Creating sustainable customer value through digitality, Tero Rantala, Juhani Ukko, Minna Saunila, Hanna Puolakoski and Hannu Rantanen
Tero Rantala, Juhani Ukko, Minna Saunila, Hannu Rantanen
LUT School of Engineering Science
LUT University Lahti Campus, Lahti
Annomen Oy, Helsinki
Purpose: Because the global economy is increasingly driven by digital businesses, and digitalization affects the businesses of traditional industrial organizations, the need exists for a theory, and empirical understanding, that elucidates the actual value-creating elements. By focusing on traditional industrial organizations that are facing changes and transformation caused by the increase in digitalization, the purpose of this paper is to increase the understanding of the characteristics of creating sustainable customer value through digitality.
Design/methodology/approach: To increase the understanding of creating sustainable customer value through digitality among traditional industrial organizations, quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection were utilized in the study.
Findings: The results suggest that value creation through service process- and product-related elements constitutes improved company performance, whereas cost-related elements do not. In addition, when it comes to the role of digitality in value creation, results show that to generate benefits, digitality must be implemented in the company’s strategy and in an existing business model.
Originality/value: Despite the increasing amount of literature on value creation in the digitalized world, theory and empirical understanding that reflect the complexity and dynamism of the delivery of value to customers through digitality are still lacking. This study contributes to this research gap, by presenting the characteristics of sustainable customer value that contribute to value creation.
Keywords: Sustainability; Customer value; Value creation; Digitalization; Digitality.
Citation: Rantala, T., Ukko, J., Saunila, M., Puolakoski, H. and Rantanen, H. (2019), "Creating sustainable customer value through digitality", World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 325-340. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJEMSD-08-2018-0077