CSM is an interdisciplinary research centre, delivering research that matters. Our research focuses on hot topics in service management that connects individuals, organisations and societies.
These topics represent what matters most to service management practitioners and scholars.
Thriving in an Automated Service World (Thorsten Gruber)
Due to new technologies such as AI and robotics, several service sectors are currently experiencing impressive productivity gains, which are similar to the industrial revolution in manufacturing that started here in the UK in the 18th century. Rapidly improving technology is consistently improving, becoming better, smarter, smaller, and cheaper. These developments have the potential to transform virtually all service sectors in the near future. Especially the opportunities offered by robotics in combination with big data, analytics, and artificial intelligence, which will be further enhanced by biometrics, mobile technology, cloud technology, geo-tagging, drones, the Internet of Things, and other technologies, are very exciting to study.
As new technologies such as AI and robotics are also likely to significantly change all strata of society, it is crucial to examine their ethical and societal implications. In this regard, a current international research project involving colleagues from five countries examines the ethical and social challenges caused by service robotics for customers (mico-level), organisations and markets (meso-level) and society at large (macro-level).
Engaging & Empowering Users (Sahar Mousavi & Silvia Masiero)
This research track mainly focuses on empowering and engaging users in both public and private sectors. We are interested in investigating users’ participation and engagement with service providers using different platforms both online and offline. Our intention is on developing a framework for public and private service provision that allows users to voice their needs to service providers and policymakers. In industrialised countries, research is focused around the areas of users’ participation and engagement, including digital technologies, to influence service provision. In countries characterised by institutional fragility, research is primarily focused on developing a framework for service provision that delivers to all entitled citizens, overcoming weaknesses dictated by resource constraints. Here are some current projects that we are working on:
- Customers’ digital engagement with online services
- Segmented customers’ service experience
- ICTs for service delivery in developing countries
- Accountability and anti-corruption policies
- Anti-poverty programme management
Improving Wellbeing (Ian Hodgkinson)
The promotion of the benefits of physical activity in the prevention and treatment of diseases and illnesses associated with inactivity. With a specific focus on how organised sport can enrich the quality of daily lives of all citizens, the mechanisms through which optimal engagement is achieved is a key area of research investigation. Developed sport delivery systems and the role of key stakeholders across sport, social, policy, commercial and government agencies. Outside of the role of physical activity, and in recognising the role of healthcare systems in improving health and wellbeing among citizens, CSM members are actively engaged with transforming healthcare models for better patient and user outcomes.
As well as focusing on the health and wellbeing outcomes for service users and/or recipients, we recognise that in service exchange the health and wellbeing of those delivering the service is often forgotten, given the typical focus on user and service recipient outcomes. Consequently, we investigate health and wellbeing among those responsible for delivering services such as fire-fighters and the effect of shift patterns, as well as the impact of positive customers’ feedback on frontline employee wellbeing.
This stream is closely aligned to Loughborough University’s Sport and Exercise Research Beacon, and contributes directly to the university’ Health and Wellbeing Global Challenge.
Enhancing decisions in complex environments (João Oliveira & Keme Ifie)
Both the globalization of the world economy and the rapid expansion of digital technologies in the last few decades have considerably enhanced the levels of complexity faced by service providers in the industries in which they operate. As a result, service markets worldwide have become ever more competitive and consumers increasingly demanding. In this context, innovations introduced by service firms, rather than providing companies with sustainable competitive advantage, rapidly become “must have” characteristics which service users expect from firms. Against this background, we aim at investigating what are the key factors that determine the success of both of commercial and of not-for-profit organizations, under this increasingly complex environmental landscape.
Below are some current projects that we are working on:
• Digital channel adoption by the part of service providers and its impact on service quality and on service user satisfaction levels
• Electronic Word of Mouth (eWOM) and corporate reputation
• Digital channel adoption by the part of not-for-profit organisations
Advancing Service Business Models (Vicky Story)
In order to sustain growth and ensure sustainable competitive advantage or simply survive, firms are increasingly having to transform their business models. This transformation goes beyond individual product or service initiatives, requiring wide ranging changes to market offerings; organisational structures; processes; customer relationships; and value networks. Business models relate to the core strategy of an organisation, define the resources and capabilities required to succeed, specify the customer interface and value proposition (i.e. the benefits received through the business model), and determine the revenue model. Discourse about the topic can be found across a range of fields, for example, information management; strategy; marketing; and operations.
The following paragraph gives a flavour of the work being undertaken within this research track. CSM members have focused on creating a service audit tool; examining how UK public service organizations use performance measures and reporting mechanisms to inform performance management activities; the creation of the SOMS framework - Service Operating Model Skills is an industrial framework to specify the skills required for people designing, implementing and maintaining operating models; work exploring how manufacturers can move into the provision of complex services and solutions; and the PartiSim approach, which uses collaborative approaches to develop simulation models with stakeholders.
Other work in this area includes:
- Role of Lean in organisations
- The role of queue management in service organisations
- Planning capability development in hi-tech firms
- Visualisation for organisational learning
Revitalising Economies and Communities (Alex Wilson & Cathy Hart)
Service management has the potential to help redress societal challenges facing economies and communities. Whether declining high streets, social exclusion within communities or societal responses to emergencies, such multifaceted challenges can be remedied through facets of service research. Digitisation, including social and digital media and the internet of things, has an increasing role to improve policies to help the poor and vulnerable.
Underpinning this is identifying -and delivering- the relevant management training and skills required to support the economies and communities. This stream of research seeks to connect service management with societal needs using research such as the diagnosis of service gaps, service shortfalls and challenges, and the provision of services to revitalise aspects of society – specifically economies and communities in need of revitalisation.
Current projects include:
- Improving customer experience and attractiveness of town centres.
- The digital high street: Integrating physical / digital experiences.
- The ‘Management education challenge’: Examining how business schools support the economies and communities they serve;
- Linking the strategies and service models in management education to global societal issues.
- Societal responses to emergency management / On site emergency resource management
- Technology and pro-poor policies (using digitisation to improve existing policymaking for the poor and vulnerable)
- Include the excluded
- Internet of Things and its application
Addressing global wicked issues (Lili Yang)
The term “wicked” has been used to describe issues with particularly incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements. The wicked issues have become part of the contemporary currency of public management. It can be characterised as follows: (a) uncertainty; (b) inconsistency of needs, preferences and values; (c) an unclear sense of all consequences and/or cumulative impact of collective action; (d) fluid, heterogeneous, pluralist participation in problem definition and solving. Wicked problems can’t be solved completely, but can be tamed. The effectiveness of managing the wicked issues has been considered and hindered by scientific methods within the exclusive realm of science such as climate change, water shortage and air quality etc.
There are some projects that we are working on:
- Water energy nexus in China
- Cascading disasters analysis and modelling
- Addressing emergency management platform wicked issues
- IoT-based social and public safety
- Decision making systems for unexpected events situation awareness: research based on a large amount of scenarios
Members of CSM are publishing in leading academic journals such as:
- British Journal of Management
- European Journal of Operational Research
- Industrial Marketing Management
- Information Systems Research
- International Journal of Operations and Production Management
- Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science
- Journal of Business Research
- Journal of Marketing Management
- Journal of the Operational Research Society
- Journal of Product Innovation Management
- Omega: The International Journal of Management Science
- Production Planning and Control
- Public Administration
- Research Policy
- Social Science and Medicine
- Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Below is a selection of recent publications from Centre members:
Hodgkinson, IR and Hughes, P (2018) Public Service Performance: Exploring the Effects of Strategy Configurations among Ownership Types, International Public Management Journal, in press, ISSN: 1559-3169. Full text: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10967494.2018.1461151 .
Hodgkinson, IR, Hughes, P, Radnor, Z, Glennon, R (2018) Affective Commitment within the Public Sector: Antecedents and Performance Outcomes between Ownership Types, Public Management Review, in press, ISSN: 1471-9037. Full text: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14719037.2018.1444193 .
Glennon, R, Hodgkinson, IR, Knowles, J, Radnor, Z, Bateman, N (2018) Public Sector ‘Modernisation’: Examining the Impact of a Change Agenda on Local Government Employees in England, Australian Journal of Public Administration, forthcoming, ISSN: 1467-8500.
Kumar, H, Manoli, AE, Hodgkinson, IR, Downward, P (2018) Sport Participation: From Policy, Through Facilities, to Users’ Health, Well-Being, and Social Capital, Sport Management Review, in press, ISSN: 1441-3523. Full text: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1441352318300214. DOI: 10.1016/j.smr.2018.01.002.
Masiero, S and Maiorano, D (2018) MGNREGA, power politics, and computerization in Andhra Pradesh, Forum for Development Studies, 45(1), pp.1-24, ISSN: 1891-1765. DOI: 10.1080/08039410.2017.1345785.
Bailur, S, Masiero, S, Tacchi, JA (2018) Gender, mobile and development: The theory and practice of empowerment, Information Technologies and International Development, 14, pp.96-104, ISSN: 1544-7529.
Maiorano, D, Das, U, Masiero, S (2018) Decentralisation, clientelism and social protection programmes: A comparative study of India’s MGNREGA, Oxford Development Studies, ISSN: 1360-0818.
McHaney, R, Tako, AA, Robinson, S (2018) Using LIWC to Choose Simulation Approaches: A Feasibility Study, Decision Support Systems, ISSN: 0167-9236.
Kotiadis, K and Tako, AA (2018) Facilitated Post-model coding in Discrete Event Simulation (DES): A case study in Healthcare, European Journal of Operational Research, ISSN: 0377-2217. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2017.10.047.
Benoit, S, Baker, T, Bolton, R, Gruber, T, Kandampully, J (2017) A Triadic Framework for Collaborative Consumption (CC): Motives, Activities and Resources & Capabilities of Actors, Journal of Business Research, ISSN: 0148-2963. Full text: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0148296317301509. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.05.004.
Hodgkinson, IR, Hannibal, C, Keating, BW, Chester Buxton, R, Bateman, NA (2017) Toward a Public Service Management: Past, Present, and Future Directions, Journal of Service Management, 28(5), pp.998-1023, ISSN: 1757-5818. Full text: https://doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-01-2017-0020.
Hodgkinson, IR, Hughes, P, Hughes, M, Glennon, R (2017) Does Ownership Matter for Service Delivery Value? An Examination of Citizens’ Service Satisfaction, Public Management Review, 19(8), pp.1206-1220, ISSN: 1471-9037. Full text: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14719037.2016.1272711. DOI: 10.1080/14719037.2016.1272711.
Hughes, M, Hughes, P, Hodgkinson, IR (2017) In Pursuit of a ‘Whole Brain’ Approach to Undergraduate Teaching: Implications of the Herrmann Brain Dominance Model, Studies in Higher Education, 42(12), pp.2389-2405, ISSN: 1470-174X. Full text: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03075079.2016.1152463 .
Manoli, AE and Hodgkinson, IR (2017) Marketing Outsourcing in the English Premier League: The Right Holder/Agency Interface, European Sport Management Quarterly, 17(4), pp.436-456, ISSN: 1746-031X. Full text: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/16184742.2017.1314530 .
Verleye, K, Jaakkola, E, Hodgkinson, IR, Jun, GT, Odekerken-Schröder, G, Quist, J (2017) What causes imbalance in complex service networks? Evidence from a public health service, Journal of Service Management, in press, ISSN: 1757-5826. Full text: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/JOSM-03-2016-0077. DOI: 10.1108/JOSM-03-2016-0077.
Masiero, S (2017) Digital Governance and the Reconstruction of the Indian Anti-Poverty System, Oxford Development Studies, 45(4), pp.393-408, ISSN: 1469-9966. DOI: 10.1080/13600818.2016.1258050.
Bailur, S and Masiero, S (2017) Women’s income generation through mobile Internet: A study of focus group data from Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda, Gender, Technology and Development, 21(2), pp.77-98, ISSN: 0971-8524. DOI: 10.1080/09718524.2017.1385312.
Mousavi, S, Roper, S, Keeling, KA (2017) Interpreting social identity in online brand communities: Considering posters and lurkers, Psychology and Marketing, 34(4), pp.376-393, ISSN: 0742-6046. DOI: 10.1002/mar.20995.
Burton, J, Story, VM, Raddats, C, Zolkiewski, J (2017) Overcoming the challenges that hinder new service development by manufacturers with diverse services strategies, International Journal of Production Economics, ISSN: 0925-5273. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2017.01.013.
Raddats, C, Zolkiewski, J, Story, VM, Burton, J, Baines, T, Ziaee Bigdeli, A (2017) Interactively developed capabilities: Evidence from dyadic servitization relationships, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, ISSN: 1758-6593. DOI: 10.1108/IJOPM-08-2015-0512.
Chowdhury, IN, Gruber, T, Zolkiewski, J (2016) Every cloud has a silver lining - Exploring the dark side of value co-creation in B2B service networks, Industrial Marketing Management, 55(May), pp.97-109, ISSN: 0019-8501. DOI: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2016.02.016.
Fisk, R, Anderson, L, Bowen, D, Gruber, T, Ostrom, A, Patricio, L, Reynoso, J, Sebastiani, R (2016) Billions of impoverished people deserve to be better served: A call to action for the service research community, Journal of Service Management, 27(1), ISSN: 1757-5826. Full text: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/JOSM-04-2015-0125. DOI: 10.1108/JOSM-04-2015-0125.
Alonso, JM, Andrews, R, Hodgkinson, IR (2016) Institutional, ideological and political influences on local government contracting: Evidence from England, Public Administration, 94(1), pp.244-262, ISSN: 0033-3298. Full text: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/padm.12216/abstract. DOI: 10.1111/padm.12216.
Masiero, S (2016) The Origins of Failure: Seeking the Causes of Design–Reality Gaps, Information Technology for Development, 22(3), pp.487-502, ISSN: 0268-1102. DOI: 10.1080/02681102.2016.1143346.
Story, VM, Raddats, C, Burton, J, Zolkiewski, J, Baines, T (2016) Capabilities for advanced services: A multi-actor perspective, Industrial Marketing Management, 60, pp.54-68, ISSN: 0019-8501. DOI: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2016.04.015.
Raddats, C, Baines, T, Burton, J, Story, VM, Zolkiewski, J (2016) Motivations for servitization: The impact of product complexity, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 36(5), pp.572-591, DOI: 10.1108/IJOPM-09-2014-0447.
Members of CSM have considerable expertise in gaining research funding. For example, former CSM Co-Director Professor Zoe Radnor has a successful track record in developing research projects that have attracted external funding. She has been awarded around 20 research grants, of which nine have been from research councils (EPRSC and ESRC) and the others from government departments. These grants have led to new knowledge and insight in innovation, lean and, performance and process management.
Please find below an overview of recent research grants and awards of CSM members:
- Phase 2 of the SIMTEGR8 project was completed, funded (18K, FEC £45K) by Leicestershire County Council from the Better Care Together Fund, to evaluate four interventions aimed at reducing emergency hospital admissions of old and frail people. The project evaluated the set-up of integrated health and social care services for the elderly and frail using facilitated workshops. For more information please visit the following link: www.simtegr8.org.
- 2016 ‘Co-creation and the casualization of sport and fitness participation: Does neoliberalism produce solutions to social inclusion and public well-being?’, British Academy/Leverhulme (£7,910.50); with P. Downward.
- 2012-2013 ESRC funded project ‘Investigating the customer experience of the town
centre’. Total project value £177, 437
- 2013 (July) ESRC funded follow on project ‘The town centre consumer’;£100,000.
- To develop a series of ‘thought leadership’ pieces focusing on recommendations for research at the local level on ‘The town centre consumer’, and
- To create a robust ‘Town centre consumer measurement tool’ through rigorous validation of our current exploratory findings, available data and a larger scale confirmatory study
- To disseminate theoretical contributions on town centre customer experience measurement by submitting papers to quality refereed journals and UK and international academic conferences
- £4,000 for organisation of conference on ‘Service Innovation in Emerging Markets’ awarded from the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies (SAMS). Conference dates: 25-26 January 2017.
- 02/2014 – 02/2017: 2.5 million Euros, as a main participant and about350,000 Euros will be allocated to Dr Yang, Integrated Support System for Efficient Water Usage and Resource Management (ISS-EWATUS), from European Commission 7th Framework Programme
- 02/2013 – 02/2015: £92,767, as a co-investigator, To design, develop and implement a clinical trial simulator to provide rational, quantitative decision support and risk analysis from Knowledge Transfer Programme of the TSB.
- 03/2013 – 01/2014: £3500, as the sole investigator, Applying statistics skills and optimisation models to the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, from the Enterprise Office at the university.
- 03/2013 – 12/2013: £1950, as the sole investigator, Running a workshop with Tsinghua University, Strategic and Leadership Development Fund, from the EPSRC.
- 07/2011 – 12/2012: £6,250, as the sole investigator, collaborating with Tsinghua University, China, from Marco Polo Exchange Scholarship Programme.
- 05/2010-12/2010: £4,000, as the sole investigator, Information Systems for RESponding to Crises and Unexpected Events (System4Rescue) for international travel grant for collaboration with the USA, from Royal Society.
- 01/2010-12/2012: ¥1.5million as the co-investigator, Multi-department and multi-stage cooperative decision making theory and methodology for unconventional emergency management, national Natural Science Foundation of China.
- 02/2010-01/2013: £50,000 as the principal investigator, Decision Making for emergency responses (a PhD studentship), Loughborough University Development Fund.
- 10/2007-9/2011: £62,298, as the sole investigator, Multiple Objective Optimization and Trade-off Analysis for Large Scale Systems Architecture Design, from EPSRC, Voucher NO: 0700069X
- 10/2007-9/2011: £22,500, as the sole Investigator, Multiple Objective Optimization and Trade-off Analysis for Large Scale Systems Architecture Design, from BAE Systems, UK.
- Winner of the Emerald Citations of Excellence Award 2016. Bolton, R., Parasuraman, A., Hoefnagels, A., Migchels, N., Kabadayi, S., Gruber, T., Komarova Loureiro, Y. and Solnet, D. (2013). “Understanding Generation Y and Their Use of Social Media: A Review and Research Agenda”. Journal of Service Management, 24 (3), 245-267.
- 2016 Journal of Services Marketing Best Service Consumer Paper. Nasr, L., Burton, J. and Gruber, T. (2016). “Bring me Sunshine: Developing a Deeper Understanding of Positive Customer Feedback”. AMA SERVSIG International Service Research Conference. June 17-19, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands.
- Winner of the Best Paper Award for Innovative Research at the Aston India Centre for Applied Research (AICAR) Inaugural Conference, which took place at Aston University on 15thand 16th September 2017 – with Prof M.N. Ravishankar
Below is a selection of reports written by our Centre members in the SBE Research blog:
- 31st October 2017: 'Continuous improvement in UK public service organisation' by Rosamund Chester Buxton
- 6th October 2017: 'Exploring the concept of an operating model' by Nicola Bateman
- 12th July 2017: 'What digital technologies mean for India's largest anti-poverty programme' by Silvia Masiero
- 9th January 2017: 'Big data for anti-poverty programmes: A politically embedded view' by Silvia Masiero
- 25th May 2016: 'New framework for service organisations: Service Operating Model Skills' by Nicola Bateman
- 13th October 2014: 'Emergency and service management in New Zealand: Moving on from the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes' by Lili Yang
- 15th September 2014: 'Seeing is improving?' by Peter Gardner
- 7th April 2014: 'Transforming service research: Insights from a Special Session on Transformative Service Research (TSR)' by Thorsten Gruber