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EMAC 2023 Annual

Exploring the notion of value reciprocity in the subscription economy: A systematic literature review

Published: May 24, 2023


Stuart Allan, Nottingham Business School; Tony Woodall, Nottingham Business School; Mojtaba Poorrezaei, Nottingham Business School; Elmina Homapour, Nottingham Business School


Due to the technological advancements and continued expansion of digital services, the subscription economy has emerged and transformed traditional business models. While there is a growing number of industries embracing the subscription business model in order to build long-term relationships with customers, our understanding of how value for the organisation and value for the customer interact remains nebulous. The discourse around perceived customer value is similarly vague due to this being both complex and multi-dimensional. This study systematically reviewed the extant literature to gain a better understanding of value reciprocity within the subscription economy. A total of 58 articles were included within the final review from which we summarise in this paper our four key findings. This study further applied “customer engagement” as a theoretical lens for providing important economic insights into how value is accrued and distributed within the subscription economy.