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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Service Management in an International Context (BUST10142)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryService Management will introduce students to the key concepts of the service-dominant logic of business on an international scale. Focusing on themes such as co-production, service leadership and service competition, the course will familiarise students with current academic theories, while frequent guest speakers will emphasise how these are applied in practice across the private, public and Third sector and across developed and emerging countries. With over 75% of employment in the service sector, the course is an essential asset for anyone planning a career in service industries, with relevance for consulting, retail, healthcare, hospitality, the arts, or financial services. The course also introduces the role of services in development, drawing from truly global case studies.

Course description This course will explore the nature of services management and the distinctive challenges that it poses both for managers in this sector and for management theory. The sector (comprising both private and public sector services) covers such industries as finance and banking, accounting, consultancy, the arts and the media, retail, utilities, health-care and public services, tourism and hospitality, and leisure. It now comprises around 75% of employment in the developed world and 35-50% (and increasing quickly) in the developing world. Additionally 'service' has also been a key element of the profit equation for manufacturing firms. This makes understanding the nature of the service sector and the distinctive nature of its challenges essential for newly qualified graduates if they are going to have a strong position in the employment market. Moreover, service management presents distinctive challenges that contest much traditional management theory and provide an exciting new perspective on it for students. In the contemporary world, an understanding of service management is vital for the well-rounded management graduate.

This course will enable students to understand the distinctive nature of services management and of value creation in service delivery, to consider the key challenges for service managers in the sector and the skills that they require to address them, and to explore a range of approaches to successful service management for service businesses. It will directly address the employability of our undergraduates in this vital sector of national and global economies and equip them with the knowledge to function as effective managers in these sectors. This will be achieved by a mix of lecture inputs, visiting speakers, case study and experiential exercises, and course assessment intended to focus the student on applying service management theories and techniques to the real world.

Topics to be covered will include the nature of the service sector and its role in national and global economies, the co-creation of value in service delivery, co-production and the role of the consumer in service delivery, designing effective services, strategic and marketing management in service businesses, the role of service staff in the service encounter, the impact of digital technology on service delivery, and evaluating quality and performance in service delivery.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Honours entry
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have at least 4 Business courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Online Activities 25, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 149 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Online Journal 50% (four entries, 2,000 word total)

Report 50% (1,500 word total)

LO1 By requiring students to reflect on how they can use the course concepts to organise their team and address the service management issue they have been provided.
LO2 By reflecting on their own experience of working as a consulting group, including self-, time- and client management.
LO5 By writing their own media release as one of the mandatory blog entries.

L01 By requiring students to use concepts from the course to assess their assigned case.
LO2 By asking students to provide practical management advice on how the real-time issue they have been assigned could be addressed by managerial staff.
LO3 By requiring students to design their own form of service evaluation based on the course materials.
LO4 By tying the student assignment to a particular real-time service issue in Edinburgh.
LO5 By requiring students to compose a report that could be submitted to the observed organization.
Feedback Students will receive feedback on their first two journal entries from the course tutor during reading week and can use the feedback to shape their further team work and adjust their journal entries.

The course tutor will also offer group feedback sessions in weeks 7 and 8 and a final group coaching session during the revision lecture in week 10.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand and critically evaluate the key concepts and ideas of service management and a service-dominant logic and appreciate the role of the service sector in the economy and the implications of this for the service management task.
  2. Understand how the service process requires a distinct set of managerial skills be able to identify these and to situate them within the service process in the private and public sectors.
  3. Be able to critically evaluate different models and paradigms of service management and their implications for both theory and practice.
  4. Assess the options for delivering effective service quality as the basis for sound business performance by a service firm in the private or public sector.
  5. Speak confidently about service management issues and explain service management concepts to a lay audience.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research & Enquiry:
The course format, in particular the coursework assessment, enable you to create, identify and evaluate options in order to solve complex problems in a service management context. You will throughout be required to analyse facts and situations in service management contexts and apply creative thinking to develop the appropriate solutions, using the concepts and tools introduced throughout the course. The particular assessment format will also encourage you to analyse, synthesise, critically and methodically appraise thoughts to break down complex problems into manageable components.

Personal & Intellectual Autonomy:
You will receive ongoing assessment as well as peer feedback, helping you to become critically self-aware and self-reflective in order to fully maximise potential. You will also learn to develop personal resilience and learn from early assessments in order to develop your ideas in the final coursework assessment. The online blog format, requiring you to comment on each others' work, as well as the presentations, will encourage you to seek and value open feedback to help self-awareness. With its practice-oriented focus and regular contact with practice speakers, you will appreciate the importance of the development of lifelong learning skills as part of continuing personal and professional development, in particular in a service industries context.

Addressing a real-time issue will demonstrate that you are able to think creatively and manage the creative process in oneself and in others. The staggered assessment approach, using multimedia tools, will also allow you to be curious, creative, and analyse facts and situations through creative and inventive thinking in order to develop the appropriate solutions.

Personal Effectiveness
Throughout the term, you will need to be organised and show the appropriate use of project and time management tools in order to manage your learning experience. With multiple assessments, staggered over the duration of the course, you will also demonstrate that you have an ability to plan and effectively use resources to achieve goals.

The final assessment will allow you to display commercial/situational acumen and knowledge of the current local and global business landscapes, industries, organisations and specific roles pertaining to the contemporary service sector.

Communication skills
You will develop oral communication skills, share complex ideas and arguments using a range of media during lectures and tutorials, and on the reflective blogs. Regular group work in lectures and tutorials will enhance verbal communication, including listening and questioning.

The format of the summative assessment will enable you to develop your presentation skills as well as written communication skills using a range of media (coursework writing, presentation slides, online blogs).
KeywordsService management,value creation co-production,Service management,value creation co-production
Course organiserDr Maria Cucciniello
Course secretaryMr Mark Woodfine-Jones
Tel: (0131 6)50 3825
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