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

  • David Ing
Part of the Service Science: Research and Innovations in the Service Economy book series (SSRI)


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 



The author appreciates ideas and feedback on the earliest drafts of this chapter from the team on “The trajectory of systems research and practice” – Allenna Leonard, Gary Metcalf, Leonie Solomons and Jennifer Wilby – and other participants in the 2008 Fuschl Conversation hosted by the International Federation for Systems Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science and Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Ing
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.IBM Canada Ltd.MarkhamCanada
  2. 2.Department of Industrial Engineering and ManagementAalto UniversityEspooFinland

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