Service Science acts as an interdisciplinary umbrella which incorporates widely diverse disciplines to construct, manage, analyse and evolve service systems. These disciplines include service operations, service management, service marketing, service engineering, service design, economics, and business information system literature.
Service networks play a central role towards supporting services across the global economy. A service network may be described as a collection of people who share resources and competence across a specific network to provide a service or to meet a common goal. In today’s service-dominant business environment, harnessing innovative applications of technology is considered one of the critical factors towards organisational sustainability. Consequently, the application of technology to support services has altered our traditional understanding of the ‘organisation’, making it more difficult to conceptualise the paradigm of services. Thus, the emergence of ‘Service Science’ as a discipline, has underscored the importance of understanding the complexities of service and their intertwining properties. However, what has come to light is that there is a lack of insight on what these intertwining dynamics are and how they are influenced by technology. Understanding these dynamics are critical to understanding how IT-enabled service networks shape the social environment and how the social environment shape the technological factors within a service network environment.
The service-dominant economy has become increasingly prevalent over the goods-dominant economy where services are utilised for specific competences, such as knowledge, skills, and technologies to benefit another economic entity. This highlights the importance in the concepts of ‘resourcing’ and ‘co-creation’ within a network of service systems. To address many of these growing concerns, Service Science has rapidly emerged as an important discipline and has attracted much interest across the world. Service Science has received interest in both the corporate (for example, IBM, Oracle, and HP) and academic world (for example, UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Maryland, University of Manchester, Helsinki University of Technology, The University of Sydney) which indicates the global uptake of Service Science developments. In many cases, universities are introducing Service Science degrees to accommodate for industry and economy demands. This was also the case back in the 1940’s and 1950’s with IBM’s introduction of the ‘Computer Science’ discipline – Service Science is adopting a similar uptake.
Service Science acts as an interdisciplinary umbrella which incorporates widely diverse disciplines to construct, manage, analyse and evolve service systems. These disciplines include service operations, service management, service marketing, service engineering, service design, economics, and business information system literature. The explosive growth in Service Science is motivated by the need to develop more systematic, analytical, and overarching approaches to understanding the complexity of services. Service Science practitioners explain that while we amalgamate various schools of thought on examining service co-creation and co-production we need to generate new knowledge regarding the overlap between business and technology (i.e. service management and service computing). This is increasingly more important as services become more ‘open’, collaborative, flexible, agile, and adaptive, there are greater pressures on organisations to reconfigure and meet change through strategic realignments. In doing so, service managers must develop an understanding as to how various factors impacts the value of the service infrastructure. This places emphasis on the need to develop new methods to model service networks.