Credits: 6

Schedule: 09.01.2018 - 08.02.2018

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Tomas Falk

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

III 2018–19 (spring) Töölö campus
III 2019–20 (spring) Otaniemi campus

Independent self-learning course (2019-20)

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

By attending the self-learning course, participants will acquire a conceptual toolbox enabling them to better understand and analyze recent developments in service business. In particular, after having attended the course, participants will be able to better understand how to integrate customers and technology in service delivery, to assess and optimize service quality, to design effective service recovery measures, and to develop hybrid offerings in terms of innovative product-service combinations. Overall, the course aims at providing students with a solid foundation for designing and managing service businesses as well as conducting scientific research in this domain.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The module is designed as an independent self-learning course based on several reading packages incorporating seminal service research articles. In addition, an accompanying text book will provide additional guidance. The course starts with approaching the foundations of service business based on the four main characteristics of services: intangibility, heterogeneity, inseparability, and perishability. Next, to capture service quality as a major aim of service provision, the module discusses prominent service quality concepts such as the Gap-model, SERVQUAL, blueprinting, and the Critical Incident Technique. Moreover, the course also covers seminal tools for measuring service quality on the Internet. Given the general failure-proneness of service encounters, strategies for designing effective service recovery are discussed in the following. In particular, recovery episodes for co-created services on the Internet play an important role in this part of the lecture. The course continues with identifying technology in general and self-service technologies in particular as major drivers of service innovation. Following the increasing importance of technology for delivering services, participants will also discuss to what extent artificial intelligence might replace human service labor. To course closes with discussing hybrid offerings as service-oriented solutions in B2B-settings.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Videotaped PechaKucha presentation (15%)
Individual reflection notes (50%)
Case study report (10%)
Take home exam (25%)

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

6 credits, 160 hours:

Independent self-learning course:
● Individual report and videotaped PechaKucha presentation about the consumption of an innovative service (24 h)
● Individual reflection notes on seminal service research articles (72 h)
● Case study report (24 h)
● Script and online videos on service management (16 h)
● Take Home Exam (24 h)

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Coursebook (2019-20): Wilson, A., V. A. Zeithaml, M. J. Bitner, and D. D. Gremler (2012), Services Marketing: Integrating Customer Focus Across the Firm (2nd ed.). Maidenhead, Berkshire: McGraw Hill

Coursebook (2018-2019): Wirtz, Jochen and Christopher Lovelock (2016): Services Marketing: People -Technology - Strategy, 8th ed.


Course script and a collection of articles provided by the lecturer.

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Registration via WedOodi. Check registration time in WebOodi.

Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The number of students admitted to the course is restricted to 40. Priority is given to Aalto students studying in MSc Program of Marketing.