Management, Marketing, Innovation and Internationalisation
Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by John R. Bryson and Peter W. Daniels
Over the last ten years, we and others at IBM Research have begun to consider seriously the nature of service businesses and the opportunities for improvement and innovation in service (Horn, 2005; IBM Research, 2005; Spohrer and Maglio, 2008). It should be no surprise that scientists at IBM would focus on what has become IBM’s biggest and fastest-growing set of businesses: outsourcing and consulting services (IBM, 2012; Spohrer and Maglio, 2008). We found a rich and diverse set of disciplinary research on service, including economics, marketing, operations, industrial engineering, computer science, design and more (for reviews, see Fisk and Grove, 2010 and Spohrer and Maglio, 2010b). But we also found fragmentation and a lack of awareness among researchers and scientists in these various disciplines (Rust, 2004; Spohrer and Maglio, 2010b). Service science is the term we used to try to draw the various disciplinary threads together into a single, coherent study of service phenomena (Maglio, Srinivasan, Kreulen and Spohrer, 2006; Spohrer, Maglio, Bailey and Gruhl, 2007). It was a bold and perhaps foolish idea to try to create a new science of service, and ten years later it is not yet clear whether we have succeeded. Nevertheless, we would argue that there has certainly been good progress and there are still further avenues to explore and develop. In this chapter, we will review some of this progress and some of these prospects.
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