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2010/2011  KAN-CM_T76  Managing Service Operations

English Title
Managing Service Operations

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course Period Spring . Third Quarter
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Max. participants 80
Study Board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course Coordinator
Juliana Hsuan - jh.om@cbs.dkSecretary Mette Kierkegaard - mki.om@cbs.dk
Main Category of the Course
  • Economics, macro economics and managerial economics
  • Management
  • Experience economy and service management
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
The course’s development of personal competences: The course will develop the students’ abilities to engage in analytically solving problems of managing service operations. Furthermore the course will develop the students’ abilities to present and discuss problems and solutions through case analysis, workshops, and presentations.
  • Describe, classify, structure, and combine the concepts, theories, methods, and models of the course.
  • Identify relevant problems within management of service operations
  • Analyze and synthesize concrete managerial problems within service operations and planning by applying the concepts, theories, methods, and models from the course material
  • Evaluate and disseminate solutions to problems of managing service operations
The student should be well acquainted with basic statistics and managerial economics.
‘individual oral exam’
Exam Period May/June
The exam form is ‘individual oral exam’ based on a written synopsis (individual or group). The group synopsis shall not exceed 4 students. The maximum length of synopsis is 8 pages, 1.5 line spacing. The synopsis must be submitted two weeks before the date of the exam. The teacher will be the examiner and a second examiner (internal staff at CBS) will be appointed as censor at the oral exam.
Prerequisites for Attending the Exam
Course Content

The course builds on both conceptual frameworks for service operations management as well as quantitative tools and techniques for solving complex operations problems. The course will be consisted of lecture, workshops, and case discussions. It will also require active preparation and participation from the students.

The course focuses upon solving real problems in service companies. We will explore, analyze, and discuss the complexity of service operations, from strategic as well as managerial perspectives.

The course does not concentrate on a single issue, but discusses various themes and problems. The scope of operations management spans the entire set of internal and external processes in order to deliver customized solutions to their customers and consumers (b2b and/or b2c). Organizational and managerial complexity increases when operations is performed on a global level, such as from strategic decisions related to service/process design, capacity, technology transfer, facility location, sourcing and infrastructure.

Some of the central issues of the course are:

  • Designing service and service processes
  • Measuring and managing quality of service
  • Improving processes
  • Locating service facilities
  • Managing capacity and demand
  • Forecasting demand for services
  • Managing waiting lines and throuput times

As managers of service operations you will play a crucial role in securing the success and performance of your organization. Revenue generation depends on your customer’s perception of service value, and at the same time, the cost of producing service depend on the design of the service delivery system. Being able to excel on both venues better than the competitors is not an easy task.

This course is about meeting this challenge by addressing questions of how to design service delivery systems, how to manage the relationships with customers and suppliers vis-à-vis the performance of service operations, and how to link service design to strategic change and thereby using service as a competive weapon.

We will achieve this by building an understanding of the service concept and the managerial dilemmas it raises. We will work with methods and tools that can be helpful in analyzing problems and identifying solutions to meet the above challenge.The course will have a strong focus on application of theories and tools, especially through assignments and workshops.


Indicative readings:

  • Fitzsimmons & Fitzsimmons, Service Management, Operations Strategy, Information Technology, McGraw Hill, Seventh Edition, 2011
  • Buzacott, J. A. (2000). Service system structure. International Journal of Production Economics, 68, 15-27.
  • Frandsen & Hsuan (2010) “Measuring Service Process Modularity”, Proceedings of the 17th International Annual EurOMA Conference in Porto, Portugal, 6-9 June 2010.
  • Frei, F. X. (2006). Breaking the Tradeoff Between Efficiency and Service. Harvard Business Review, 84, 92-101.
  • Maglio, P. P. & Spohrer, J. (2008). Fundamentals of service science. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 36, 18-20.
  • Metters, R. & Vargas, V. (2000). Organizing Work in Service Firms. Business Horizons, 43, 23.
  • Oliva, R. (2001). Tradeoffs in Responses to Work Pressure in the Service Industry. California Management Review, 43, 26-43.
  • Repenning, N. P. & Sterman, J. D. (2001). Nobody ever gets credit for fixing problems that never happened: Creating and sustaining process improvement. California Management Review, 43, 64-+.
  • Sampson, S. E. & Froehle, C. M. (2006). Foundations and implications of a proposed Unified Services Theory. Production and Operations Management, 15, 329-343.
  • Voss, C. A. & Hsuan, J. (2009). Service Architecture and Modularity. Decision Sciences, 40, 541-569
  • Zomerdijk, L. G. & Voss, C. A. (2010). Service Design for Experience-Centric Services. Journal of Service Research, 13, 67-82.