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BU3640 Services Management

(5 ECTS - Ist semester only)


Paul Lyons

Module Content/Outline:

Operations Management is the ‘engine’ of business encompassing the tasks and knowledge required to source, produce and deliver products and services. The last 50 years has seen an explosion of services firms throughout the world and services now dominate every developed and many developing countries in terms of their proportional contribution to GDP.  While many of the basic principles of operations management apply to both products and services, the design and delivery of services requires attention to different features of the operations' manager's job.  Furthermore, services are often delivered by public as well as private firms, with different motivations, constraints and value objectives. 

This module will introduce students to the basic concepts of services management and the tools and techniques that have proven success in both manufacturing and service management.  Students are expected to be familiar with the basic fundamentals of operations management as they apply to any organisational endeavour and they will be assessed during this semester for comprehension, knowledge of relevant quantitative and qualitative techniques and ability to link the concepts and techniques discussed to examples in business, public agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • describe the role of operations management in a firm and discuss the similarities and differences between manufacturing and service operations;
  • analyse customer value and other types of value creation in a service / manufactured product and discuss how operations and/or information management can increase customer value and contribute to the competitive advantage of the firm;
  • define the key components of a strategic service vision and the factors that influence the decisions required by the operations manager;
  • apply basic quantitative techniques for designing and improving operations, including demand forecasting, queuing calculations, inventory management and capacity management.

Lectures &Tutorials/Contact hours:

2 hours of lectures/week 
5 tutorials per semester (which may be done online)

Recommended Texts/Key Reading:

[Textbook] Fitzsimmons, James A., Fitzsimmons, Mona J. and Bordoloi, Sanjeev (2014), Service Management:  Operations, Strategy and Information Technology (8th ed – Int’l Edition), London:  McGraw-Hill.
Heskett, James (1987), “Lessons in the Service Sector”, Harvard Business review, vol 65(2), pp. 118-126.
Pine, J. and Gilmore, J. (1998) “Welcome to the Experience Economy”, Harvard Business Review, Jul-Aug, pp. 97-105.
Treacy, M. & Weirsema (1993), “Customer Intimacy and Other Value Disciplines”, Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb, pp. 84-93
Vargo, S.L and Lusch, R.F. (2008), “Service-dominant Logic: continuing the evolution”, Jnl of Acad. Mktg Sci, vol. 36, pp. 1-10


Assessments are determined at the beginning of term.  In previous years, the module has been assessed through various combinations of tutorials, essay and term test.

Dates for submission:

To be advised

Penalties for late submission

Tutorials and must be submitted by the due date or no mark (0) will be awarded. 

Essays submitted after the designated submission deadline will be penalised by 10% of the grade awarded for each working day late, or part thereof.  In the event of a non-medical reason for non-submission of a term-assignment a student should consult with and receive prior approval from the lecture concerned. Students unable to submit a term assignment for medical reasons must produce a medical certificate to the School of Business Studies office within three working days of the missed submission date. Certificates received after that time will not be accepted.