Responsibilization in Services and Consumer Well-Being: A Role Theory Perspective

Laurel Anderson, Jelena Spanjol, Josephine Go Jeffries, Amy L. Ostrom, Courtney Nations Baker, Sterling A. Bone, Hilary Downey, Martin Mende, Justine M. Rapp

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Responsibilization, or the shift of functions and risks from providers and producers to consumers, has become an increasingly common policy in service systems and marketplaces (e.g., financial, health, governmental). As responsibilization is often considered synonymous with consumer agency and well-being, the authors take a transformative service research perspective and draw on resource integration literature to investigate whether responsibilization is truly associated with well-being. The authors focus on expert services, for which responsibilization concerns are particularly salient, and question whether this expanding policy is in the public interest. In the process, they develop a conceptualization of resource integration under responsibilization that includes three levels of actors (consumer, provider, and service system), the identification of structural tensions to resource integration, and three categories of resource integration practices (access, appropriation, and management) necessary to negotiate responsibilization. The findings have important implications for health care providers, public and institutional policy makers, and other service systems, all of which must pay more active attention to the challenges consumers face in negotiating responsibilization and the resulting well-being outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
EventMarketing and Public Policy Conference: Fostering Change for Communities and Society - San Luis Obispo, CA, United States
Duration: 23 Jun 201625 Jun 2016


ConferenceMarketing and Public Policy Conference
CountryUnited States


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