Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.
By attending the online course, participants will acquire a conceptual toolbox enabling them to better understand the core concepts of service management and to embrace recent developments in service business. In particular, after having attended the course, participants will be better able to measure and manage (electronic) service excellence, to initiate and lead customer co-creation, to integrate digital technologies in service design and delivery, and to address sustainability and wellbeing aspects in service contexts. Overall, the course aims at providing students with a solid foundation for managing service businesses as well as conducting scientific research in this domain.
Schedule: 08.01.2019 - 14.02.2019
Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Tomas Falk
Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Tomas Falk
Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):
CEFR level (applies in this implementation):
Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):
Teaching language: English
Languages of study attainment: English
CONTENT, ASSESSMENT AND WORKLOAD
The module is designed as an hybrid online course that consists of various forms of independent self-learning and online group work. The course is built around four thematic study packages, incorporating seminal service research articles, case studies, online videos and other material offered by the teacher. In addition, an accompanying text book will provide additional guidance.
The course starts with approaching the emergence of service industry and foundations of service business value creation. Next, to understand evaluation of service excellence, key issues concerning the management and measurement of service performance and customer satisfaction are introduced. After that, we turn our gaze towards the recent developments in the service field. Digital service encounters, ranging from self-service technologies to AI, and service design as a basis of innovation strategy are presented as new fundamentals of service viability in the complex service networks of today. In addition, services are approached from ecosystem perspective and service strategies oriented to environmental and societal impact are discussed.
Assessment Methods and Criteria
Individual reflection notes
Case and group work
Take home exam
6 credits, 160 hours:
Independent work (Pre-assignment & self-study of four thematic study packages) 96 h
Group work (Lean Service Creation – project including three online workshop sessions) 64 h
The online course does not include weekly lectures and the students may conduct the independent work part at their own pace, in compliance with the given course deadlines. To successfully complete the group work (Lean service creation – project), students are expected to participate on three workshop sessions (approximately 2-4 hours each), organized in Zoom-online platform. Workshop schedules will be communicated three weeks before the course start.
Applies in this implementation:
Overview on course assignments and grading criteria
The course encompasses
the following grading elements, which are explained in more detail in following:
reflection on a current service innovation and PechaKucha presentation (20%)
reflection notes (10%)
home exam (40%)
Please reflect on an innovative service that you have
recently started to use on a regular base (note that you are free to determine
the service you want to relate your answer to. The service might relate to your
private consumption or might be business related) and answer the following
describe the service you reflect on. What are the main features of the service?
did you start to use the service? Try to depict the main drivers of your
initial decision to start using the service.
(if anything) may other companies learn from the service provider you are
1.2 Format and timeline:
Please prepare a written, max. 800
word report on the three questions indicated above.
2. Please also prepare a PechaKucha presentation based on your written report. PechaKucha
refers to a presentation style in which a specific number of slides are shown
for a specified time (more information on PechaKucha in general can be found at
http://www.pechakucha.org/). For this lecture, a maximum of 10 slides can be
shown for 30 seconds each (i.e., the maximal total presentation time is 5
minutes. Shorter submissions are possible.). The format should keep
presentations concise and fast-paced. You might use graphical illustrations and
textual elements in your presentation.
submit both, your written report and the PechaKucha presentation. Grading of
the pre-assignment will be based on the written report and the submitted
task is designed as an individual work.
of the pre-assignment will be based on a scale from 1-20 points.
lecturer will ask selected participants to present their ideas on one of the
lecture days. Selection of presentations is based on the types of services
introduced in the submissions and aims at covering a diverse set of different
services. Given time constraints, not all students will have the chance to
present their work. Presentations are thought to trigger in-class discussions
on current trends in service management. Feedback on the submissions (report
and presentation) might be provided during the lecture days.
7. The deadline
for submitting your pre-task is Jan. 4, 2019, 01.00 pm Finnish time to
email@example.com. On-time submission of the pre-task is mandatory to
participate in and to pass the course! Clearly indicate your name on the
submission and the respective file.
2. Class participation
A student whose class participation is excellent is
someone who is physically and cognitively present during the lectures, contributes
consistently to class discussions, and indicates thorough preparation and
analytic insight. The student also consistently builds on conceptual models
discussed in class or presented in the reading package, on empirical evidence
on a topic, and on contributions of others in order to craft a more complete
understanding of the issues being discussed. The student’s responses when cold
called are also of high quality. Class participation excellence typically
requires physical presence in at least 90% of the lectures.
reflection notes (10%):
In order to assure high quality learning outcomes,
students are kindly asked to prepare an individual reflection note on one out of two topics. The
reflection note discusses two guiding questions on the selected topic. Each
topic features a set of seminal articles in the field, with which the students
should familiarize themselves.
3.2 Format and
1. Please select one out of three topics listed below.
2. Prepare a max. 1000
word reflection noteon one of the topics presented below by answering the
respective guiding questions.
3. Submit your reflection note by February, 3, 2019
(midnight) to firstname.lastname@example.org
indicate your name on the submission and the respective file.
A. Service and Technology
M. D., S. G. Robinson, N. J. Sirianni, and M. K. Brady (2014), “Touch Versus
Tech: When Technology Functions as a Barrier or a Benefit to Service
Encounters,” Journal of Marketing, 78
M.-H. and R. T. Rust (2017), “Technology-Driven Service Strategy,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science,
45 (6), 906-924.
M.-H. and R. T. Rust (2018), “Artificial Intelligence in Service”, Journal of Service Research, 21 (2), 155–172.
D., K. de Ruyter, M.-H. Huang, M. Meuter, and G. Challagalla (2017), “Getting
Smart: Learning from Technology Empowered Frontline Interactions,” Journal of Service Research, 20 (1),
M.L., M. J. Bitner, A. Ostrom, and S. W. Brown (2005), “Choosing Among
Alternative Service Delivery Modes: An Investigation of Customer Trial of
Self-Service Technologies,” Journal of
Marketing, 69 (2), 61-83.
D.G. and S. Fournier (1998), “Paradoxes of Technology: Consumer Cognizance,
Emotions, and Coping Strategies,” Journal of Consumer Research, 25 (2),
A. Literature proposes that many service encounters have
been transforming away from a “high-touch, low-tech” paradigm to a “low-touch,
high-tech” paradigm. Do you agree? Please debate. (max. 400 words)
B. To what extent may artificial intelligence replace
human service labor? Please discuss. (max. 600 words)
B. Services in B2B-Settings
G., Venkatesh, R., A. K. Kohli (2009), ”Proactive Postsales
Service: When and Why Does it Pay Off?,” Journal
of Marketing, 73 (2), 70-87.
M. A., Kahl, S. J., and F. F. Suarez (2015),”Services, Industry,
Evolution, and the Competitive Strategies of Product Firms,“ Strategic Management Journal, 36 (4),
E., Palmatier, R. W., and J.-B. E. M. Steenkamp, (2008), ”Effect
of Service Transition Strategies on Firm Value, Journal of Marketing, 72 (5), 1–14.
K. R., Kohli, A. K., and S. G. Bharadwaj, S. G. (2007),”Rethinking Customer
Solutions: From Product Bundles to Relational Processes, “Journal of Marketing, 71(3), 1-17.
Ulaga, W. and W.
J. Reinartz (2011), “Hybrid
Offerings: How Manufacturing Firms Combine Goods and Services Successfully,” Journal of Marketing, 75 (6), 5-23.
S., Bharadwaj, S.G., Ulaga, W., and W. J. Reinartz (2017), “When and Why Do
Customer Solutions Pay Off in Business Markets?,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 45(4), 490-512.
A. Define the concept of customer solutions in your
own words. (max. 400 words)
B. Are customer solutions the holy grail towards more
profitable business operations? (max. 600 words)
4. Group presentations
organize yourselves into groups of max. five members. The group allocation will
be facilitated during the first lectures on Tuesday, Jan. 8 and finalized on
Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019.
one Finnish subject company to focus on during the group work. Appropriate
subject companies might include well-known brands such as Amer Sports, Finnair,
Fiskars, Kone, Marimekko, Rovio, Viking Line to name a few. Please decide upon
the target company by Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 (name of the company to be
indicated during the lecture).
task is to come up with a relevant business objective for your target company
that can be solved by designing a new service for a particular segment of
customers. You are encouraged to consider the following aspects when designing
is the business objective of your organization that the service will address?
the customer group you are designing the service for. What is the need, want, problem,
or desire you are addressing for your customer group with your service
your service concept as a value proposition as well as the basic features of
the service (i.e., what is the service?).
Depict your service based on a blueprint.
a fake ad promoting your service offer.
will you know that you have succeeded in reaching that business objective?
4.2 Format and timeline:
group will present its suggestion for an innovative service offering on
Tuesday, Feb. 12 or Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. Presentations should not exceed 10
min in length in order to leave enough room for discussion. We will try to
invite target company representatives to attend the group presentations.
2. Please submit your presentation in pdf-format
latest by Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, at 12.00 (noon) Finnish time to email@example.com.
indicate your group members on the submitted file.
5. Take home
Students prepare an individual reflection note
on selected articles exploring topical issues in service business. The article
package will be communicated during the lecture on Feb. 7, 2019 latest.
5.2 Format and
1. Please apply the following format for your
Word or pdf-file; font Arial 12; line spacing 1,3.
Maximum of 1500 words plus a separate reference list
if needed (note that references are not explicitly required). Other appendices
will not be graded.
Please stick to the defined word count; only content
provided within the maximum word count including a 10% buffer will be graded.
indicate the correct word count along with your student number on the front
page of your submission.
Instructions for the Take Home Exam and the respective
articles will be provided latest during the session on Feb. 7, 2019 and a
respective document will be uploaded to MyCourses after that session.
Please pay special attention to the guiding questions,
which should be addressed in your reflection note.
in your written statement by March 07, 2019 (midnight) via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make sure to clearly indicate your name and student
number on the submitted document.
You are free to use any material for preparing your
statement. References should be cited properly according to the American
Psychological Association (APA) citation guidelines: https://www.apastyle.org/.
Please get acquainted with the following grading
Take home exams will be graded on a scale from 0 to 40
Carefully consider the guiding questions when
preparing your answers. Try tackle the essence of the question and pay
attention to signal words used in the question (e.g., describe, depict,
discuss, explain etc.).
Precisely define the concepts you are referring to in
Build a logical flow of argumentation in order to
develop a convincing storyline.
You may use examples to illustrate and support your
line of reasoning.
Try to provide convincing rationale for suggestions or
evaluations that you may give.
Excellent answers typically precisely cover the core
of the questions, define relevant concepts in a clear manner using
easy-to-understand language, develop a coherent line of argumentation, and
offer concrete implications which are meaningfully substantiated (i.e., do not
strike the reader out of the blue). Most importantly, writers should show their
ability to critically deal with the subject of interest by including their own
grounded, personal assessment of the matter (e.g., by discussing pros and cons
of an issue).
We will check
for plagiarism; in extreme cases of plagiarism, the submission might be
declared as invalid and the candidate fails this part of the course.
Coursebook: Lovelock, C.H., Wirtz, J., & Chew, P (2012). Essentials of services marketing, 2nd edition.
Collection of articles and other material provided by the lecturer.
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals
8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
Details on the schedule
Applies in this implementation:
- Teacher: Tomas Falk