Journal of Systems Science and Systems Engineering

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 257–283 | Cite as

On services research and education



The importance of the services sector can not be overstated; it employs 82.1 percent of the U. S. workforce and 69 percent of graduates from an example technological university. Yet, university research and education have not followed suit. Clearly, services research and education deserve our critical attention and support since services — and services innovation — serve as an indispensable engine for global economic growth. The theme of this paper is that we can and should build services research and education on what has occurred in manufacturing research (especially in regard to customization and intellectual property) and education; indeed, services and manufactured goods become indistinguishable as they are jointly co-produced in real-time. Fortunately, inasmuch as manufacturing concepts, methodologies and technologies have been developed and refined over a long period of time (i.e., since the 1800s), the complementary set of concepts, methodologies and technologies for services are more obvious. However, while new technologies (e.g., the Internet) and globalization trends have served to enable, if not facilitate, services innovation, the same technologies (e.g., the Internet) and 21st Century realities (e.g., terrorism) are making services innovation a far more complex problem and, in fact, may be undermining previous innovations in both services and manufacturing. Finally, there is a need to define a “knowledge-adjusted” GDP metric that can more adequately measure the growing knowledge economy, one driven by intangible ideas and services innovation.


Services manufacturing customization innovation education intellectual property 


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Copyright information

© Systems Engineering Society of China & Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Decision Sciences and Engineering SystemRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteUSA

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