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University of Exeter Business School

Service Design and Innovation

Module titleService Design and Innovation
Module codeBEMM786
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Laura Phillips (Convenor)

Dr Enes Unal (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

11 - Sept start

9 - Jan start

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description


This module provides an interdisciplinary/applied approach for understanding, analysing and innovating service delivery. Understanding market segments, value propositions, customer experience and innovative ways to deliver service is essential for competitiveness. Digital techniques and technologies (natural language processing; eye-tracking; AR/VR) provide significant opportunities to innovate service design and delivery.

Building upon operations management and marketing theory, the idea of a service delivery system is introduced. You will explore the influence of customer experience on service design, delivery and evaluation. You will acquire technical skills and consultancy skills to equip you for the workplace. The module uses real-world data and service improvement examples in the classroom. 

Additional Information:

External Engagement

This module invites outstanding academics and practitioners to bring their expertise and knowledge related to service design and innovation into the classroom.


Students develop skills in analytical thinking, relationship building and teamwork, and communication. Consultancy skills and the use of innovative digital technologies, such as eye-tracking, will equip students for the workplace of the future.

Module aims - intentions of the module

Service businesses are an important contributor to the economy. These businesses, operating in a global market place, are faced with the challenges of service innovation to remain competitive. Innovation requires an understanding of ,specific value propositions and customer experience of their delivery. New digital technologies and techniques, such as natural language processing and eye-tracking, provide new insights into customer experience to inform value propositions and service delivery system design. . This module provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding, analysing and innovating service delivery. Building upon core concepts from operations management and marketing theory, the module aims to introduce you to the idea of a service delivery system, designed for an intended customer experience. You will acquire technical skills in  evaluating the realised customer experience, including eye tracking and natural language processing, and will make recommendations for improvement and innovation. This module is research led and is informed by research results from the VISTA AR project; a €7.8m (ERDF) project looking at digital innovation in cultural heritage sites. The module also draws on a number of research/consultancy engagements with, for example, Rolls Royce and the National Trust, to provide real service innovation and improvement examples in the classroom. 

There is a strong applied focus throughout the module, introducing practical tools in customer experience analysis and the use of advanced tools such as eye-tracking and natural language processing. The module will draw real examples from a broad range of services and will be taught using lectures and practical workshops. As part of the assessment, you will be required to analyse 'real world' service examples and make recommendations for improvement.

Specifically the module aims are to:

  • Enable students to critically evaluate Operations Management/Marketing theories in a service context
  • Develop analytical skills for service innovation and improvement
  • Develop technical and consultancy skills

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. understand and critique the theories which underpin service operations/marketing;
  • 2. identify, analyse and evaluate service delivery systems and assess the impact on performance;
  • 3. apply relevant models, tools and frameworks to evaluate service delivery

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. apply understanding of service concepts and their relevance to the modern economy;
  • 5. critically evaluate design options for service delivery
  • 6. use relevant tools and technology to document, measure and analyse the customer experience.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. work independently and in small groups to develop research and problem-solving skills;
  • 8. present analytical findings in written and oral formats.

Syllabus plan

The following topics will be explored in this module:

  • Traditional and contemporary understanding of service
  • Service design
  • Customer experience
  • Tools and techniques for service evaluation
  • Using eye tracking for customer insights
  • Using Natural Language Processing (NLP) for customer insights

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

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity 10Lectures (10 x 1 hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity 8Workshops (4 x 2 hours)
Guided Independent Study132Reading; research and workshop preparation; group work; portfolio writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual and group exercises applying analysis tools from the course to case data In class (during workshops)1-8Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group project3010 min recorded presentation2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8Written feedback
Portfolio of work702500 words1,3,4,5,6,7,8Written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group project Individual pre-recorded presentation 2,3,5,6,7,8August/September re-assessment period
Portfolio of workPortfolio of work1,3,4,5,6,7,8August/September re-assessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

This course builds upon core concepts within operations management and marketing theory using contemporary understanding in service, as such an up-to-date reading pack of articles will be provided on ELE (Exeter Learning Environment). An indicative list of these articles is shown below:

Bitner, M. J., Ostrom, A. L., & Morgan, F. N. (2008). Service blueprinting: a practical technique for service innovation. California management review, 50(3), 66-94.

Lemke, F., Clark, M., & Wilson, H. (2011). Customer experience quality: an exploration in business and consumer contexts using repertory grid technique. Journal of the academy of marketing science, 39(6), 846-869.

McColl-Kennedy, J. R., Zaki, M., Lemon, K. N., Urmetzer, F., & Neely, A. (2019). Gaining customer experience insights that matter. Journal of Service Research22(1), 8-26.

Ordenes, F. V., Theodoulidis, B., Burton, J., Gruber, T., & Zaki, M. (2014). Analyzing customer experience feedback using text mining: A linguistics-based approach. Journal of Service Research17(3), 278-295.

Ostrom, A. L., Parasuraman, A., Bowen, D. E., Patrício, L., & Voss, C. A. (2015). Service research priorities in a rapidly changing context. Journal of Service Research, 18(2), 127-159.

Ponsignon, F., Smart, P. A., & Maull, R. S. (2011). Service delivery system design: characteristics and contingencies. International Journal of Operations & Production Management.

Voss, C. A., Roth, A. V., Rosenzweig, E. D., Blackmon, K., & Chase, R. B. (2004). A tale of two countries’ conservatism, service quality, and feedback on customer satisfaction. Journal of Service Research6(3), 212-230.

Wedel, M., & Pieters, R. (2008). A review of eye-tracking research in marketing. Review of marketing research4(2008), 123-147.

Key words search

Service, Service Improvement, Service Systems, Customer Experience, Service Design, Service Innovation.

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date