The Science of Service Systems

Part of the series Service Science: Research and Innovations in the Service Economy pp 267-296


Service Systems in Changing Paradigms: An Inquiry Through the Systems Sciences

  • David IngAffiliated withIBM Canada Ltd.Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Aalto University

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For professionals at the beginning of the twenty-first century, much of the conventional wisdom on business management and engineering is founded in the twentieth century industrial/manufacturing paradigm. In developed economies, however, the service sector now dominates the manufacturing sector, just as manufacturing prevailed over the agricultural sector after the industrial revolution. This chapter proposes the development of a body of knowledge on services systems, based on foundations in the systems sciences. The approach includes the design of the systems of inquiry, acknowledging that the body of knowledge on twenty-first century service systems is relatively nascent. A program of action science is proposed, with an emphasis on multiple realities and knowledge development through dialectic. The outcome pursued is an increased number of T-shaped people with depth and breadth in service systems, in communities of inquiry of researchers and practitioners.


Service systems Service science Inquiring system Action science Paradigms