Purpose – Wroe Alderson’s market ‘transvections’ (Alderson, 1965) was an early conceptualization of how an offering resulted in value creation after a series of transformations and transactions. The efficiency and effectiveness of how a good, from raw material to the product used by an end-consumer, should be able to be assessed. We will in this paper further develop the idea of transvections based on empirically grounded concepts from the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) research tradition in parallel with the currently developing Service-Dominant (S-D) logic lexicon. The objective with this paper is to pinpoint theoretical and methodological challenges that may contribute to a grand theory of markets that infuses the idea of markets as networks and the S-D logic lexicon. A second objective is to offer an updated version of the transvection that are released from Goods-Dominant (G-D) logic thinking and that are based upon the interaction between generic actors rather than Alderson’s conceptualization of business actors as firms and households.
Design/Approach –The paper is conceptual in nature and based on an extent literature review of research contributions on Alderson’s transvection, IMP’s business networks, and S-D logic’s value co-creation. Both IMP and S-D logic has made attempts to leave the G-D logic depiction of market actors as firms, customers, and distributors etcetera in favor for a more generic actor role but to different degrees.
Findings – We propose that the generic actor, which may assume a provider and beneficiary role, is a suitable starting-point for developing an updated transvection. However, whilst Alderson’s transvection followed a focal product the updated transvection will need to follow a focal beneficiary. Furthermore, the updated transvection addresses the market actors’ roles differently (provider or beneficiary) and the roles are not static but in constant flux (a beneficiary will e.g., also be a provider through its engagement in value co-creation). The focal beneficiary will through multiple interactions that take place throughout the transvection result in a perceived value. The transvection cut through several service ecosystems of actors (holding both people, artifacts and technologies) that are affected by what have been described as institutional arrangements (Vargo and Lusch, 2016) or institutional logics (Edvardsson et al., 2012) that may harmonize as well as dissonance.
Implications – The updated transvection is infusing the S-D logic lexicon and it highlights the interplay between three layers; the focal beneficiary that experiences a service with a certain temporal span, other engaged market actors (providers), and the affecting institutional logics that are at play. The outcome of a transvection does thereby affect the institutional arrangements but also become the catalyst for other transvections which thereby offers a ground for perpetual and circular market thinking.