide. The context of this study has a few limitations that may affect trustworthiness. Firstly, only one region was taken into consideration. Secondly, this study could have contained more participants in interviews with older adults. Lastly, due to Covid-19, there was no possibility of having physical interviews, which set limits for reading body language and facial expressions. However, future researchers may consider these limitations and hopefully can contribute to more research on this widespread topic. Although the findings are related to the cases of older adults and Skånetrafiken, this study contributes with original insights into the field of the digital divide, older adults, and value co-creation.
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