Three complementary perspectives in service science: Service-dominant logic, systems thinking, and service design

Arto Wallin, Kaisa Koskela-Huotari, Kaisa Rönkä

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter or book articleProfessional


    For the last 50 years, we have been witnessing increasing growth of what traditional economists refer to as the services sector [1]. An important driver of this prevailing service phenomenon is the development of information and communication technologies (ICT). Both ICT and digitalisation are stimulating growth in new types of services and enabling global service delivery [2]. The rise of the services sector, and economic growth associated with it, has triggered interest especially in those who are attempting to cope with increasing global competition and who seek a new source of competitive advantage. In consequence, many companies have been moving their focus from products to services. However, the transition toward service business has often been viewed very narrowly, as for example, development of new services. Moreover, many of these services are still tied up with traditional models of value creation in which the focus is on the firm's outputs as 'containers' of value [3]. This paper highlights an alternative perspective on this traditional view and claims that when firms seek to realise the full potential of the service phenomenon, they must fundamentally challenge their current ways of thinking about what constitutes service and how value is created. The paper is based on findings of several research projects, such as Proform, Cloud Software, WeCare, and ModuServ, studying service innovations and success factors in the service business. Based on our experiences, we claim that firms aiming to understand and develop their existing service, create new service innovations, and succeed in a turbulent business environment can benefit significantly by adopting emerging service-oriented thinking. This service-oriented thinking is based on an interdisciplinary field called service science, which adopts service-dominant logic [4, 5] as a worldview and philosophical foundation, with the service system as the main theoretical construct [6, 7]. Furthermore, we propose that service design thinking [8] can bring service science to a more concrete and more easily approachable level for practitioners.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHighlights in service research
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7969-3
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7968-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeD2 Article in professional manuals or guides or professional information systems or text book material

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Research Highlights


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