Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Designing {a, with} Discipline in Service Science

I’ve just finished writing a paper that will be published in a special issue on Service Science in the IBM Systems Journal in February 2008. This journal doesn’t allow authors to post accepted manuscripts before they are officially published, which strikes me as a bit quaint, but it is OK if I post the abstract and say that the full manuscript is available from me if you ask for it. So here's the abstract, and if you ask for the full paper (glushko at ischool.berkeley.edu), I'll send it to you.

The paper is called Designing {a, with} Discipline in Service Science, which is probably too clever but I like it and if you can't parse the title you probably won't understand the paper anyway. The paper was motivated by the call by IBM and others for universities to train students for new career opportunities in the information and service economy, usually urging the creation of a new discipline called “Service Science” or “Service Science, Management, and Engineering” (SSME).

Several professors at UC Berkeley are interested in topics that potentially fit into an SSME curriculum, and we might simply have declared that the Service Science curriculum consisted of the set of courses we were already teaching, putting old courses in new bottles. But that didn't seem very satisfying. We wanted to design a discipline of service science in a more principled and theoretically motivated way, and the paper explains what we did and why we did it.

Here's the Abstract:

Should we think of service science as a new discipline or simply as a new curriculum? Some might say it doesn’t matter. At the University of California, Berkeley, we cared relatively little about the institutional form that service science might take (i.e., what to call it and how to organize it), but we cared immensely about the intellectual form (i.e., what it would be about). We sought to design a discipline of service science in a more principled and theoretically motivated way – designing a discipline with discipline. Our work began by asking “What questions would a ‘service science’ have to answer?” and from that we developed a new framework for understanding service science. This framework can be visualized as a matrix whose rows are stages in a service lifecycle and whose columns are disciplines that can provide answers to the questions that span the lifecycle. This matrix systematically organizes the issues and challenges of service science and enables us to compare our model of a service science discipline with other definitions and curricula. This analysis identified gaps, overlaps, and opportunities that shaped the design of our curriculum and especially a new survey course which serves as the cornerstone of service science education at UC Berkeley.

If you're not up to reading the entire paper, take a look at the
Information and Services Design program at the School of Information at UC Berkeley.

-Bob Glushko

Are you allowed to respond to HttpRequests for the paper?

More seriously, would you post the summary matrix mentioned by the abstract? (Is it in graphic form?)
i don't want to get into a debate with the IBM Systems Journal about whether I'm complying with their policy on pre-publication distribution... if you want the paper, i'll be happy to send you a copy

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