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Created by Adminsske on 3 May 2012, at 22:26


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Service science is short for service science, management, engineering, and design, also known as SSMED. It began as a ‘‘call to action,’’ focusing academics, businesses, and governments on the need for research and education in areas related to service (Chesbrough, 2004; IBM, 2005). After all,
the service sector (as traditionallymeasured) has grown to be the largest share of gross domestic product and employment for all major industrialized countries (Spohrer and Maglio, 2008). Service science has grown into a global initiative involving hundreds of organizations and thousands of people who have begun to create service innovation roadmaps and to invest in expanding the body of knowledge about service systems and networks.

But exactly what counts as service science? Simply put, service science aims to explain and improve interactions in which multiple entities work together to achieve win–win outcomes or mutual benefits (Spohrer and Maglio, 2008). More precisely, we define service as value cocreation, value as change that people prefer, and value cocreation as a change or set of related changes that people prefer and realize as a result of their communication, planning, or other purposeful and knowledge-intensive interactions. Science is the agreed upon methods and standards of rigor used by a community to develop a body of knowledge that accounts for observable phenomenon with conceptual frameworks, theories, models, and laws that can be both empirically tested and applied (Kuhn, 1962). So service science seeks to create a body of knowledge that accounts for value cocreation between entities as they interact—to describe, explain, and (perhaps someday) better predict, control, and guide the evolution of valuecocreation phenomena.

This first section of this publication introduces the challenges faced by the service-science initiative, as well as the foundational concepts, questions, tools, and methods of service science. The second section provides an overview of the many existing academic disciplines that service science both draws on (without replacing!) and contributes to. These disciplines can be organized around the coevolution of entities and their interactions; past, present, and future possibilities are all relevant. The final section discusses existing professions and the ways a service scientist can both integrate and contribute to job roles across industries. Service science is on a path to become a new scientific degree area as well as a new liberal arts or professional science degree in conjunction with other degree programs. Someday service science will be a useful scientific foundation for management, engineering, design,  arts, and other types of degrees, and it will also be useful to entrepreneurs and business consultants.

Online resource

Published as first Chapter in the book Introduction to Service Engineering.

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