INF2306H Introduction to Service Science

Winter 2013
Instructor: Professor Kelly Lyons


Tuesday 9:00am to noon Location BL319



Course Objectives and Student Learning Objectives


Course Structure

Deliverables & Evaluation

Readings & Resources

Weekly Schedule

General Expectations


Course Objective:

This course covers an introduction to an emerging field called service science.  Service science brings together multiple disciplines (computer science, marketing, operations research, information systems, engineering, etc.) to study service systems. Service systems are complex systems that vary in scope (from people to businesses, organizations, governments, and nations) and involve people, information, organizations, and technology adapting dynamically and connecting internally and externally to other service systems through value propositions. In all types of service systems (government services, service enterprises, and non-profit service organizations), value is realized through interactions with other service systems. Technology is often used to support and enable these interactions.  A motivation for the emergence of service science is the fact that the service sector is the fastest growing in most economies yet it lacks strong conceptual foundations.  Most iSchool graduates will work in a service environment whether in the government, academia, public institutions, or service enterprises.  Even manufacturing and commodity based entities have significant service components as well. This course is intended to help prepare students for successful careers in the information professions where much of the work is service based.  The course is designed to build an understanding of the main theories and concepts of service science and to help students apply those theories to better understand, design, and innovate within service systems.

Student Learning Objectives:

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

·         Understand and critique the ways in which researchers and practitioners are defining services and service science (Demonstrated through Assignments 1 and 2 and Weekly Blog Posts)

·         Articulate the motivation behind the study of service science and relate their own experiences to the study of service science (Demonstrated through Assignments 2 and 3 and Weekly Blog Posts)

·         Apply theories that are emerging in the area of service science and identify current limitations in applying those theories (Demonstrated through Assignments 1 and 2 and Weekly Blog Posts)

·         Identify the multidisciplinary aspects of service science research projects (Demonstrated through Assignment 1 and Weekly Blog Posts)

·         Demonstrate ways in which organizations are changing what they do through innovative uses of technology and discuss the implications of these changes (Demonstrated through Assignment 3 and Weekly Blog Posts)

·         Describe ways in which technology is provide innovations in services (specifically in providing greater opportunities for co-production) (Demonstrated through Assignment 3 and Weekly Blog Posts)

·         Apply modeling techniques to services and demonstrate ability to use software modeling tool(s) (Demonstrated through Assignment 3 and Weekly Blog Posts)

In addition to learning the specific course material, students will also:

·         Experience evaluating and critiquing research papers and presentations

·         Share their knowledge and contribute to the learning of their classmates

·         Understand challenges of interdisciplinary research and difficulties of reviewing and critiquing papers in areas outside their field

·         Learn what employers feel are important skills for the 21st century

·         Hear perspectives of business people, researchers, and practitioners through guest lecturers

Relationship of INF2040 Student Learning Objectives to Program-Level Master of Information Student Learning Outcomes:

Master of Information Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes can be found here.

Most iSchool graduates will work in a service environment whether in the government, academia, public institutions, or service enterprises and as such, services are becoming a fundamental aspect of information disciplines. This course will help students understand and be conversant in the fundamentals and theories of services (a fundamental aspect of information disciplines) (Program Outcome 1).   The knowledge and values imparted in INF2306 are appropriate to students' future exercise of economic, cultural and social leadership and the provision of information services for all (Program Outcome 2).  

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Instructor: Professor Kelly Lyons

Phone: 416 946 3839


Office: BL 612

Office Hours:  Mondays 3pm to 5pm


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Course Structure:

This course has three (3) contact class hours per week. The class sessions will be a combination of lectures, discussions, interactive exercises and in-class activities. Blackboard will be used as a learning management system to support sharing of information, weekly slides, important dates, assignments, and other information about the course, as well as the facilitation of interaction among students on topics related to the course. Note that for every one (1) hour of contact, you can expect to do 2.5 hours of reading and preparation work on your own. See also general expectations.

This course is broken into three main topic areas each covered in approximately one third of the course:

1.       Introduction to Service Science, Services, and Service Systems:  How do current definitions and theories apply (or not) to real service systems?

2.       Modeling, Analysis, and Design of Service Systems: What modeling techniques can be used to understand and represent service systems?

3.       Innovation in Service Systems:  What new techniques can be used to enhance service systems and the ways in which they work? How can models of service systems help identify innovation opportunities?  

Lecture topics will be augmented with in-class group-based activities and guest lectures.

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Deliverables and Evaluation:

Assignment 1

Understanding multidisciplinary service science research

Week 5 (Feb 5 before the start of class) submitted via Blackboard


Assignment 2

Analyzing service systems

Week 9 (Mar 12 before the start of class) submitted via Blackboard


Assignment 3

Modeling and innovating in service systems

Week 12 (April 5 by 5pm) submitted via Blackboard



Weekly Blog post submitted before class (3 posts per student – 5% per post)

Weeks 2-12



All papers should be double spaced, 1 inch margins, 12 pt font. You must include a cover page with report or paper title, your name, student number, your group number and project title of your project team. Each page MUST contain only the title of your report and page number in the header or footer (but NOT your name or student number).  For all assignments, see important details about what is expected in your papers under General Expectations.

The weekly blog post should be a brief discussion and critique of all or some of the readings for that week and how the readings relate to aspects of the course, assignments, or other experiences of the student.

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Readings and Resources:

Assigned readings for this course are available through the course Blackboard site and identified in the weekly schedule below.  

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Weekly Schedule:

Section 1: Introduction to Service Science, Services, and Service Systems

Week 1 (Jan 8) Introduction to the Service Science and Course outline


·         Lyons, K. (2010). Service science in iSchools. Published online in the Proceedings of the 5th Annual iSchool Conference (University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign, IL, February 3‐6, 2010), 5 pages.‐Ortiz.pdf

Week 2 (Jan 15) Service Science, Service Systems


·         IfM and IBM. (2008). Succeeding through Service Innovation: A Service Perspective for Education, Research, Business and Government. Cambridge, United Kingdom: University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing. ISBN: 978-1-902546-65-0.

·         Katzan, H. (2009). Principles of service systems: An ontological approach. Journal of Service Science, 2(2), 35–52.

·         Maglio, P. P., Vargo, S., Caswell, N., & Spohrer, J. (2009). The service system is the basic abstraction of service science. Information Systems & e-Business Mgmt, 7, 395-406.

Week 3 (Jan 22) A Multidisciplinary Approach to Studying Service Systems


·         Alter, S. (2009). Mapping the domain of service science. AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. Paper 414.

·         Lyons, K. (2011). A framework that situates technology research within the field of service science. In H. Demirkan, J. C. Spohrer, & V. Krishna, (Eds.), Service systems implementation, a volume in service science: Research and innovations (SSRI) advances of service systems (175–188) New York: Springer.

·         Larson, R. C. (2008). Service science: At the intersection of management, social, and engineering sciences. IBM Systems Journal, 47(1), 41-51.

Week 4 (Jan 29) Value cocreation and Service-Dominant Logic


·         Sampson, S. E. & Froehle, C. M. (2006). Foundations and Implications of a Proposed Unified Services Theory. Production and Operations Management, 15(2), 329-343.

·         Vargo, S.L., Lusch, R.F. & Akaka, M. A. (2010). Advancing service science with service- dominant logic:  Clarifications and conceptual development. In: P.P. Maglio et al. (eds.), Handbook of Service Science, Service Science: Research and Innovations in the Service Economy, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4419-1628-0_8, 133-156.

·         Ramirez, R. (1999). Value co-production: intellectual origins and implications for practice and research. Strategic Management Journal, 20, 49–65.


Section 2: Modeling, Analysis and Design of Service Systems

Week 5 (Feb 5) Characterizing Organizations as Service Systems

Assignment 1 Due before start of class on Blackboard


·         Glushko, R. J. (2013). Describing service systems. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing, 23, 11–18. doi: 10.1002/hfm.20514

·         Lyons, K. & Tracy, S. (2013). Characterizing organizations as service systems. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing, 23, 19–27. doi: 10.1002/hfm.20517

·         Tracy, S. & Lyons, K. (2013). Service systems and the social enterprise. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing, 23, 28–36. doi: 10.1002/hfm.20516


Week 6 (Feb 12) Analysis and Modeling Techniques for Service Systems


·         Flor N. V. & Maglio, P. P. (2004). Modeling business representational activity online: A case study of a customer-centered business. Knowledge-Based Systems, 17(1), 39-56.

·         Kieliszewski, C. A., Maglio, P. P. & Melissa C. (2012). On modeling value constellations to understand complex service system interactions. European Management Journal, 30(5), 438–450,

·         Alter, S. (2008). Service system innovation. Information Technology in the Service Economy: Challenges and Possibilities for the 21st Century 267: 61-80. edited by Barrett, M; Davidson, E; Middleton, C; DeGross, JI, presented at International Working Conference on Information Technology in the Service Economy - Challenges and Possibilities for the 21st Century in Toronto, Canada, Aug. 10-13, 2008

Feb 19: Reading Week (no class)

Week 7 (Feb 26) Analysis and Modeling Techniques for Service Systems


·         Cohn, D. & Hull, R. (2009). Business Artifacts: A Data-centric Approach to Modeling Business Operations and Processes. Bulletin of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Data Engineering, 32(3).

·         Lessard, L. & Yu, E. (2013), Service systems design: An intentional agent perspective. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing, 23, 68–75. doi: 10.1002/hfm.20513

·         Janner, T.,  Schroth, C.,  Schmid, B. (2008). Modelling Service Systems for Collaborative Innovation in the Enterprise Software Industry - The St. Gallen Media Reference Model Applied. Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Services Computing, July 08-11, 2008, Honolulu, HI.

Guest Lecture:  Lysanne Lessard, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Information, Service systems as intentional agents: conceptual and design implications

Week 8 (Mar 5) Service Design Techniques


·         Glushko, R. J. & Tabas, L. (2008). Bridging the 'Front Stage' and 'Back Stage' in Service System Design. Proceedings of the 41st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Jan. 2008

·         Patricio, L., Fisk, R. P., Falcao e Cunha, J. (2008). Designing Multi-Interface Service Experiences – The Service Experience Blueprint. Journal of Service Research, 10(4), 318-334.

·         Bitner, M. J., Ostrom, A. & Morgan, F. (2008). Service blueprinting: A practical technique for service innovation. California Management Review, 50, 66-94.

Guest Lecturers:  Nancy Isozaki, Director, Corporate Information Policy, Corporate Information Management Services, City Clerk's Office, City of Toronto and David Ing, Visiting Scholar, Aalto University Department of Industrial Engineering and Management and Past-president, International Society for the Systems Sciences.:  Nancy and David will jointly present Service Frameworks and Cities.  David will discuss frameworks for city services from the consulting perspective and Nancy will describe challenges in implementation of service systems within cities

Section 3: Innovation in Service Systems

Week 9 (Mar 12) Social Features in Service Systems

Assignment 2 due before start of class on Blackboard


·         Lyons, K. & Marks, S. (2012). A Distributed-Cognition Based Method for Finding Social Feature Opportunities in Business Services. Published in Proceedings of the First International Conference on Human Side of Service Engineering, July 21-25, 2012, 10 pages, San Francisco, CA.

·         Lyons, K. & Lessard, L. (2012). S-FIT: A technique for integrating social features in existing information systems. Published in Proceedings of the 7th Annual iSchool Conference (iConference), February 7-10, 2012, 263-270. Toronto, ON.

·         Gavrilis, D., Kakali, C. & Papatheodorou, C. (2008). Enhancing Library Services with Web 2.0 Functionalities. B. Christensen-Dalsgaard et al. (Eds.): Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 5173, 148-159.

Week 10 (Mar 19) Information Technology Innovation in Service Systems


·         Glushko, R. J. & Nomorosa, K. J.  (2013). Substituting Information for Interaction: A Framework for Personalization in Service Encounters and Service Systems. Journal of Service Research, in press 2013.

·         Sandström, S., Edvardsson, B., Kristensson, P. & Magnusson, P. (2008). Value in use through service experience. Managing Service Quality, 18(2), 112-126.

Guest Lecture:  Dr. Leo Marland, Global Business Services, Canada CTO and IBM Distinguished Engineer, “An IT Architect’s view on a Services Business”

Week 11 (Mar 26) Virtual Worlds Innovation in Service Systems


·         Messinger, P. R., Ge, X., Mayhew, G., Niu, R. & Stroulia, E. (2009). Facilitating a Hierarchy of Engagement: Corporate Education in Virtual Worlds. In W. Ritke-Jones (Ed.), Virtual Environments for Corporate Education: Employee Learning and Solutions, 194-216.

·         Kim, H. K., Lyons, K. & Cunningham, M. A. (2008). Towards a Theoretically-Grounded Framework for Evaluating Immersive Business Models and Applications: Analysis of Ventures in Second Life. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, 1(1), July 2008

·         Stroulia, E. (2010). Smart services across the real and virtual worlds. The smart internet: current research and future applications, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010

Week 12 (Apr 2) Business Model Innovation in Service Systems


·         Berry, L.L., Shankar, V., Parish. J.T., Cadwallader, S. & Dotzel, T. (2006). Creating New Markets through Service Innovation, MIT Sloan Management Review, 47(2), Winter 2006, 56-63.

·         Lyons, K., Playford, C., Messinger, P. R., Niu, R. H. & Stroulia, E. (2009). Business models in emerging online services. In M. L. Nelson, M. J. Shaw, & T. J. Strader (Eds.), Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, 36(1), 44-55. DOI: 10.1007/978‐3‐642‐03132‐8_4


Guest Lecture:  Dr. Henry Kim, Associate Professor, York University Schulich School of Business, “Service Innovation”

Assignment 3 due April 5 at 5pm on Blackboard


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General Expectations:

1.       Communication Policy: Please do not email questions to the instructor.  If you have a question, there is a pretty good chance that other people in the course have the same question or, at least, will benefit from the answer.  Please post all questions to Blackboard (using the most appropriate forum) so that everyone in the course can benefit from your questions and our answers.  Questions posted to Blackboard will be answered within two (2) business days.

2.       Readings: It is important to complete the required readings before your class in order to fully benefit from the class activities. 

3.       Late policy:  Students are expected to manage their time effectively.  Late submission of an assignment carries a penalty of one grade (e.g., from B+ to B) for each week to a maximum of two weeks; submissions will not be accepted after two weeks. Exceptions will be made only when supported by appropriate documentation.

4.       Academic Integrity: The essence of academic life revolves around respect not only for the ideas of others, but also their rights to those ideas and their promulgation. It is therefore essential that all of us engaged in the life of the mind take the utmost care that the ideas and expressions of ideas of other people always be appropriately handled, and, where necessary, cited. For writing assignments, when ideas or materials of others are used, they must be cited. You may use any formal citation format, as long as it is used consistently in your paper, the source material can be located and the citation verified. What is most important is that the material be cited. In any situation, if you have a question, please post it to Blackboard. Such attention to ideas and acknowledgment of their sources is central not only to academic life, but life in general.  Please acquaint yourself with the University of Toronto’s Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.

5.       Participation and Attendance:  Discussion and interaction in the classes are important ways to learn. Sharing your experiences and ideas with your classmates is central to your learning experience in this course.  As such, you should attend and participate in every class.  There will be exercises and discussions that you will participate in within your groups in your class.  Some of the activities will be very helpful in completing your assignments.

6.       Students with Special Needs or Health Considerations:  All students are welcome in this course and we will make every effort to ensure a meaningful, respectful and positive learning experience for everyone. If there are special considerations that you require to help you successfully fulfill the requirements of the course, please feel free to see one of the instructors, the Faculty of Information Student Services, and /or contact the Accessibility Student Office as soon as possible so we can ensure you are able to successfully meet the learning objectives for this course. 

7.       What I expect in a paper:  I expect the paper to be well-written, well-organization and easy to follow. It should flow easily from one point to the next. Papers should have proper sentence structure, spelling, vocabulary and grammar. Each point should be articulated clearly and completely without being overly verbose.  Papers should demonstrate your understanding of the topics you are studying in the course and your confidence in using the terms, techniques and issues you have learned.  I expect the main point, thesis or debate in the essay to be clearly stated and well argued. There should be a suitable number of points or arguments made and they should be presented in a logical order.  For papers that include a debate, it should be clear which side of the discussion you (the writer) are taking and you should provide evidence to support your reasons for taking that side. For other arguments or points you are making, the background research you reference should sufficiently support the arguments put forward.  As always, references must be properly included and cited (see Writing Resources below). In general, you should be creative, critical, bold, provocative, strong and confident in your ability to make your point(s), sufficiently argue your point(s), and generally in your ability to contribute to the learning and engagement of your readers.  The best way to gain confidence in your ability to make a point, argue it sufficiently, and make a contribution with your writing is to practise and then practise again. An excellent place to practise is in your professional masters program and courses like this one.

8.       Writing Resources: Please review the material you covered in Cite it Right, familiarize yourself with the How Not to Plagiarize  site and UofT’s policy, and consult the Office of English Language and Writing Support as necessary.

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