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Is There A Science of Services?

This document will guide our first assignment: Debate


The goal of this module is to explore whether a science of services exists. Computer Science is used as an example of the ideas that one should consider when formulating and articulating an opinion about whether a science exists to describe and explain particular phenomena. To begin this exploration, the great deal of attention and focus services are garnering is presented. Next, we explore the characteristics of science and examine whether SSME seems to display those characteristics. Then, the ob ections and responses to a science of computers are presented and considered from the perspective of services. !re services playing a more predominant role in our economy and changing the way we loo" at things li"e productivity and efficiency# Certainly. $iven their more predominant role, should services and their surrounding phenomena be better understood# Certainly. %ill this understanding lead to a science of services# &nly time will tell. This module is intended to seed debate and exchange around the 'uestion of whether there is a science of services.

(.( &b ectives


(. Evaluate the idea of Services as a science ). *dentify ob ections for or against Services as a science +. !rticulate whether or not Services should be pursued as a science !ctivities, (. To debate whether Services should or should not be a science. ). -alidate or invalidate the ob ections made against Computer Science with respect to Service Science.

Wherever there are phenomena there can be a science to describe and e!plain those phenomena" Thus the simplest #and correct$ answer to What is botan%?& is 'otan% is the stud% of plants"& And (oolog% is the stud% of animals astronom% the stud% of stars and so on" )henomena breed sciences"& * +ewell )erlis , Simon -./0 Services Science Management and Engineering .SSME/ offers a new discipline whose focus is the study and understanding of services. This interdisciplinary area arose out of the wor" being done by many people in multiple disciplines .i.e., Computer Science, &perations 0esearch, *ndustrial Engineering, 1usiness

Strategy, Management Sciences, Social and Cognitive Sciences and 2egal Sciences/. SSME has also arisen a result of a continual shifting of the world3s economy from manufacturing to services. Services represent about 456 of the 7.S. gross domestic product and between 856 and 456 of the $9:s of the rest of the world3s advanced economies(. This segment growth is changing the way companies organi;e themselves, creating a ripple effect in industries and universities that are closely tied to these organi;ations ). !lthough these trends suggest that services need to be studied and better understood, the 'uestion of whether there is a science of services remains unanswered. The formation of SSME as a discipline has drawn many comparisons to Computer Science3s formation as a discipline and a science. !s such, we will use Computer Science as an analogy to examine SSME3s potential as a discipline and a science. <owever, we will begin by examining science and its definitions.

(.) %hat *s Science#


*n order to examine whether there is a science of services, we must first examine what science is. Traditionally, science has been e'uated with the scientific method. !s such, science has been viewed in two distinct ways, a way to create "nowledge and a community. !lthough these two views are distinct, they are also related. *n order to efficiently create "nowledge or in order to create a method for efficiently creating "nowledge, one should be a member of a community that has a particular set of s"ills that are useful for agreeing on methods, language, phenomenon, measurements, data, etc. that allow "nowledge to be created. !cross all sciences, there is a belief in a scientific method .though not necessarily the same scientific method/. This scientific method allows us to observe, measure, and collect data about some phenomenon. 1ased on these observations, measurements, and data, we are able to build a model or several models of the phenomenon, sometimes a complex representation of reality, and sometimes a much simpler version. These models are helpful in allowing scientists to ma"e and test predictions about the phenomenon by creating hypothesis and testing those hypothesis using the models.

(.+ %hat Might ! =Science of Services> 0e'uire#


*f a way to create "nowledge of services and a community to create, inform, and examine that "nowledge were to develop, what might it need in order to develop and grow# ?irst, a science of services would need a theoretical framewor", or a language that could be used to tal" about services. Many of these terms .e.g., productivity, client, providers, service systems, etc./ are beginning to create a
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Chesbrough, H. (2005). Toward a New Science of Services. Harvard Business eview !n"erna"iona# Business $achines Cor%. (!B$). h""%&''www.research.ib(.co('ss(e'inde).sh"(#

unified way of tal"ing about services that may be useful in creating "nowledge about service and in unifying a community around services. Second, a science of services would need a way to understand the phenomena of services. *n particular, it would need some empirical framewor" that allows the community to measure services. <ow do you instrument business# <ow do you measure services in such a way that "nowledge can be generated very 'uic"ly# %hich measurements are the critical ones that will allow us to better understand services# Simulation techni'ues seem to be one obvious approach to model and understand services in these ways, but the extent to which simulation techni'ues are able to do this well is still being explored. Third, a science of services would need an analytic framewor". This would allow the community to identify and understand relationships between variables. !n analytic framewor" for services already exists in the form of structural e'uation modeling @refs.A, which involves performing a linear fit and loo"ing for a covariance relationship between the variables in 'uestion. <owever, the analysis of services involves variables that are intangible and difficult to directly 'uantify .i.e., trust, loyalty/. !s such, a framewor" that can allow a community to analy;e both the tangible and intangible aspects of services is yet to be established. 2astly, a science of services would need an engineering and design framewor". ! design framewor" would inform the aesthetics of services, how do people li"e to loo" at or interface with services# !n engineering framewor" would inform the process of building and combining components to create services.

(.B !n Example &f The 9evelopment &f ! Science, SSME3s !nalogous 0elationship To Computer Science
*n the )5553s, services have burst onto the science, garnering a great deal of attention similar to that garnered by computers in the (CB53s and (CD53s. <owever, as there was disagreement about what computers were in the B53s and D53s +, there is disagreement now about what services are. !s was the case with computers, some argue that services are not well defined and that the meaning of a service will change with new developments. %hile one definition of services is =the application of scientific, management, and engineering disciplines to tas"s that one organi;ation beneficially performs for and with another .Eservices3/ there are other related but different definitions of services. !s such, the definition of services is still being debated. Some argue that the study of services will be subsumed as a special topic in other sciences whose tools and methods are useful for studying services. Still others argue that the study of services needs its own discipline.

Newell, :erlis F Simon, (C8G. Computer Science, Science (Vol. 157, Issue 3795, pp. 1373-1374
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(.D ! Closer 2oo" !t The <istory &f ! Science of Computers .Computer Science/
Many ob ections have been presented to suggest that there is not or should not be a science of computers .i.e., Computer Science/, and various responses have been made to spea" to those ob ections(, (.D.( &b ection (, &nly natural phenomena breed sciences. This ob ection suggests a criterion for determining which "ind of phenomena breed sciences and which do not. The argument suggested that because computers are artificial, they are whatever they are made to be. 1ecause of this, computers do not obey invariable laws and therefore cannot be described and explained. &ne response to this ob ection is that the ob ection itself is false since computers and computer programs are being described and explained . !nother response to this ob ection is that using this criterion, large portions of other sciences would be ruled out. :ortions of organic chemistry .silicones/, physics .superconductivity/, ;oology .hybrid corn/, and mathematics would be ruled out because they are not natural phenomena but phenomena that have been engineered to be. (.D.) &b ection ), The term =computer> is not well defined. &b ection ) suggests that because the term computer is not well defined, it3s meaning will change with new developments. !s such, Computer Science does not have a wellHdefined sub ect matter. The response to this is that the phenomena of all sciences change over time and that the process of understanding a phenomena or science almost guarantees that this will be the case. The meanings and scopes of many other sciences have changed as a result of identifying and understanding new phenomena. Examples include physics3s inclusion of radioactivity and psychology3s inclusion of the study of animal behavior. (.D.+ &b ection +, Computer Science is the study of algorithms .or programs/, not computers. This ob ection suggests that Computer Science does not actually study computers. <owever, the definition of computer encompasses the hardware, their programs or algorithms, and all that goes with them. !s such, Computer Science is the study of the phenomena surrounding computers and is inclusive of algorithms and computers. (.D.B &b ection B, Computers are instruments, not phenomena. &b ection B suggests that computers are instruments, and as such, the behaviors of computers will become special topics in other sciences. 0esponding to this

ob ection involves noting that the computer is such a novel and complex instrument that its behavior is not subsumed under any other science. *nstead, the study of computers leads to further study of computers ma"ing the computer not ust an instrument but a phenomenon unto itself, re'uiring description and explanation. (.D.D &b ection D, Computer Science is a branch of another science. *n particular, this ob ection suggests that Computer Science is actually a branch of electronics or mathematics or a number of other sciences. <owever, while one may need to study some or all of these other sciences in order to study computers, phenomena do not tend to bound a science. Many of the phenomena of computers are also phenomena of some other science .i.e., biochemistry to biology and chemistry/I however the phenomena of computers are not wholly subsumed under any one existing science. (.D.8 &b ection 8, Computers belong to engineering, not science. The response to this ob ection posits that computers belong to both engineering !N9 science, and that time will reveal what professional speciali;ation is desirable between analysis and synthesis across science and engineering as it relates to computers as well as between the pure study of computers and their application.

(.8 2oo"ing Toward ! Science of Services


*n loo"ing at the ob ections made regarding whether there should be a science of computers, many of those same ob ections are being made to suggest that there is not a science of services. (.8.( &b ection (, The term =service> is not well defined. Just as the ob ection was raised that computers are not well defined, services are also being critici;ed in the same way. This would imply that a science of services would not have a wellHdefined sub ect matter. The meanings and scopes of other sciences have changed over time. The =%hat *s Services#> module begins to address this ob ection, and as more is understood about services, perhaps the definition of services will become more salient. (.8.) &b ection ), Services are instruments, not phenomena. &b ection ) suggests that services are instruments or lenses through which other sciences can be further studied, but are not phenomena unto themselves. %hether this ob ection is true has yet to unfold.

(.8.+ &b ection D, Computer Science is a branch of other sciences and belongs to those disciplines, not science. *n particular, this ob ections suggests that services is actually a branch of a number of other sciences. SSME suggests that a science of services will be a part of as well as inform the areas that ma"e up its name. Science is often viewed as a way to create "nowledgeI engineering is seen as a way to apply "nowledge and create new valueI and management is seen to improve the process of creating and capturing value. SSME wants to create "nowledge about the phenomena of services .science/. *T see"s to apply that "nowledge in such a way that its application creates value .Engineering/. *n addition, SSME also see"s to improve the process of creating and capturing value .Management/. ! rigorous study of services that ta"es advantage of the affordances each of these disciplines brings may begin to reveal the methods and tools that are most appropriate for studying and understanding services and the phenomena. ! study of services may also begin to uncover new methods and tools that are uni'ue to services science.

(.G %hat Could %e 9o %ith a Science of Services#


?or many sciences, there exists some grand challenge or set of challenges that help to unify the community and, in turn, move the field forward. *f there is a science of services, what might its grand challenge.s/ be# ! grand challenge for services should not be able to be phrased or solved using only one of the disciplines that ma"e it up. &ne example of a potential grand challenge for SSME is the area of "nowledge management. Many disciplines have attempted to create "nowledge management systems that wor" well, but as of yet, no one has succeeded in creating a "nowledge management system that can be used and built on well over time. :erhaps a science of services could provide a way of describing "nowledge management systems such that they can be studied, modeled, analy;ed and applied. <owever, as of yet, a set of grand challenges that can unify and guide the potential community have not been identified.

(.4 !ssigned 0eadings


Chesbrough, <. ! failing grade for the innovation academy. Financial Times. )55B. http,KKwww.ft.comKcmsKsKCbGB+b)aH5e5bH((dCHCGd+H 55555e)D((c4,dwpLuuidM8f5b+D)8H5Ge+H((dCHC8G+H 55555e)D((c4.html Spohrer, J. and Maglio, :., =The Emergence of Service Science: Toward systematic service innovations to accelerate co-creation of value, Manuscript available at, http,KKwww.ibm.comK ct5C55)cKuniversityKscholarsKs"illsKssmeKemergence. pdf

Tien, James M. and 9aniel 1erg .)55+/ ! case for service systems engineering. The Journal of Systems Science and Systems Engineering. -ol. (), No. (. :p ((+H)4. March. !be, Tadahi"o. =%hat is Eservice science#3> ?u itsu 0esearch *nstitute. 4 March )55D. :df.

(.C !dditional 0eadings to <elp with the 9ebate,


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