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Postgraduate Course: Service Business Excellence for Medical and Veterinary Practices (CMSE11390)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe aim of the course is to equip post-experience students in the medical and veterinary fields with the knowledge, skills and understanding to run successful small businesses in these fields. This requires them to understand what constitutes 'excellence' (for the business itself and for its customers and patients) and the internal and external processes that must be governed to create this excellence. The course will explore the nature of value creation and of service excellence for such small service businesses, explore the tripartite links between internal culture, service delivery and service experience in creating such value and examine the roll that key service management disciplines have for supporting this process (e.g. leadership and strategy, marketing, operations management). The course will be of interest to any post-experience student who is part of a small service business in the medical and veterinary fields. It draws on the extensive experience in service management within CenSE and meets a core need for post-experience students who will be managing/leading and/or working within small service businesses in these fields (e.g. GPs, vets, dentists, physiotherapists).
Course description Outline of Content
1 What is a service and what are the key element of small service firms?
2 What is 'value' for a service and how is it created?
3 Creating a successful service culture in small service businesses
4 Designing and delivery effective services through small service firms
5 Facilitating an excellent customer experience in small service firms
6 Digital technology and supporting excellence in small service firms
7 Service marketing - the role of staff and customers
8 Providing strategic leadership in small service firms

Student Learning Experience
The centre of the course will be a series of on-line resources for the students, including lectures, case studies and exercises. These will be developed and delivered, on-line, by UEBS staff. This on-line learning will be supported for each post-experience PGT by a course tutor from CMVM. Their role will be to customize the contents to each programme by exercises, on-line tutorials, etc. There will be a formative assessment around a third of the way through the programme and a final assessment at the end of the programme. The final assessment will ask students to take a real-life service management issue from their experience and analyze it using service management theory and knowledge from the course, producing options to resolve the issue as a consequence.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate the nature of a service and how value is established in a service, for both the service firm and its customers;
  2. Apply this knowledge to their own service firms and assess whether and how they are successful in creating value;
  3. Form analytical links between service organizational culture, customer service experience and service design for value creation and be able to apply this to their own experience;
  4. Communicate effectively with other staff in their service firm about the nature of value creation in their firm and the steps they need to take to create sustainable value improvements;
  5. And strategically deploy service management tools and concepts to enhance value creation by their service firms in the future.
Reading List
Core reading
R Johnston & G Clark (2008) Service Operations Management (FT Prentice Hall)
Richard Normann (2012) Service Management. Strategy and Leadership in Service Business (Wiley)
C Gronroos (2014) Service Management and Marketing (john Wiley)
M Christopher, A Payne & D Ballantyne (2002) Relationship Marketing (Butterworth Heinemann)

Recommended reading
B Lowendahl (2007) Strategic Management of Professional Firms (Copenhagen Business School Press)
W Lamersdorf (2011) Building the E-Service Society: E-Commerce, E-Business, and E-Government (Springer)
I Ng (2007) Pricing and Revenue Management of Services (Routledge)
R Lusch & S Vargo (2014) Service-Dominant Logic. Premises, Perspectives, Possibilities (Cambridge University Press)
Gustafsson (2003) Competing in a Service Economy: How to Create a Competitive Advantage Through Service Development and Innovation (Jossey Bass)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will develop the following attributes for students:
Knowledge and understanding - (i) knowledge about what constitutes a service firm, the ways in which it creates value and the inter-relationship between organisational culture, the service journey, and the service experience in creating this value; (ii) an understanding of the relationship between service firms and their customers in creating value for both; (iii) specialist knowledge of how service theory applies to their respective professions and how it can inform their own practice; (iv) awareness of the wider field of service theory and how service leaders in other fields operate.

Practice: Applied knowledge, skills and understanding: The application of the above knowledge and understanding to the student's own experience in order to develop sustainable skills for the future: (i) the ability to develop and apply the professional skill-set necessary to support value creation in a small service business, including around framing the customer experience, designing and sustaining successful customer journeys, and creating a service-oriented culture within small service businesses (ii) an understanding of how to apply a key set of service techniques and tools in order to support the above value creation process, including those related to marketing, strategic leadership, operations management (within a digital context) and staff relations; (iii) carry out lines of enquiry to assess service quality in their own practices; (iv) to adapt their routine professional practices to best practice service standards.

Generic cognitive skills: Using the learning above to be able to (i) critically analyse real business problems in their field by leveraging service theory and research; (ii) identify evidence-driven options to remedy the problem applying service theory; (iii) to evaluate the options generated and decide upon a way forward driven by service theory best practice.

Communication, numeracy and ICT skills: Use a wide range of routine skills and some advanced and specialised skills associated with a their respective field, for example the ability to (i) communicate effectively with customers and to put their needs and experiences at the heart of their service firm (ii) convey this professional culture both to staff within the service firm and to customers; (iii) evaluate digital technology options in order to create virtual service experiences and understand the implications of this for the service experience in their firm.

Autonomy, accountability and working with others: Exercise autonomy and initiative at a professional level in their own practice, for instance: (i) exercise managerial responsibility by being able to critically assess their own role in their service firm and to be able to act in the furtherance of service excellence and value creation; (ii) practise in ways that show awareness of the importance of working/communicating with customers and staff in achieving service excellence; (iii) appreciate the skills required to achieve service excellence; (iv) and use their practice's resources to develop these skills.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMiss Sophie Flemig
Tel: (0131 6)51 1033
Course secretaryMs Rhiannon Pilkington
Tel: (0131 6)50 8072
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