Table of Contents

Handbook on the Experience Economy

Handbook on the Experience Economy

Elgar original reference

Edited by Jon Sundbo and Flemming Sørensen

This illuminating Handbook presents the state-of-the-art in the scientific field of experience economy studies. It offers a rich and varied collection of contributions that discuss different issues of crucial importance for our understanding of the experience economy. Each chapter reflects diverse scientific viewpoints from disciplines including management, mainstream economics and sociology to provide a comprehensive overview.

Chapter 9: The power of the economy of experiences: new ways of value creation

Albert Boswijk

Subjects: business and management, marketing, development studies, tourism, economics and finance, cultural economics, industrial economics, services, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory


An essential shift is taking place in Western economies, a switch from agricultural and industrial production to a service economy, and towards an economy of experiences (Pine and Gilmore, 1999). Actually, we find ourselves in a transitional stage from a service economy towards an economy of experiences or an economy of meaning. In general terms, we can speak of dematerialization (Hilty, 2006), which also refers to the relative reduction in the amount of physical materials required in order to perform economic functions (Herman et al., 1988). There are three areas in which dematerialization finds expression: digitalization, eco-efficiency and intangible aspects of consumption. This chapter describes the interrelationships between societal shifts taking place at present, from a business context and from the context of individuals or citizens. The growing transparency of society and businesses, added to the sheer abundance of peer-to-peer total connectivity, leads to a power shift that will eventually lead to the democratization of our society (Green, 2010) and economy (Pralahad and Krishnan, 2009). According to De Ridder (2012), the world is opening up. The economy of experiences is developing into a serious field of entrepreneurship with new forms of value creation– in the domain of intangible value – driven by innovative and creative industries and by co-creative efforts.

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