Improving Service Operations
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.
Previous guest speakers have lectured on services systems, process modelling, service design, and on the current and future directions of service management.
Students develop their skills in analytical thinking, relationship building and teamwork, and communication.
Full module specification
|Module title:||Improving Service Operations|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 2: |
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 Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Contact hours||22||Lectures (2 x 11)|
|Contact hours||11||Tutorials (1 x 11)|
|Guided Independent Study||117||33 hours reading and lecture/tutorial preparation; 24 hours individual and group preparation of presentation; 60 hours essay planning and writing|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Case study analysis||30 minutes||1-4, 7-8||In class by tutor|
|Application of assessment techniques||30 minutes||1-8||In class by tutor|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Group presentation (anticipated size of group: 6)||30||Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes with a further 10 minutes of questions||1-2, 6-8||Students 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 Assignment||70||Essay not to exceed 3,000 words, excluding appendices||1, 3-8||Written feedback will be provided after marking|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Presentation and Essay||Essay (100%)||1-10||August assessment period|
Referred candidates will be required to submit an individual essay analysing different techniques from their original submission.
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?
Last revision date