Service Management


The service sector represents the largest segment of most industrial economies. In the euro area, for example, it represents 74% of the total value added.
Even in traditional industrial sectors the success of the firms is based on their service processes. Customers want their needs to be fulfilled by a mix of physical goods and intangible services. So firms must provide a bundle of service and physical goods.
Services are intangible, not storable, highly variable and their delivery involves a significant amount of customer contact what means that the relevance of operational excellence for the success is particularly true in the production and delivery of services.
The aim of this course is to provide students with the capabilities to analyse, and improve, the operations of services by focusing on the service design, the process flows and facility location, managing capacity and demand and service quality. In particular:
•    To study "breakthrough" services in order to understand the operations of successful service firms that can be benchmarks for future management practice.
•    To develop an understanding of the "state of the art" of the thinking on the operations of services.
•    To develop an awareness of the opportunities that information technology can have for enhancing service firms competitiveness.
•    To appreciate the organizational significance of managing the service encounter to achieve internal and external customer satisfaction.
•    To gain an appreciation of the complexities associated with implementing change.
•    To appreciate the entrepreneurial opportunities in services.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Manuel Pedro Baganha


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


J. Fitzsimmons, M. Fitzsimmons and S. Bordoloi, Service Management : operations, strategy, information technology, 8 th edition, McGraw-Hill, 2014
Articles to be defined (some will be available through moodle, others will available through internet sources)
Notes developed by the instructor Slides of the classes

Teaching method

There are two classes per week. The first class of every week will focus more on the presentation of tools and frameworks. The second class will focus more on the application the concepts and analyses to different types of organizations and the decisions they face.
Students are expected to read/prepare a case, or an exercise, before classes. It estimated that it will take between 1 hour and 1 and half hours to read/prepare each case.

Evaluation method

The evaluation of the students will be based on class participation, weekly written note, a group project and final exam.
Class participation will be evaluated considering the quality of the comments and contribution to the development of the class.
The project, in goups of 4, is aimed at analyzing a process of a particular firm, discussing operational issues of a particular firm or service industry. The project will be based on information from secondary sources. The instructor will present a list of projects at the beginning of the course.
•    Class participation: 5%;
•    Weekly note: 15%
•    Group project: 30%
•    Final exam: 50%

Subject matter

The effective management of service operations requires sprecialized analytical tools and  a customer focus. This course covers a mix of topics with an emphasis on strategic frameworks and some quantitative methods. In class simple models and basic concepts will be introduced in order to analyze tradeoffs in common service processes. In particular this course will focus on
•    New service development.
•    The design of process and the management of process flows.
•    Facilities location and layout.
•    Managing capacity and demand.
•    Service quality.
Students will apply the ideas and analytical tools to a diversity of service industries, namely airlines, health care, hospitality/hotels and restaurants, financial services and entertainement.
All the analytical tools used will be based on EXCEL templates provided, thus it is neither required nor necessary, any particular knowledge of quantitative models


Programs where the course is taught: