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.


The student learns how to design, analyse, and manage services and service systems and the processes supporting sustainable value creation in service operations.

The course develops knowledge, methods, and tools for developing and managing services in digitally enabled, networked, value-driven, and sustainable businesses.

Credits: 5

Schedule: 12.01.2022 - 19.04.2022

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Pekka Töytäri, Risto Rajala

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

Service Operations Management course focuses on the analysis, design and management of services and service systems and the processes supporting sustainable value creation in service operations. For this purpose, the course develops the knowledge and skills needed to manage and develop operations in a world of advanced service.

The course provides the opportunity to learn about the principles of managing service-centric operations across different industries. Through completing this course, the participants will learn to identify the key opportunities and challenges in service business, and develop novel ways of acquiring, managing and delivering products, services, and solutions for improved efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability. The participants also learn the contemporary developments around networked, customer and value-focused, and digital platform-enabled value creation.

The course content is divided into six themes and modules, focusing on the fundamentals of services economy, value creation by service, customer-centric service systems, scalable and efficiently implemented service solutions, networked value creation by digitalizing service ecosystems, and the institutional change of business beliefs, rules, and cooperative norms by service transformation.

There are six modules, each spanning two weeks.

  • Module 1: Value creation by service
  • Module 2: Service economy
  • Module 3: Customer-centric service systems.
  • Module 4: Service solutions
  • Module 5: Service ecosystems
  • Module 6: Service transformation

The course has visiting lecturers from industry and Aalto University research illustrating the prevailing industry trends and the theoretical contents of the course in practice.

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The key contents include understanding contemporary multi-actor value creation, service-based business relationships, management of differentiated customer experience, ecosystem-based value creation, customer-focused value innovation map, institutional change of business logic, and through-life performance management.

  • applies in this implementation

    NOTE: This schedule may still change during the course. However, at most only minor changes are expected. Any changes will be updated ONLY in MyCourses.




    Lecture Pre-readings

    Read before each lectures. Check other possible additional materials from MyCourses.


    Individual assignments DLs


    Module 1: Value creation by service


    Customer goals and service value propositions

    Eggert et al (2018) "Conceptualizing and communicating value in business markets"

    Wed Jan 19th 18:00: 19.1 Value creation by service quiz


    Customer value research and value creation by service

    Bettencourt Ulwick (2008) "The customer-centered innovation map"

    Tue Jan 25th: Peer-reviews of both Eggert et al (2018) and Bettencourt Ulwick (2008) pre-reading presentations

    Wed Jan 26th 18:00: 26.1 Value creation by service quiz

    Fri Feb 4th 10:00: MODULE 1: Learning diary "Value creation by service"

    Module 2: Service Economy


    Service economy and productivity

    Pre-learning podcast: Paul Lillrank & Mikko Heiskala, Services, Service Economy and Service Productivity, see MyCourses (no article presentation)

    Wed Feb 2nd 18:00: 2.2 Service economy quiz


    Service economy in open production systems

    Frei (2006) "Breaking the trade-off between efficiency and service"

    Tue Feb 1st: Peer-review of Frei (2006) pre-reading presentation

    Wed Feb 9th 18:00: 9.2 Service economy quiz

    Fri Feb 18th 10:00: MODULE 2: Learning diary "Service economy"

    Module 3: Customer-Centric Service Systems


    Customer experiences in service

    Lemon Verhoef (2016) "Understanding customer experience throughout the customer journey"

    Tue Feb 15th: Peer-review of Lemon Verhoef (2016) pre-reading presentation

    Wed Feb 16th 18:00: 16.2 Customer-centric service systems quiz



    Fri Mar 4th 10:00: MODULE 3: Learning diary "Customer-centric service systems"


    Module 4: Service Solutions


    Modularity of service solutions

    Sturgeon (2002) "Modular production networks: A new American model of industrial organization"

    Tue Mar 1st: Peer-review of Sturgeon (2002) pre-reading presentation

    Wed Mar 2nd 18:00: 2.3 Service solutions quiz


    Case KONE Corporation

    Rajala et al (2019) "The next phase in servitization transforming integrated solutions into modular solutions"

    Tue Mar 8th: Peer-review of Rajala et al. (2019) pre-reading presentation

    Wed Mar 9th 18:00: 9.3 Service solutions quiz

    Fri Mar 18th 10:00: MODULE 4: Learning diary "Service solutions"

    Module 5: Service Ecosystems


    Service ecosystems

    Adner (2017) "Ecosystem as a structure"

    Tue Mar 15th: Peer-review of Adner (2017) pre-reading presentation

    Wed Mar 16th 18:00: 16.3 Service ecosystems quiz


    Ecosystem design workshop 09:00 - 12:00

    Read the ecosystem design toolkit handbook (see MyCourses).

    Wed Mar 23rd 18:00: 23.3 Service ecosystems quiz

    Fri Apr 1st 10:00: MODULE 5: Learning diary "Service ecosystems"

    Module 6: Service Transformations


    Service transformation as an institutional change

    Bhakoo Choi (2013) "The iron cage exposed"

    Tue Mar 29th: Peer-review of Bhakoo Choi (2013) pre-reading presentation

    Wed Mar 30th 18:00: 30.3 Service transformations quiz


    Industry example of an institutional change

    Koskela-Huotari et al (2016) "Innovation in service ecosystems - breaking, making, and maintaining"

    Tue Apr 5th: Peer-review of Koskela-Huotari et al (2016) pre-reading presentation

    Wed Apr 6th 18:00: 6.4 Service transformations quiz

    Fri Apr 15th 10:00: MODULE 6: Learning diary "Service transformations"

    Group DLs:
    Course essay project DL Tuesday 19.4.

    Article review presentation DL: depends on the article but on Monday 23:00 before the lecture the article is a pre-reading for.



    Learning content

    Lecture attendance hours + lecture self-reflection and notes

    10 x 2h + 10 h 1 x 3h + 1.5 h

    34.5 h

    Reading pre-reading material for the class + other learning content

    9 x 2 h + 12 h

    30 h


    Learning diaries


    18 h


    11 x 0.5 h

    5.5 h

    Peer-review of pre-reading presentations

    8 x 1.5 h

    12 h

    Preparing pre-reading presentations (as part of group)



    Group essay project (as part of group)

    30 h

    30 h

    Total 137,5h (5 cr)

    138 h

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Pre-reading assignments, online quizzes, online learning diaries, article review presentations in groups, course essay in groups.

  • applies in this implementation

    The course assessment is based on varied assignments, done both individually and in groups. There is no exam.

    The assignments and their respective weight in the assessment are as follows (the assignments are described in more detail later):




    Course essay project

    Done in groups. Each group applies the course theoretic concepts, models, and frameworks in the context of restaurant and food service business, to both design a restaurant concept of their own and to analyse the wider restaurant service industry. DL is 19.4.2022 at the end of the course.
    Course essay project is assessed by staff.

    page2image98255616 page2image98260224


    Article review presentation

    Done in groups. Each group prepares one videoed presentation of a lecture pre-reading article. DL is on the Monday before the lecture the article is a pre-reading for.
    Presentations are peer-reviewed by all other students.

    page2image98265408 page2image98256576 page2image98262528


    Peer-reviews of article presentations

    Done individually. Students will individually assess each article review presentation done by other groups than their own (8 in total). Presentations become available on Tuesday morning, DLs are on Tuesday evening.

    Reviews are assessed automatically based on how well they match with all the other assessments. This score may be adjusted by staff.



    Article pre-reading

    Done individually. Each student is expected to read a single pre-reading article before each lecture.
    Pre-readings are assessed in two ways: potentially in quizzes (see Quizzes) and in-directly through peer-reviews of article presentations (see next). Well read pre-reading -> better ability to peer-assess the presentation -> better score from the peer-review.



    Done individually. Lecture participation and grasp of the presented



    learning content is assessed directly in Quizzes and in reflective learning diaries, and more indirectly in Course essay project.


    Done individually. There is a quiz after each lecture (11 in total). The quiz may cover issues from both the lecture and the pre-reading and assumes both have been studied.
    You have one (1) attempt at a quiz. There is a 20min time limit to complete the quiz after beginning the attempt. The quizzes consist of multiple choice or yes/no type of questions. The DL is at 18:00 on Wednesdays.

    Quizzes are scored automatically.

    page3image31452416 page3image31449728 page3image31450112 page3image31445312 page3image31442816 page3image31450880


    Learning diaries

    Done individually. There is one learning diary per module (6 in total) where students critically reflect their lecture participation and the module learning content (lectures, pre-readings, and other possible materials). Lecture participation gives points.
    DL is on Fridays the week following the module.
    Learning diaries are assessed by course staff.

    page3image31452032 page3image31454528


    NOTE: Although the assignment scores will be visible in MyCourses, MyCourses gradebook will not reflect your full and correct ‘percentage score’ i.e. you should not use it to estimate your performance or grade during or after the course. This is due technical limitations of MyCourses. Course staff will compile the grading outside of MyCourses and inform students of the grading in MyCourse separately.

    page3image31445888 page3image31443584


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Lectures 32 h.

  • applies in this implementation

    Learning content

    Lecture attendance hours + lecture self-reflection and notes

    10 x 2h + 10 h 1 x 3h + 1.5 h

    34.5 h

    Reading pre-reading material for the class + other learning content

    9 x 2 h + 12 h

    30 h


    Learning diaries


    18 h


    11 x 0.5 h

    5.5 h

    Peer-review of pre-reading presentations

    8 x 1.5 h

    12 h

    Preparing pre-reading presentations (as part of group)



    Group essay project (as part of group)

    30 h

    30 h

    Total 137,5h (5 cr)

    138 h


Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language : English

    Teaching Period : 2022-2023 Spring III - IV
    2023-2024 Spring III - IV

    Enrollment :

    Registration for Courses: In the academic year 2021-2022, registration for courses will take place on Sisu ( instead of WebOodi. Course size may be limited. Students are given priority as follows: 1) Master s students in Industrial Engineering and Management program, 2) students minoring in Operations Management, 3) exchange students in the Industrial Engineering and management programme, 4) other students