A service is an activity or series of activities of more or less intangible nature that are provided as solutions to customer needs and that normally take place in interactions between the customer and the service provider(s). Services now account for over 70% of the GDP of developed economies, including sectors such as retail, healthcare, banking, insurance, transportation, telecommunications, among others. Despite their importance, services still lag behind in terms of efficiency, quality and innovation, when compared to manufacturing activities. Services have specific traits that require mainstream management theories and practices to be adapted or even re-invented to produce results. In recognition of this, in the last 20 years new theoretical approaches have emerged in Management areas such as Marketing (e.g. the Service Dominant Logic), Operations (e.g. the Unified Services Theory), Organization Theory (e.g. Service Networks) or Information Systems (e.g. Service Science) that have re-shaped our understanding of services. These developments gave rise to the field of Service Management, which is intrinsically interdisciplinary.
The Service Management and Performance group in CEGE integrates multiple subject areas – namely Operations, Marketing, Organization Theory and Information Systems - to conduct leading-edge, innovative research that has the potential to significantly advance the field of Service Management, theoretically and/or practically. The group emphasizes empirically-based modes of enquiry covering diverse research methodologies, including surveys, case-studies, quantitative modeling, among others. Topic areas include the management of technology-enabled services, benchmarking and efficiency analysis, service networks and the servitization of manufacturing.