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Engaging Ideas

Collaborating for Value

How organizations and customers create value together

This Engaging Idea explores how innovation and value are most effectively fostered through joint partnerships among firms, customers and other stakeholders.


Melissa Archpru Akaka


Melissa Archpru Akaka is Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Denver's Daniels College of Business. She studies how value is co-created through interactions among firms, customers and other market stakeholders. In addition, she explores how value emerges through customer experiences, which are influenced by the actions and interactions among multiple stakeholders, and a wide array of socio-historic forces.

Professor Akaka also co-directs the college's new Consumer Insights and Business Innovation Center (CiBiC), an interdisciplinary research center established for the study of human behavior with an emphasis on market-driven results.



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Questions for personal reflection or group discussion

  1. In general, collaboration is working together toward a common desired outcome, why is it sometimes difficult for us to consider it as a viable strategy for innovation?
  2. The value co-creation approach taken in these videos suggests that value is always co-created, but we are only now beginning to understand the importance of this process. Do you agree or disagree with the idea that value is always co-created? Why?
  3. Collaboration and co-creation are discussed in these videos as distinct, but related concepts. What is the difference between collaboration and co-creation and what is the relationship between the two?
  4. How can this approach to innovation help to solve a problem you are currently facing?
  5. It seems there are many potential benefits to collaboration. Why, then, is it so difficult for collaboration to happen within and across organizations? What are some risks or negative outcomes that might occur?

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