As economies all over the world are increasingly becoming more service oriented, there is a need to go further in the study of all aspects related to the management of service industries. Thus, the main aim of this subject is to provide students a complete and comprehensive picture of the management of service industries, offering them an integrated view of this emerging field of study. Course content include: contextualization of the service sector and its role in the economy, strategic management of services, service portfolio management, innovation and productivity in the service sector, services marketing, service quality and service systems.
At the end of the course the students will have gained a theoretical and practical knowledge about the nature and practice of the service industry sector. To reach this goal, students will work in groups in order to produce an independent work on a limited research problem within the field of service management.
The theoretical foundations of the course will be imparted in the form of explanatory classes. These lectures will be complemented by specific articles, other reading material, class exercises as well as special seminars. As this subject is eminently project-oriented, students will be required to work in groups in a research project, assessing and evaluating specific aspects of a particular service industry. By carrying out this project, students should demonstrate that they have assimilated the theoretical foundations, and that they are able to link theory with a real-life business situation.
Technical Competences of each Specialization
CEE5.1 - Capability to participate in improvement projects or to create service systems, providing in particular: a) innovation and research proposals based on new uses and developments of information technologies, b) application of the most appropriate software engineering and databases principles when developing information systems, c) definition, installation and management of infrastructure / platform necessary for the efficient running of service systems.
CEE5.2 - Capability to apply obtained knowledge in any kind of service systems, being familiar with some of them, and thorough knowledge of eCommerce systems and their extensions (eBusiness, eOrganization, eGovernment, etc.).
Generic Technical Competences
CG2 - Capability to lead, plan and supervise multidisciplinary teams.
CG4 - Capacity for general and technical management of research, development and innovation projects, in companies and technology centers in the field of Informatics Engineering.
Entrepreneurship and innovation
CTR1 - Capacity for knowing and understanding a business organization and the science that rules its activity, capability to understand the labour rules and the relationships between planning, industrial and commercial strategies, quality and profit. Capacity for developping creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation trend.
Sustainability and social commitment
CTR2 - Capability to know and understand the complexity of the typical economic and social phenomena of the welfare society. Capacity for being able to analyze and assess the social and environmental impact.
CTR3 - Capacity of being able to work as a team member, either as a regular member or performing directive activities, in order to help the development of projects in a pragmatic manner and with sense of responsibility; capability to take into account the available resources.
CB8 - Capability to communicate their conclusions, and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these, to both skilled and unskilled public in a clear and unambiguous way.
Define and explain the concept of a service.
Provide a framework for analysing consumer behaviour, for offering co-creating value and delivering services.
Introduce the fundamental concepts, philosophies, and strategies of quality management in the service sector. Understand and apply the most common quality analysis tools and techniques.
Examine the marketing and managerial approaches for offerings services to individual and organizational customers.
Identify the elements integrating a service system and how they all interact.
Provide guidance on how to design, develop and implement service management not only as an organizational capability but also as a strategic asset.
Infuse innovative thinking into organizations.
Make use of an integrated and holistic approach to conceive, create, launch, and support innovative service solutions.
Identify and make explicit the knowledge and skills that industry has empirically observed are important to service innovation.
Promote innovative thinking into organizations for identifying opportunities and creating new service solutions.
Differentiate and make use of different tools and techniques for resource utilization and effective management of services.
Introduce and apply quantitative and qualitative tools of analysis used in social sciences to analyse the functioning of service industries from a management perspective.
Critically assess scientific research articles and other texts (e.g. public policies or corporate strategies), within the field of service industries.
Critically assess managerial practices within the field of service industries.
Module 1. Introduction
Overview of the Service Science discipline and its managerial implications.
Description of course content.
Module 2. Service Sector
Definition. Dimensions. Classification of servcies. Services and manufacturing goods. Role pf services in an economy. Challenges of the Service Sector.
Module 3. The nature of services
Service process matrix. Nature of service act matrix. Client relationship matrix. Availability of services matrix. Service demand matrix. Service delivery matrix. Recipients of the service matrix. Service package. Strategic service classification.
Module 4. Customer experience and service design
Service profit triangle. Value creation.
The customer perspective: Customer experience / Customer criteria for selecting a service provider / Service purchase decision.
Matching customer's expectations: Service design and development.
Module 5. Service Quality
Service quality dimensions. Quality gaps. Continuous improvement. Instruments and standards to measure service quality.
Module 6. Services Marketing
Services Marketing. The service mix. Customer engagement. Customer relationship. Business models.
Module 7. Service System
Service system. Typology of systems
Module 8. Service Strategy
Service vision. Competitive environment. Competitive service strategy. Strategic planning. Strategic management model. Value chain.
Module 9. Service Innovation
Productivity and innovation. Levels of service innovation. Technology in services. Entrepreneurial service firms.
The theoretical foundations of the course will be imparted in the form of explanatory classes. These lectures will be complemented by specific articles, other reading material as well as class exercises during the problem sessions. Additionally, students are expected to actively participate by complementing the information and references given in class by carrying out two individual assignments. To this end, students should learn to seek for supplementary information from additional sources.
As this subject is eminently project-oriented, students will be required to work in groups in a research project, assessing and evaluating specific aspects of a particular service industry. Through this project, students should demonstrate that they have assimilated the theoretical foundations, and that they are able to link theory with a real-life business situation. Guidance for this project will be given in the laboratory classes and there will be three specific tutorial sessions for supervision. An intermediate presentation of the research project will serve to evaluate the work in progress. A final presentation at the end of the semester where students present and defend their research project will be used to evaluate the overall project as a whole.
Examination is based on five different instruments: individual deliverables, an intermediate presentation of the research project, the final oral presentation, the research project report and an individual final examination.
Description of each instrument follows:
- A: Assignments (15%) > Class participation, case studies, exercises and mindmaps. This activities will be conducted either in group or individually, depending on the activity.
- P1: Intermediate presentation (10%) > Preliminary presentation of the research project. The mark given will be the same for all the members of the group. 50% of this mark corresponds to the workgroup and the remaining 50% to the individual contribution of the student in the presentation.
- P2: Final presentation (15%) > Final presentation of the research project at the end of the course. A 50% of this mark corresponds to the workgroup and the remaining 50% to the individual contribution of the student in the presentation.
- RP: Research project report (30%) > Report of the research project.
- EX: Exam (30%) > Individual exam at the end of the course, with a clear theoretical orientation.
The resulting expression for the final mark is:
Final mark = 0.15*A + 0.1*P1 + 0.15*P2 + 0.3*RP + 0.3*EX