Chapter 18: Volunteering and user creation in communities of interests
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Three major reasons for the establishment of the experience economy have been proposed : (1) a wealth increase in Western countries; (2) the development within information and communications technologies; and (3) a change in consumer behaviour. A number of other reasons have also been mentioned, such as the introduction of new organizational structures, the effects of globalization and the political changes towards more liberalization (see Christensen, 2009), but they all seem to be effects caused by the three major reasons. Since the term experience economy was introduced and described in 1999 by Pine and Gilmore, the experience economy research has moved in many directions. A significant direction in the broadly defined experience economy is the focus on co-creation or community theory as a way to involve consumers or users (see Toffler et al., 1981; Prahalad and Ramaswamy, 2004; Boswijk et al., 2007; Jantzen et al., 2011).Here consumers, customers or users are seen as (co-)creators of the experience. Of the aforementioned references, it is only Boswijk et al. (2007) and Jantzen et al. (2011) who link it directly to the experience economy, which is probably because the user creation aspects originate from many different directions.

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