Customer engagement and value co-creation in public transport services: A study of railway services in Wales

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Cardiff Business School


Collaborative project between Cardiff University and Transport for Wales,
TfW Rail Services aims to deliver an excellent railway service for Wales and its communities. One of the main challenges in addressing the modernisation and transformation of railway services in Wales is the public's unfavourable perceptions towards the current service. To enhance customer engagement and experience, this study proposes co-creation as a modern view where the customers of TfW Rail Services are active participants in the design and implementation of the value-creation process, in line with the Service-Dominant Logic approach (SDL) (Vargo and Lusch, 2008). This contrasts the traditional view that customers of public transport services are passive receivers (Lovelock et al., 1987). The SDL posits that value is always co-created between multiple actors, determined by the beneficiary, and such value will lead to an enhanced consumption experience (Vorre-Hansen, 2017; Saarijärvi et al., 2013). A number of studies have advanced understanding of drivers of co-creation (Breidbach et al., 2013; Payne et al., 2009). However, only a few have carried out empirical research in an attempt to assess the impact of co-creation on consumer behaviour (Navarro et al., 2016) and only one has done so in the context of the railway sector (Gebauer et al., 2010).

Research Aim/Questions:
Gebauer et al. (2010) identified five co-creation elements: (i) customer engagement; (ii) self-service; (iii) customer experience; (iv) problem-solving; and (v) co-design, which can lead to performance improvements in public transport services. This project aims to provide customer insight by addressing the following research questions:
1. What are the customer perceptions of value and their experience of the current rail service?
2. What are the customer value propositions for a public rail service?
3. How do we embed the identificed five value co-creation elements within the railway service industry?


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2272547 Studentship ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 John Edward Davies