The challenge of communicating reciprocal value promises: Buyer-seller value proposition disparity in professional services

Jasmin Baumann (Lead Author), Kenneth Le Meunier-FitzHugh, Hugh N. Wilson

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35 Citations (Scopus)
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This study explores the communication of reciprocal value propositions in buyer-seller interaction and examines whether each party's value proposition is congruent with the value sought by their respective counterpart. Through 31 in-depth interviews with customers and salespeople from six professional service organizations, it was found that while both parties deliberately articulate value propositions, thereby initiating the co-creation process, there are some surprising disparities in the value dimensions offered by the salesperson. Although the customer's value proposition is largely consistent with the value sought by the seller, a marked discrepancy was encountered in the reverse case (i.e. between the seller's value proposition and the buyer's desired value). These findings indicate a significant misalignment between the seller's value proposition and actual co-creative behavior that can impede the subsequent collaboration and resource integration between the two parties, which could lead to customer dissatisfaction and potentially even service failure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107–121
Number of pages15
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Early online date4 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • Reciprocal value proposition
  • Value
  • Value co-creation
  • Buyer-seller interaction
  • Service-dominant logic

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