The world’s economy is becoming characterized by services. All the world’s most advanced economies are dominated by services, with many having more than 70% of their gross domestic product (GDP) generated in the service sector. The growth of services is projected to continue unabated for these countries. Even countries that have historically focused on manufacturing are experiencing rapid service growth. For example, China's service sector has doubled in size over the last two decades to account for almost 50% of the country’s GDP nowadays.
This global phenomenon of significant, sustained service growth has led to an ever-growing array of questions regarding the successful management of services. Some pressing questions tackle issues such as the increasingly important role of technology for service provision and the servitization of traditionally product-oriented companies. Service industry is characterized by the constant quest for service innovations, that at the eve of Fourth Industrial Revolution, fundamentally redefine the antecedents of creating, managing and delivering sustainable service excellence. Key role is, for example, in understanding the threats and possibilities that Artificial Intelligence and platform-based business models bring on service employment and customer relationships management.
Moreover, as an inalienable part of our daily lives, services are in a key role in tackling the complex, global challenges, such climate change, food security or the rising income inequality, that characterize today’s world. As active organisational actors, as well as platforms of collaboration, services contribute to fostering the creative and entrepreneurial mindset, that we need in order to ensure sustainable future.
These cross-cutting themes also guide our teaching and research. The research activity in our department focuses on diverse questions of services as dynamic actors in society. Some of our current research projects include:
- Customer experience management in omni-channel environments
- Digitalization of service encounters
- Self-tracking technologies and consumer behavior
- Service co-creation in platform-based services
- Transformative services facilitating consumer wellbeing, equality and sustainability
In our research, our team emphasizes collaboration with service industry actors such as financial services providers, health care service providers, and retailers because we aim to conduct research with impact on the world in motion. Our research is multi-disciplinary, follows state-of-the-art quality standards, and has been published in leading journals in the field such as Journal of Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Retailing and Journal of Service Research. Moreover, our research projects have been nominated with prestigious research funding, e.g., from Business Finland.