Services Engineering and Management Summer School, Helsinki University of Technology, August 28-September 2

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the Coevolving Innovations web site by David Ing.

Groupwork discussion

Robert as our reporting person

What has the group learned during this week?

Ian: Would like to think about solutions, rather than providing services.

  • Solutions are part of management philosophy, but not part of the academic language.
    • Can we learn by this?
    • If it's useful for business, we need to understand why.
    • Emphasis on customer's customers
  • It's in the KIBS literature
    • Difference between going along, i.e. we have a problem this before and can solve it, as opposed to jointly solving the literature.
  • Solution-centered approach, versus commodization
  • Can broaden to similar solutions, rather than a customized solutions
  • Two ideas:
  • Customer side added, rather than just the product
  • Service within a service, a systemic element

Ian: solutioneering, rather than solution engineering

Tarja: service innovation, Schumpeterian innovation that includes the customer

  • Guidelines and/or tools when thinking about service innovation

Arja: have found a focus for thesis work

Tinna: listening to different types of presentation, nice to hear about other types of services

  • Still have difficulty in discussing the SEM perspective

David: a working definition of service innovaiton, as a base

M: Service development and service provider, as compared to just the customer side

Anssi: Service concept from industrial point of view very different from professional services

  • Is service science a field of its own, or is something old put into a new context?
  • Researchers like what they do now, and they just take what they've done before rather than bringing new innovative ways to looking

Alok: Blurring of the demarcation between product and service

  • Idea that goods and services are different
  • Discussion with Valerie that products also have intangibles wrapped in
  • More and more manufacturers aren't providing a product, but are manufacturers providing a service
    • Tim Sturgeon (MIT), not just bending metals
  • Service as similar to benefit?
    • Both goods and services provide services
    • Complicated discussion, from the 1970s
    • In specific manufacturer firms, all workers provide labour services

Ian: Three way distinction:

  • Products:  goods - services
  • Activities: manufacturing - services
  • Functions:  artifacts - services
  • All are transformations
  • Transform the state of artifacts, people and symbols
    • Symbolic transformation: knowledge transformation
    • Physical transformation: repair and maintenance, storage, transport
    • Organic, changing people: health, education

Alok: SEM has different perspectives, coming from different points of views

  • Uncertain about service innovation
  • Could be changes in the state, or the changes in the way you produce that state

Marja: Differentiation between product and process can be difficult in service innovation

  • Alok: eyeglasses vs. laser surgery
  • Marja: some services, where have back office and front office activities, can separate product from process, but in KIBS, can't separate
  • Based on Edvardsson:
    • Service as a concept, as a process, and as resources
    • Together, concept, process and resources provide value to the customer
    • Try to develop the value proposition
  • Example: customer not knowing whether a screw is included or not included
  • Alok: Ikea case for Indian executives don't like it, because there are 5 servants behind them
  • Marja has a problem with Edvardsson, would like to call the whole thing a concept
  • David: may look at IBM Global Services Method, as a comparison


Consulting methods:

  • Some will sell consulting more towards methods, and others will may methods murky

Marja: learned more about different types of services and service providers

  • Do need definitions, but need different types of tactics
  • It's not outsourcing that is important, but selective out-tasking, that is particularly important for KIBS
  • Same provider can provide services, as well as tools so that the customers can do it themselves
  • More is being outsourced, as core are less core, more brand as core
  • e.g. of out-tasking: an accounting company with services in M&A valuation, which then sold tools
  • We've been discussing products becoming services, but this could be services becoming products: asset-based consulting to tools

Robert:  learned two things

  • From David's presentation, services are highly contextual, so a systems approach is helpful
  • From Marja and Ian, R&D innovative activity is extremely limited, need more spontaneous

Question: How could the group collaborate in the future

  • Start an e-mail list
  • Write, make presentations and distribute
  • Meet again?  Friday, October 27
  • Marja will send a KIBS policy presentation that she's making in Spain
  • Tiina, Robert and Marja will work on a service model for the next meeting
  • Arja is planning on going to Umea to the Vargo and Lusch "Service Dominant Marketing"
  • David will work on a paper on Service and Theory of Practice
  • Anssi is going to Berkeley, and arranging a Finnish-American conference for March / April, with 40 spaces for Europeans
    • Opportunity to publish in California Management Review

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2006/09/02 12:55 KIBS track: Groupwork summary preparation