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Working with the service sector requires researchers to have a strong interdisciplinary inclination and to be relevant to practice; solutions for STEM‐based tools in service organisations are much more challenging academically, because they are not easily found and require bespoke intellectual input.

Universities should recognise that siloed, mono‐disciplined mentalities therefore inhibit engagement with the service sector. To be truly interdisciplinary so as to encourage innovative research, service needs to be free of its disciplinary boundaries, and the paradigmatic research influences of each discipline. In short, service needs to evolve into a discipline in its own right. To engage with the service sector fully, service research should be liberated from school and departmental territories and sit autonomously within the university, free to bring in top academics of other disciplines to advance the cause of service innovation.

The issue of education, learning and skills is important for two reasons in relation to service innovation: firstly, innovation and the introduction of new technologies commonly involves concomitant investments in training and skill development by firms; secondly, lack of suitably qualified personnel can be a significant constraint to service firm and growth. Shortages of suitably qualified labour was rated as a significant barrier to service innovation, being rated the fourth most significant barrier from international survey data.

Two broad areas of skills need greater policy attention in relation to innovation in services:

  • Management skills: very few people receive any formal training in innovation management from universities, and especially relative to those receiving training in the more established disciplines, such as marketing or accountancy or finance. Yet it is often argued that innovation management requires a broader mix of skills than is provided by traditional, disciplinary based approaches.
  • Workforce skills: the tradition within the education and training systems has been to encourage high degrees of specialisation. Such specialisation is appropriate for economies based on highly decomposable tasks, but less appropriate where people need to interact and interrelate in the course of their work. Such interaction and inter-relations are much more common in services work, including innovation related service work, and here worker skills are increasingly found wanting.

There is, therefore, a need to adapt educational and training systems and develop degree curricula and training initiatives which prepare individuals for the demands of the service economy.

We are facing today an acknowledged demand to develop a large number of higher education programs in Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME), emphasizing the need to create a format by itself, contrary to an implicit tendency to dissipate knowledge related to Service Science among already existing educational programs in specific domains.

It is in the framework of the POS-DRU Project no. 57748 "INSEED - Strategic Program Fostering Innovation in Services Through Open, Continuous Education" that the proposal of a reference model for a complex higher education program in SSME is formulated. The main artefact is the SSME model (figure 1) that proposes a modern vision on a complex educational model on three levels (undergraduate, masters and doctorate) to approach service innovation. It provides professional competencies in different service sectors and support for specific lifelong learning education for service innovation.

Figure 1. SSME model and service innovation multilevel framework - correlation

The SSME model defines different levels of higher education. It takes as a starting point the service innovation multilevel framework, over which the curricular areas, professional competencies, sets of disciplines and types of occupations available to students are superimposed.

The following classification of the service systems are taken into consideration when trying to group modules of disciplines defined toward the formation of professional competencies in service systems and service innovation:

  • SS_MSRP (major technology-orientation). This class refers to systems that move, store, harvest, process: (1) transportation; (2) ICT; (3) water and waste; (4) food and supply chain, manufacturing; (5) production, transport and distribution of electricity (see [3]);
  • SS_SBE (moderate orientation towards technology and business). This class refers to systems for health, welfare and wise education: (6) healthcare; (7) education; (8) banking and finance; (9) building and construction; (10)] retail and hospitality (see [3]);
  • SS_GOV (major orientation towards business). This class refers to systems that govern: (11) city; (12) state; (13) nation (see [3]).

The SSME model highlights:

LS

An undergraduate level in service systems: (LS) - [Main Pillar]

MS

Two types of master levels in service systems:

  • (MS-T) - a technology- oriented master program in services (engineering) [Technology Pillar];
  • (MS-E) - a business-oriented master program in services (economics) [Business Pillar]

DS

A doctorate in services level, with the following aspects:

  • (DS-T) – a technology-oriented doctoral program in complex systems for services (engineering);
  • (DS-E) - a business-oriented doctoral program in complex systems for services (economics)

CS

A lifelong education program in services, on both directions: technology-oriented and business-oriented. It accounts for different lifelong education inservices sub-programs (28 to 100 hours of training) containing compact training modules (3, 5 ... 20 days). These modules could be a) pre-defined (based on the curricular areas and sets of disciplines in the LS, MS-T or MS-E) or b) on-demand (required by private companies of public institutions).


The SSME model includes the following types of Master Programs in Services (http://inseed.cimr.pub.ro/master.html):

1. General programs [MS-T type or MS-E type]

Service Engineering and Management (SEM)

Competencies: service systems analysis and design; ICT, service operations management and marketing; psychology and organizational communication

2. IT-oriented programs [MS-T type]

Service Engineering and Design in Electronics, Telecommunications Information Technology (SPIS-ETTI)

Competencies: information systems for networking and services, SOA and Web technologies, software applications for mobile devices, Internet and multimedia services, intelligent system based voice communication services;

Advanced Software Services (SSA)


Competencies: software services, services in the Cloud, ICT for services, service oriented information systems architecture, information services consulting, information security;

Management and Protection of Information (MPI)


Competencies: information systems security, technologies and high performance computing devices (HPC), risk and strategic management, audit and certi
fication to access information;

Automation and Industrial Informatics (AII)


Competencies: automation and computerization processes and services for technical processes, diagnosis services for technical systems, SCADA systems and industrial networks of communication.

3. Business-oriented programs [MS-E type]

Business Services Management (MSA)


Competencies: entrepreneurship in services, service marketing, human resources management, business law and intellectual property, Service oriented Computing, service operations management

Advanced Techniques in Data Management and Analysis for Business Sustainability (TAGDA SA)


Competencies: methods, techniques and analysis and optimization tools for business processes, organizational and service innovation transformation, sustainable development management, product innovative modelling.

Masters programs oriented towards different service sector in society

E-health services [MS-T type]:


Services in manufacturing and supply chains [MS-T type]:


Services in governance, public administration [MS-T type or MS-E type]


Services in telecommunications [MS-T type]


Services for equipments and electrical products [MS-T type]


Multimedia services [MS-T type]



Compact modules ensure a quick initial specialization within initial formation programs of Bachelor Study (BS) and Master (MST si MS-E) type. Direct educational activities (course and applications) and practical activities (laboratory, project) of knowledge transfer (e.g. exercises, applications related to case studies) are provided for these modules. More concrete, the compact modules have the role of assuring the necessary specializations for competences in designing and implementing of solutions, systems and services developments in the basic domains for which initial formation programs are organized (for example general master, IT oriented or sector services-oriented).

An example is represented by the Compact Modules that guarantee different types of specialization in the 4th semester (the last one) of the Master program "Service Engineering and Management", in which, after an intensive training of about 30 hours (one week), the students deepen their knowledge with methodological and applied character that will allow them to develop applications for the MSC dissertation project.

A number of compact modules was also defined that are integrated in bachelor initial formation programs, ensuring specializations in the domain of system development for services in the broader context of basic initial undergraduate formation program.

The following courses are part of Compact Modules:


A number of Continuous Training Programs in sector services, with ITC support, are included in the SSME open education model for the postgraduate formation / improvement of competencies in the Creation, Design, Implementing, Operating and Management of Service Systems (CDIOMS).

These programs have a total budget of 28-100 didactic hours, being in principal addressed to people employed in various service industry sectors: manufacturing value chain (production, supply chains), public administration, finance and banking, healthcare, IT, resource delivery and management (electricity, heating, water supply), electronic commerce, a.o.

The SSME model includes the following types of Continuous Training Programs (CTPs):d of computer-aided communication and professional formation resources (Internet portals, software applications and user interfaces, data bases and on line courses) in the electrical power domain.

Classification of the service systems

Continuous Training Program

Competencies

SS_MSRP

FC1. Architect of Integrated Services for Manufacturing

Design, implementing, testing, operating and maintaining information and control systems with general-purpose and dedicated equipment including computer networks, industrial controllers and LANs for monitoring, automation and management of manufacturing processes

Identifying roles and responsibilities in a multi-specialized manufacturing management and control team, taking decisions and assigning tasks, applying collaborative techniques and efficient team work

SS_MSRP

FC2. Integrator of Services for Supply Chains

Design, implementing, testing, operating and maintaining mixed planning and scheduling systems with general-purpose and dedicated equipment including computer networks, industrial controllers and communication systems for monitoring, planning and management of supply chain networks

Identifying roles and responsibilities of specialists in supply chain network programming, planning and tracking

SS_MSRP

FC3. Expert in Cloud Services

Web and Cloud services management, development and utilisation

SS_MSRP

FC4. Trader of Electric Energy

Capabilities to use basic elements related to the management of electric power systems, compliant with the actual legislation and energy market principles

Efficient utilization of information methods, means and tools, and of computer-aided communication and professional formation resources (Internet portals, software applications and user interfaces, data bases and on line courses) in the electrical power domain.

SS_MSRP

FC5. Auditor for Thermo Power Systems

Basic knowledge and skills for the modelling, design and exploitation of thermo power equipment and plants.

Efficient utilization of information methods, means and tools, and of computer-aided communication and professional formation resources (Internet portals, software applications and user interfaces, data bases and on line courses) in the thermo power domain.

SS_SBE

FC6. Advanced Analysis and Optimization of Business Processes

Basic knowledge and skills for setting up information systems for the management of business processes.

Understanding the Service Oriented Architecture concept and implementing techniques. Efficient utilization of Business Analytics and Optimization (BAO) techniques – support for risk management and optimization of decision making.

SS_MSRP

FC7. Expert in Electric Energy Supply

Basic knowledge and skills for services related to the production, transport and distribution of electrical energy, and to the management of electrical power quality.

Efficient utilization of information methods, means and tools, and of computer-aided communication and professional formation resources (software applications and user interfaces, data bases and on line courses) in the electrical power supply domain.

SS_MSRP

FC8. Expert in Electrical Engineering Services

Providing the knowledge required to conceive and coordinate experiments and tests specific to electrical engineering services.

Efficient utilization of information methods, means and tools, and of computer-aided communication and professional formation resources (Internet portals, software applications and user interfaces, data bases and on line courses) in the electrical engineering domain.

SS_MSRP

FC9. Expertise of Electrical Equipment and Metrology Assurance

Skills for the diagnosis, maintenance and repair of electrical components and systems.

Efficient utilization of information methods, means and tools, and of computer-aided communication and professional formation resources (Internet portals, software applications and user interfaces, data bases and on line courses) in the diagnosis of electrical equipment and metrology assurance.

SS_MSRP

FC10. Consultant in Services for the Electronics Industry

Solving technology problems in the applied electronics domain.

Adaptation to the new applied electronics technologies and services, professional development in service-related procedures and knowledge update using ICT methods, specialized software tools and resources.

SS_MSRP

FC11. Developer of Interfaces for Mobile Terminals

Conceiving, implementing and operating data, voice, video, and multimedia services, based on understanding and applying basic notions form the Communications and Information Technology domains.

Solving problems specific to the large band communication networks: propagation in different high frequency transmission medias, circuits and equipment (microwaves and optical.

SS_SBE

FC12. Informational Healthcare Services

Design, implementation, testing, operation and maintenance of information systems for the healthcare domain.

Efficient use of e-learning resources and digital content describing data base access and interoperability, and information management systems.

SS_SBE

FC13. Marketing, Communication and Management in Healthcare Services

Applying knowledge of legal procedures, economics, marketing, and quality assurance business in the economic and managerial context of healthcare services.

Efficient use of digital marketing and communication methods and tools for the management of information-based healthcare systems.

SS_SBE

FC14. Specialist in Entrepreneurial Culture

Basic knowledge in entrepreneurial education. Recognizing business opportunities and generating business ideas. Developing a business model: stages, activities.

Establishing the ethic and legal bases of a business. Conceiving strategies for business development.

SS_GOV

FC15. Management and Administration of Public Services in the European Union

Introducing the legal framework, comparison with EU legislation. Understanding the principles of public service management.

Risk management methods and tools for public administration. Analysing funding criteria for public services in Romania and EU.

SS_GOV

FC16. Integrator for e-Government Services

Understand the methodology to be developed for public sector focusing on three main lines: Change management, Quality and sustainability, and Business Model Innovation, analyzed from IT-based perspectives: Big Data for information management, Business Analytics for decision support and Business Intelligence for performance in response to economic and social demands.

Highlight the risk frameworks and strategies that can help leaders manage and respond to risks, fostering success within and across programs. Teach how to gain visibility of risks in advance, communicate their impacts, and be resilient in response in a way that enables positive outcomes.

Provide skills and capabilities to government employees to succeed in becoming more efficient; identify further opportunities to save money, ways to record those savings, and a continuous drive for cost-effective improvements that benefit all citizens.

SS_SBE

FC17. Organizational Behaviour and Leadership for Innovation

Applying knowledge of law, economics, marketing, and quality assurance business, in economic and managerial contexts of the organization.

Identifying the roles and responsibilities of organization leaders with respect to the managed individuals or specialized teams, taking decisions and assigning tasks, promoting leadership principles and attitudes for incremental and radical organisational innovation.

SS_SBE

FC18. Software applications for human resource allocation and balancing within an organization

Skills on using IT systems and software tools for human resource management in an organization; get knowledge on using programs for professional knowledge update and periodic certification of the personnel.

Identifying the roles and responsibilities of human resource managers with respect to organization’s employees, applying information-based technologies and software tools to allocate human resources and assign tasks.


References:

  1. A Model for Open, On-Demand, Collaborative Education for Service Science (Authors: Theodor Borangiu Monica Dragoicea Virginia-Ecaterina Oltean Iulia Iacob Published In: Exploring Services Science 2013 Publication Date: 2013)
  2. A Service Science Knowledge Environment in the Cloud (Authors: Monica Dragoicea Theodor Borangiu Published In: SOHOMA'12 Service Orientation in Holonic and Multi Agent Manufacturing and Robotics Publication Date: 2013)


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