2010-03 6th ssf images
6th Science Service Forum 2010

6th Science Service Forum - 2010

Forum Report

The 6th Service Science Forum was held on March 12th 2010. Hosted by The Dept of Business, Innovation and Skills Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, the forum brought together close to 30 delegates from a diverse range of service industries including defence, consultancy, finance, engineering and public service. The 6th forum was held as part of the 2010 Festival of Social Science, an exciting event with over 130 events happening in 7 regions and in over 40 different cities in the UK. Events held as part of the event provide an insight into some of the country's leading social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future.

For those whom are new to the Service Science Forum initiative, the forum sets about to bring together practitioners from government and organisations interested to understand and grow service businesses, and address the challenges faced in service innovation. Service has seen increasing attention in government policy and research agendas in recent years and rightly so. Services now dominate economic activity, accounting for around 70% of aggregate production and employment in the UK. However, the growth of the service sector is changing the nature of the organization, and it is becoming apparent that there is a lack of research and knowledge in service innovation. As a consequence the ability of firms based in the UK to develop and maintain leading positions in highly competitive and globalised service industries is under threat.

The focus of the 6th Service Science Forum was 'Understanding Relationships in Service'. Represented at the forum were practitioners from UK organisations including Rolls Royce, Selex Galileo, IBM, Lloyds TSB Cardnet and the National Health Service.

Presentations and Breakout Session

After a brief introduction by Professor Roger Maull and Professor Irene Ng, the 6th Service Science Forum opened with a presentation on the 'Professional & Business Services 20/20 vision' from host, Allan Mayo.

The 6th Service Science Forum was fortunate to welcome a guest presentation from Professor Evert Gummesson, Professor Emeritus at the Stockholm University School of Business, Sweden. An international pioneer in the fields of service, relationships, networks and qualitative methodology, he has been recognized with two awards from the American Marketing Association and is included in the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing guru-list. Dr. Gummesson has twenty-five years of business experience as a marketing manager and a management consultant. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, companies and universities throughout the world. As part of March 2010's forum Professor Gummesson gave a presentation entitled 'Complexity in Service Networks: a Many-to-Many Approach' in which he discussed such issues as network theory and its implications for business.

In a breakout session participants reflected on their own personal 'working-day' networks and formed three groups to discuss insights and opportunities that a network approach might have. The following issues were raised:

  • Defining a network requires a clear purpose and aim.
  • Networks require a balance between complexity and reduction; reducing or simplifying networks to manage complexity may change the outcome/result.
  • When approaching a network or system it is important to consider that properties emerge from the interactions in a system, rather than in the nodes.

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