Improving Service Operations

Module description

Summary:

In today's global market place, where so much of the economy is service-based, service is a critical area of focus for both business practice and scholarship.  This module provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and analysing service operations.  Building upon core concepts within operations management theory, the module introduces you to the idea of a service system in which various parts of a service organisation are inter-dependent and connected to the wider environment in which they operate.  Particular attention is paid to the customer’s influence on the service system, exploring the influence of customer value and experience on business model design, delivery and evaluation in service.

There is a strong applied focus throughout the module, introducing practical tools in process modelling, service blueprinting and customer experience analysis.  The module will draw examples from a broad range of services and will be taught using lectures and case studies.  As part of the assessment, you will be required to analyse a 'real world' service process and make recommendations for improvement.

Additional Information:

External Engagement

Previous guest speakers have lectured on services systems, process modelling, service design, and on the current and future directions of service management.

Employability

Students develop their skills in analytical thinking, relationship building and teamwork, and communication.

Full module specification

Module title:Improving Service Operations
Module code:BEMM774
Module level:M
Academic year:2017/8
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Laura Phillips - Convenor
  • Professor Andi Smart - Lecturer
  • Professor Mike Yearworth - Lecturer
Module credit:15
ECTS value:

7.5

Pre-requisites:

None.

Co-requisites:

BEMM173

Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:

11

Module aims

The module aims to provide an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and analysing service operations.  Building upon core concepts within operations management theory, the module aims to introduce students to the idea of a service system in which various parts of the organisation are inter-dependent and connected to the wider environment in which they operate.  Particular attention is paid to the customer’s influence on the operating system, exploring the influence of customer value and experience on business model design, delivery and evaluation of services.  There is a strong applied focus throughout the module, introducing practical tools in process modelling and service evaluation to inform service improvement.

Specifically the module aims are to:

  • Enable students to critically evaluate Operations Management theories in a service context
  • Develop analytical techniques relevant to services
  • Enable students to analyse and improve service processes

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Understand and critique, orally and in writing, the theories which underpin service systems and operations
  • 2. Identify, analyse and evaluate business processes and assess their impact on managerial practices
  • 3. Demonstrate, in oral and written settings, ability to apply relevant models, tools and frameworks to evaluate service delivery

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate a deep understanding of service and systems concepts and their relevance to the modern economy
  • 5. Critically evaluate options for service delivery
  • 6. Use relevant tools and technology strategically to document, measure and analyse service encounters and processes

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Work independently and in small groups to develop research and problem solving skills
  • 8. Present analytical findings in written and oral formats

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
331170

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Contact hours22Lectures (2 x 11)
Contact hours11Tutorials (1 x 11)
Guided Independent Study11733 hours reading and lecture/tutorial preparation; 24 hours individual and group preparation of presentation; 60 hours essay planning and writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Case study analysis30 minutes1-4, 7-8In class by tutor
Application of assessment techniques30 minutes1-8In class by tutor

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
70030

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation (anticipated size of group: 6)30Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes with a further 10 minutes of questions1-2, 6-8Students will be given informal feedback immediately following the presentation. A model answer, indicating general strengths and weaknesses, will be posted on the University website after the presentations.
Individual Assignment70Essay not to exceed 3,000 words, excluding appendices1, 3-8Written feedback will be provided after marking

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Presentation and EssayEssay (100%)1-10August assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Referred candidates will be required to submit an individual essay analysing different techniques from their original submission.

Syllabus plan

The following topics will be explored in this module:

  • Overview of service systems and operations
  • Traditional and contemporary understanding of service
  • Service systems
  • Service process modelling
  • Business models in service
  • Service design
  • Customer value and experience
  • Tools and techniques for service evaluation
  • Future trends in service management

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

This course builds upon core concepts within operations management theory using contemporary understanding in service, as such an up-to-date reading pack of articles will be provided on ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).

Module has an active ELE page?

Yes

Origin date

10/07/2017

Last revision date

25/09/2017