Value creation in consumption journeys: recursive reflexivity and practice continuity

  • Melissa Archpru AkakaEmail author
  • Hope Jensen Schau
Original Empirical Research


This study explores how reflexivity contributes to the continuation of value creation for consumers throughout consumption journeys. Reflexivity is awareness of the self within the world. Our study establishes a framework for studying consumption journeys centered on progressive engagement with a practice—in this case surfing—over time. We discover that reflexivity manifests in consumption journeys in an iterative, recursive manner—i.e., recursive reflexivity—tacking between identity (mis)alignment (with dominant institutions) and reflexive outcomes, such as imitating, improving, adapting and reconciling. Our findings reveal that recursive reflexivity contributes to the continuation of value creation in consumption journeys by fostering practice continuity—i.e., immersion, adaptation, innovation and/or dissolution of a practice—which provides opportunities for enhanced consumption experiences and supports the evolution of identity projects. These findings deepen the understanding of how practices, identity, and institutions contribute to value creation. Implications from these findings suggest that firms should pay close attention to recursive reflexivity and practice continuity to cultivate value creation with consumers by (a) providing opportunities for enhanced consumption experiences, (b) aligning or misaligning brand identity with dominant institutions, and (c) sparking imagining, identity evolution, and practice innovation.


Reflexivity Consumption journey Value creation Practices Identity Institutions Imagination 



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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of DenverDenverUSA
  2. 2.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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