Guillaume Roels, Associate Professor of Technology and Operations Management, The Timken Chaired Professor of Global Technology and Innovation
Many of the world’s leading firms are using “services” as a source of differentiation, sometimes leveraging new technologies, to create a competitive edge—be they established businesses or startups (e.g., Oberoi Hotels, Emirates, Disney, Priceline, IBM, Go-Jek, Amazon). Therefore, understanding services strategically is crucial to business leaders.
In fact, every leading economy in the world is now dominated by services. For instance in the United States, services comprise over 80% of the economy in terms of both GDP and employment. This trend is far along in developed economies, but less developed economies are also rapidly moving in that direction. Paralleling this shift towards services is a shift away from physical and material activities towards information-intensive sectors.
This course overviews various operations and technology strategies for services. Because the service sector is heterogeneous, we will identify major sub-sectors within services that require rather different approaches. In particular, we will distinguish information-intensive from physical and material-intensive services. Within physical services, we will make the distinction between the issues that pertain to people management and those that pertain to system management. Within information services, we will distinguish content management from information processing and transaction. These distinctions have important implications for strategy, organization, and management.
We will discuss and evaluate the significance, for creating and capturing value, of various operations and technology strategies in those contexts such as customer experience management, operational transparency, theatricalization, corporate culture and human resource management, service system design, servicization, service location, globalization, service industrialization, and platform management.
The approach will be strategic, cross-functional, and process-focused. As a common theme, we will emphasize pragmatism and relate various management innovations to the management fundamentals.
The objective of this course is threefold. First, it introduces students to the concept of value creation and capture in services, adopting an end-to-end, technology-enabled process perspective. Second, it provides students with a framework to identify and evaluate the most adequate operations and technology strategies for value creation and capture depending on the type of service provided. Third, this course allows students to explore new service business opportunities in a global context.