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Dematerialisation and density are concepts introduced by Normann (2001) to illustrate the possibilities and opportunities to rethink the logic of value creation through reconfiguring value constellations. Technological development liberates us from constraints of time, place, actor and constellation in terms of value creation.

We can separate information in terms of activities from the physical world and assets and allow it to be easily moved about; this is one mechanism referred to as ‘liquification’. We can also separate activities from well-defined existing time/space/actor units and assets (unbundleability) and then re-link these activities with new time/space/actor units and assets (rebundleability) to create new value configuration. This is another mechanism of dematerialisation termed as ‘unbundeability’. Thus, dematerialisation/digitisation refers to the two mechanisms (liquification and unbundleability) to further promote rebundleability to create new densities (Normann, 2001). For an article on the digitisation of manufacturing, read The Economist 

‘Density’ is described as the best combination of resources mobilised for a particular context such as a particular customer at a given time and place.



EPSRC Co-production of physical products and value co-creation - Scalability in the wild 

Recommended Reading

Normann, R. (2001) Reframing Business: When the Map Changes the Landscape. Chichester: Wiley


Research Lead

Susan Wakenshaw






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