Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to synthesize findings from health care research with those in service research to identify key conceptualizations of the changing role of the health care customer, to identify gaps in theory, and to propose a compelling research agenda. Design/methodology/approach: This study combines a meta-narrative review of health care research, and a systematic review of service research, using thematic analysis to identify key practice approaches and the changing role of the health care customer. Findings: The review reveals different conceptualizations of the customer role within the ten key practice approaches, and identifies an increased activation of the role of the health care customer over time. This change implies a re-orientation, that is, moving away from the health care professional setting the agenda, prescribing and delivering treatment where the customer merely complies with orders, to the customer actively contributing and co-creating value with service providers and other actors in the ecosystem to the extent the health care customer desires. Originality/value: This study not only identifies key practice approaches by synthesizing findings from health care research with those in service research, it also identifies how the role of the health care customer is changing and highlights effects of the changing role across the practice approaches. A research agenda to guide future health care service research is also provided.
- Health care
- Value co-creation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
- Strategy and Management