Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Service Management (fusion online) (EFIE11103)
|School||Edinburgh Futures Institute
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Course type||Online Distance Learning
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This core course will explore the nature of services, the key stakeholders involved and the challenges of service management in the contemporary world across private and public sectors. By emphasising service delivery, participants will explore the relational nature of services and the fundamental role played by service users. It will introduce the 'service ecosystem' as a metaphor through which to understand and engage with this complex relational context of service delivery. The course also explores the relation between 'service' and 'services', digitalisation of services and the growth of AI, and the related implications for service management. It will also introduce students to the concept of 'value', explored subsequently in more detail in the 'Value and Value Creation' core course.
This course draws upon service research and theory to understand services and the implications for service management across the public and private sectors. It will provide the foundations from which deeper knowledge and understanding of service management and design may be built.
The course is comprised on three main elements:
(1) Pre-intensive independent learning (including a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous content).
This will be comprised of the following five elements:
(i) A pre-recorded lecture introducing the course and the requirements of the assignment, and introducing students to key concepts/themes: service/services, the importance of the service sector, the different types of service sectors, the nature of service ecosystems, and the rise of digital/AI and the implications for service delivery;
(ii) Reading four academic papers/chapters as an introduction to service management theory chosen from a selection of 9 readings;
(iii) Four pre-recorded interviews with practitioners working in a range of sectors, examples could include healthcare, retail, banking and the third sector;
(iv) A virtual seminar to engage in a focused discussion of the learning materials and to raise any initial questions about the course;
(v) A discussion board, facilitated by the course tutor will also be used for all students to contribute ideas and questions throughout the duration of the course.
2. Two-day intensive course.
This will comprise of a mixture of seminar content, discussion and group activities.
The first day will build on the pre-intensive content to explore different perspectives of service, the models of service production, the concept of 'value added', and the role of service organisations and service users during the service production process. It will focus especially on a 'service logic' approach at the micro level, and the implications for service delivery, design and management. Group activities will take the form of case study exercises based on the application of a 'service logic' to service delivery and design. This will include a customer journey map exercise, using customer personas to explore the various service interactions and the implications for value creation/destruction and service management.
During the second day, the complexity of external relationships will be explored through the concept of 'service ecosystems'. Students will participate in a group activity to map the resources and interconnections within either a public or private service ecosystem. Digital transformation and AI in a service setting and the management implications will also be explored in this context through a case study exercise. The day will end by considering the implications of the migration of services from a real-time to a virtual environment, drawing on case studies on Big Data and AI. This will also support course participants to start preparing for their assignments. Asynchronous students will have access to all learning materials, but will also participate in seminar sessions to discuss the case study exercises. These seminars will be conducted at 'cusp' times across several time zones. Not only will this create a workable number of students to engage with, it will also enable cross-national learning and challenge cultural stereotypes.
3. Post-intensive learning.
This part of the course will focus on preparation of the assignment and is comprised of four elements:
(i) Participants will attend one of two synchronous virtual seminars (at different time zone 'cusps') where they will each provide a 'ninety second pitch' of their proposed assignment to tutor and classmates and will receive formative feedback, supported by 1 page assignment plan submitted to the course tutor for formative feedback;
(ii) During the period between the intensive course and assignment submission, students will also be encouraged and supported to share ideas, reflections and learning about their assignment preparation on the discussion board;
(iii) Follow up reading of four papers from a selection of nine;
(iv) Participants will also be tasked with completing a reflective questionnaire, exploring their learning during the course and their future learning needs.
The student experience will combine independent learning with seminars and group activities to facilitate a supportive and active learning environment. This will include independent study, seminars, and group activities, including problem-based case studies and real-time investigations of service delivery models. The approach will also support critical reflection on service theory in different settings, including the participants' own specific areas of interest. For asynchronous students the student experience will be an equitable alternative, replicated as far as possible through the use of seminars and group activities at 'cusp' times appropriate for course participants. These seminars will be conducted at 'cusp' times across several time zones. Not only will this create a workable number of students to engage with, it will also enable cross-national learning and challenge cultural stereotypes.
Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - Online Fusion Course Delivery Information:
The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities. Students should note that their interactions may be recorded and live-streamed. There will, however, be options to control whether or not your video and audio are enabled.
As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 4,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 6,
Online Activities 6,
Formative Assessment Hours 4,
Other Study Hours 12,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Additional Information (Learning and Teaching)
Other Study: Scheduled Group-work Hours (hybrid online/on-campus) - 12
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
The course will be assessed by means of the following assessment components:
1) Individual Case Study Report (2000 Words) (100%)
Course participants will select a service organisation which has undergone a recent digital or AI transformation, either from their experience or through exploration of the media on the Web. They will investigate the service organisation, identifying and critically evaluating the intended value contribution of the transformed service to user lives and the key resources (i.e. actors, technologies) that are integrated to deliver the service. In doing so, they should use concepts learned during the course and seek to critically evaluate the successes and failures of the service, including sustainability, equity and ethical issues. They should also reflect on the key implications of the service transformation for links to service design, the implications for management, and on how the service transformation will impact on customers, the organisation, the economy and society.
||Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, this could include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.
Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.
Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
Students will received feedback at various points during the course:
- During personal tutorials and group seminars;
- Though responsive email and/or personal contact between the course tutor and the student;
- Through feedback on their reflective questionnaire, ongoing oral feedback during the course and on their 1-page assignment plan (formative feedback);
- By written feedback on their assessment case study report (summative feedback).
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Critically understand and be able to explain the basic concepts of service theory and associated concepts.
- Critically reflect upon and apply service theory within different service contexts and understand the implications for the links between service management and design.
- Critically evaluate a digital/AI service transformation, including ethical issues and management implications for organisational sustainability.
|Indicative Reading List:|
Chandler, J. D., & Lusch, R. F. (2015). Service systems: a broadened framework and research agenda on value propositions, engagement, and service experience. Journal of Service Research, 18(1)
Frow, P., McColl-Kennedy, J.R., Hilton, T., Davidson, A., Payne, A. and Brozovic, D. (2014) 'Value propositions: a service ecosystems perspective', Marketing Theory, 14(3)
Grönroos, C., & Voima, P. (2013). Critical service logic: making sense of value creation and co-creation. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41(2), 133-150. doi:10.1007/s11747-012-0308-3
Heinonen, K., & Strandvik, T. (2015). Customer-dominant logic: foundations and implications. Journal of Services Marketing.
Keating, B.W., McColl-Kennedy, J.R. and Solnet, D. (2018), 'Theorizing Beyond the Horizon: Service Research in 2050,' Journal of Service Management, 29 (5)
Petrescu, M. (2019) 'From marketing to public value: towards a theory of public service ecosystems', Public Management Review, 21(11)
Vargo, S.L. and Lusch, R.F. (2016) Institutions and axioms: an extension and update of service-dominant logic, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 44
I Hodgkinson, C Hannibal, B Keating, R Chester Buxton, & N Bateman (2016) Toward a public service management: past, present, and future directions Journal of Service Management (28, 5)
Russell Belk (2020) Ethical issues in service robotics and artificial intelligence, The Service Industries Journal, DOI: 10.1080/02642069.2020.1727892
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||The learning content and the activities conducted throughout the course will equip course participants with the following graduate attributes and skills:
- Independent learning will support the use of personal and intellectual autonomy to support critical evaluation.
- Seminar discussions and assessment will support the development of an ethical and responsible outlook to service management and its impact on society.
- Seminar discussions and group activities will support the development of communication skills.
|Course organiser||Dr Katharine Aulton
Tel: (0131 6)50 8074
|Course secretary||Mr David Murphy