Beneficiaries’ View of Actor Networks: Service Resonance for Pluralistic Actor Networks
Martina Caic, Stefan Holmlid, Dominik Mahr, Gaby Odekerken-Schröder

Abstract


In design for service, understanding the social fabric of the service system demands special focus, because the networks of actors that collaboratively create value strongly affect the multitude of service values for the beneficiaries of the system. This article explores mental models of actor networks from the phenomenological perspective of the beneficiaries, who ultimately determine the value of the service. The authors argue for a visual phenomenology and leverage the resourcefulness of individual network actors through a qualitative interpretive study that relies on in-depth interviews supported by generative card activities. By asking service beneficiaries (in this case, the elderly) to map their care-based network contexts, this method encourages human-centered, participatory approaches that reveal service systems from beneficiaries’ perspectives. With an analysis of constructed visual artefacts and data-rich narratives that uncover the instrumentality of visualizations, the authors further identify different types of networks and the dominant values held by each network’s focal actors. The authors hence suggest that not only should value creation as such be viewed as idiosyncratic, but so should the networks of actors that co-create value. Finally, the concept of service resonance is suggested to aid in accounting for the pluralistic perspectives of the network actors.

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