Teaching Service Innovation

There are four major approaches to teaching service innovation:


1. Service innovation as type of design methodology

The focus is on customer-provider interactions typically and many service design methodologies exists that provide a step by step process.  There is also the notion of service design as different from product of process design innovation.   There are many discipline specific ways  or professional society specific ways of teaching students about service systems, and how to create them.


2. Service innovation as type of research management

The focus is on running a multidisciplinary service research group inside a for-profit corporati0n.  The innovation management approach is usually to balance five types of service innovations: (1) improve existing service offerings, (2) create new service offerings, (3) improve processes for acquiring and divesting of specific service offerings to achieve strategic objectives, such as profitability of the portfolio, (4) helping customers and suppliers improve their service research groups, (5) patents and capturing service innovation intellectual property, and (5) contributions to science and education in the broader service innovation community, including university programs.    A good book on managing service research organizations scientifically is “Reaching the Goal: How Managers Improve Service Businesses Using Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints”  by John Ricketts.


3. Service innovation as type of business strategy

The focus is on case studies of successful service innovations that companies have executed in the marketplace.  For example, Rolls Royce power-by-the-hour, Apple’s ipod, iphone, ipad device as a platform, or other open service innovation approaches.   The strategy of creating a platform that allows customers or users to co-create value is often emphasized, with examples like Wikipedia.


4. Service innovation as type of regional policy

The focus is on national service innovation policy and case studies of regions implementing policy changes that have attracted service delivery centers to locate within a region, or increased the amount of business/social-sector service innovation/entrepreneurship in a region.


Please add others ways of teaching service innovation to students, or improve the pointers to slides and presentations for any of the above.




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  2. Also, here is a discussion perspective that may be relevant about innovation and product, process, service/service system design….

    Here is information about a webinar emanating from Xeroc PARC in Silicon Valley, of extreme interest and relevance. Two world-class,. tip-top designers and opinion-makers, Dr. Don Norman and President John Maed discuss, “Is Design Innovation and Innovation Design?” Confusion on these issues is everywhere and profound. Instructions to tune in (sorry it’s late in the North, but there are archives) follow.

    DON NORMAN (faculty at Harvard, author, VP Design for Apple, VP Design for HP, and IDEO Fellow, etc.):


    JOHN MAEDA (global award-winning designer/computer scientist, now President of Rhode Island School of Design), Maeda Studio:



  3. There are also ways of teaching service innovation that are culturally specific (service innovations for Japan) or that are industry specific (service innovation for healthcare).

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