Lisa Källström defended her thesis “‘A good place to live’ – Rethinking residents’ place satisfaction and the role of co-creation” on 20 September. Below you can find out more about Lisa and her research, described in her own words.
I entered academia young, 22 years old and as a newly graduated business student, I was thrilled to get a position as a project assistant and lecturer at Kristianstad University! I loved the environment, marketing as a subject and my interactions with students. However, it took me over eight years to embrace also research, stumble upon the right project, capture the opportunity and become a PhD student at the Department of Business Administration at Lund University School of Economics and Management. I began my PhD journey in autumn 2012 – a journey I am so grateful I dared to start, because it has enriched my life in so many ways. I have truly learnt a lot and developed not only as a researcher, but also as person and as university teacher.
Drawing upon the service-based logic, my thesis explores the place context and how ‘a good place to live’ can be understood, conceptualized and studied. Developing a place into ‘a good place to live’ for people of all ages is a prioritized issue in many municipalities in Sweden, as well as around the world. But what do we really mean by ‘a good place to live’? How do the residents themselves comprehend and perceive ‘a good place to live’? And how do municipalities view their place and what they offer to their residents? These are some of the core issues explored in my thesis. Taking the resident as a starting point and using the service-based logic as a theoretical foundation, this thesis connects the stream of research within place marketing focusing on co-creation and the users’ role with the stream of research dealing with success measurements and place satisfaction.
Six overarching main findings can be derived from the studies in the thesis:
- First, to make place satisfaction studies more theoretically interesting and more practically relevant, it is necessary to change the main unit of analysis to one that is actually able to create value. Thus, a shift in focus is suggested: from the place or the provider to the residents and their value creation processes.
- Second, value-in-use can be used as a complement to satisfaction, as introducing value-in-use to place satisfaction studies is a way to shed more light on the residents and to move away from provider dominance.
- Third, as a result of listening directly to residents and letting them speak freely, new value propositions are found that are important to residents.
- Fourth, the studies have shown that not all value propositions are produced under the same circumstances. Some value propositions are produced by the provider, while some are co-created by the provider and the resident themselves, or by two residents.
- Fifth, the research opens up the ‘black-box’ of co-creation and presents a new analytical model for co-creation activities, where six key activities in the co-creation of a place to live are constructed from the empirical material. Sixth, using indicator systems to assess ‘a good place to live’ and to evaluate urban development and growth comes with several difficulties, which are illustrated by employing three main dilemmas.
Looking back, I am very grateful for my years as a PhD student, where I have had the privilege to essentially devoting myself to my studies and my projects, even though I never left teaching completely. The completion of my thesis marks the end of a special time in my life, but at the same time, the beginning of a new chapter. For those considering pursuing a PhD, I warmly recommend the PhD programme at the Department of Business Administration. Dare to start the journey!