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2014/2015  KAN-CCMVV4012U  Managing Services - A Driver of Competitiveness

English Title
Managing Services - A Driver of Competitiveness

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Thomas Frandsen - Department of Operations Management (OM)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • Management
  • Supply Chain Management and Logistics
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 18-02-2014
Individual oral exam based on a synopsis (individual or group):
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 5 pages
Assignment type Synopsis
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Spring Term
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Closed Book
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

In the current global competitive environment many companies are facing a growing pressure on economic margins, a growing uncertainty on revenue streams and volatility in the price of input factors. Developing operations capabilities that enable strategic responses to such conditions is critical to improving competitiveness. As a response, many traditional production companies started to compete with the so called “Servitization”, meaning that the physical product to a large extent of the business is delivered together with services often with higher revenues than the actual product.
Delivering superior services leads not only to increased revenue but also deeper relationship with the customers, which are developed through closer collaboration and better understanding of their needs. A very important factor for Danish industries is that while manufacturing may be offshored to low cost countries the service must often be produced close to the customers, which means geographical proximity between production and consumption of products and related services matters.
How to combine the manufacturing and the service strategy, resources and organization is a key managerial issue. In addition the trend toward focusing on core competencies and the declining willingness to invest financial resources in assets has increased the demand for accessing capacity as service provision rather than through ownership of physical assets. Such issues and challenges are particularly relevant for developed countries focusing on advanced products and production capabilities, and as such seem especially relevant in the context of Danish industry as a way of pursuing competitiveness.
The course focuses on the challenges of designing and managing the processes through which integrated solutions are delivered to customers. The course builds on both conceptual frameworks for managing service operations as well as quantitative tools and techniques for solving complex problems of service delivery systems. The course consists of lectures, workshops, case discussions, and speakers from the industry. It requires active preparation and participation from the students. It focuses on solving real problems in service companies. We explore, analyze, and discuss the complexity of services from strategic as well as managerial perspectives.
The course focuses on various themes and problems faced by companies.
The scope of operations management spans the entire set of internal and external processes in order to deliver customized solutions to customers and consumers (b2b and/or b2c). Organizational and managerial complexity increases when operations are 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 covered in the course include:

•    Designing service and service processes
•    Measuring and managing quality of service
•    Designing and managing the service encounter
•    Improving processes
•    Locating service facilities
•    Managing capacity and demand
•    Forecasting demand for services
•    Managing waiting lines and throughput times
•    Managing the service supply chain
As managers of an organization delivering services to customers 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 the service depends 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 the following issues: 1) How to design service delivery systems, 2) How to manage the relationships with customers and suppliers vis-à-vis the performance of service operations, and 3) How to link service design to strategic change and thereby using service as a competitive weapon.
We will achieve this by building an understanding of the service concept and the managerial dilemmas it raises. Using cases from service organizations we will work with methods and tools that can be helpful in analyzing problems and identifying solutions to meet the above challenge.

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.

Teaching methods
The course will have a strong focus on application of theories and tools, especially through assignments and workshops.
Expected literature

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.

Lightfoot, H., Baines, T., Smart, P. (2013). The servitization of manufacturing:  a systematic literature review of interdependent trends. International Journal of
Operations and Production Management, 33, 2–2.

Maglio, P. P. & Spohrer, J. (2008). Fundamentals of service science. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 36, 18-20.

Maull, R., Geraldi, J. and Johnston, R. (2012), “Service Supply Chains: A Customer Perspective”, Journal of Supply Chain Management, Vol. 48 No. 4, pp. 72–86.

Oliva, R. (2001). Tradeoffs in Responses to Work Pressure in the Service Industry. California Management Review, 43, 26-43.

Oliva, R., Kallenberg, R., 2003. Managing the transition from products to services. Int. J. Service Industries Management 14, 160–172.

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

Wilkinson, A., Dainty, A., Neely, A. (2009). Changing times and changing timescales: the servitization of manufacturing. International Journal of Operations and Production Management. 29, 425–430.

Zomerdijk, L. G. & Voss, C. A. (2010). Service Design for Experience-Centric Services. Journal of Service Research, 13, 67-82.

Last updated on 18-02-2014