For some time, tourism researchers have sought to examine and theorise types of collaborative exchange and the characteristics of relational work in tourism. Different ontological and epistemological framings, and associated language games have contributed to a fragmented body of knowledge. In this paper, we argue that the new term ‘co-creation’ is part of this language game, and efforts to date have not linked co-creation to the broader and deeper currents of theory building that have come before. We thus place co-creation within its wider context by, firstly, building a meta-narrative review of the literature that draws together a number of disparate disciplinary-inspired lines of thinking, and secondly, by identifying and extending key concepts of co-creation and its logics to tourism. We trace seven threads of scholarship that demonstrate the ideas and values associated with co-creation have diverse historical roots. Using a meta-narrative approach, we unpack the characteristics of co-creation from different disciplinary lenses, directing attention to issues beyond service-dominant logic approaches towards wider issues of participation, inclusion, power, responsibility, and value. In the process, we contribute to a new and fresh appreciation of value co-creation in tourism literature, along with a nine-point agenda that suggest directions for future research and practice.
- relational work