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Presentation of BSc SEM
The BSc in Business Administration and Service Management combines knowledge within business economics and management with knowledge about one of three service sectors (tourism and hospitality, arts and culture or service innovation in general). The context of the specific service sectors is important, because Service Management graduates learn to think not only in profit and costs, but also in how to make the right decisions and investments based on the goals set by the company or organization.
You can choose between three concentrations if you want a BSc in Business Administration and Service Management at CBS:
- Tourism and Hospitality - want to know more? Watch Lars Jønsson, Vice-Director at VisitDenmark, tell why students with a speciality in Tourism & Hospitality are needed
- Arts and Culture - want to know more? Watch Esben Danielsen, Innovation Director at Roskilde Festivall, tel why it is important to be able to control the creative industries economy
- Service Innovation - want to know more? Watch Christian Lauritzen, HR Development Director at ISS, tell why students with specific knowledge about the service industry are so important
You're also welcome to visit the BSc Service Management Facebook page to learn more about the programme or to connect with other students within the programme.
These three concentrations will give you an in depth knowledge of your chosen sector, combined with skills within management and economics that will enable you to work as managers within these sectors.
What is service?
Service is the main focus of this programme. A service is intangible, which means you cannot store it on a shelf. Furthermore, it is often required that the customer and the producers are at the same place at the same time for a service to be delivered. For example when you go to see a play in the theatre, here the service is the play, which you watch in the theatre with the actors on stage at the same time. But like other products, services can be of good or bad quality, and it requires professional management to deliver good quality.
Here you can see examples of services within each of the three sectors:
1) Tourism and hospitality: Hotels, travel agencies, airlines and restaurants
2) Arts and Culture: Cultural institutions and attractions like museums, theatres, concerts and other events
3) Service innovation: Public services like daycares and private services like consultancy, cleaning and telephone companies
By combining economics with the special characteristics of a service, you will gain an in-depth understanding of how to market, sell and organize a service. Economic theories and models, together with disciplines like marketing, strategy and organisation are used to analyse aspects of service companies. For example how can “the Royal Danish Theatre” work together with “Visit Copenhagen” to attract more customers to the opera in Copenhagen? Economic theories and models can be used to figure out how much economic gain the Opera will get if they cooperate with Visit Copenhagen. On the other hand marketing and branding tools can be used by Visit Copenhagen, since the Opera can be used to attract tourists.
In each of the concentrations you will also gain a broad knowledge about society and business life. In this context business life is referring to how a company is organized and operated on a daily basis. You will develop skills that will help you to understand and handle different business issues. These skills are for example within management, accounting, finance, strategy and marketing. They can be used to find new ways of running a company or an organization that will make them more effective and profitable, or reach other goals that may be non-profit goals concerning with the quality of the supply.
Career in the Service sectors
With a BSc SEM you will have the qualifications to function as an administrator or manager within the service industries. But most SEM bachelors go on to study a MSc programme to get more in-depth knowledge within a certain academic area of interest.
BSc SEM is a three-year bachelor programme. The academic year runs from September through June and is divided into 4 quarters. Each quarter is 8 weeks long and concluded with examinations. Examinations take place 4 times a year in October, December/January, April and May/June respectively.
The programme consists of a number of compulsory courses, some elective courses and finishes off with a bachelor project.
Options during the programme
The BSc SEM is structured in quarters, which means that during one year you have 4 quarters, where you will have only 2 courses at a time for a period of 6-7 weeks followed by exams. Therefore, you will have exams 4 times a year instead of 2 as most other programmes have. It is a very intense and focused way of learning.
The 1st and 2nd quarter of your third year consists of electives. You can use this semester as a specialization of areas from the compulsory courses.
You can choose between the following:
• Doing electives at CBS or another Danish university
• Going abroad on exchange at a partner university
• Doing an internship in a public or private organisation in the service industry in Denmark or abroad
The 6th semester is finish off with a bachelor project where you have the opportunity to specialize in one or more areas of the programme.
Overview of courses
Method l. Philosophy of science and qualitative methods
The primary objective of the course is to present central qualitative methods and theoretical concepts that are required to carry out empirical business research, and to train the student’s capability of discussing and assessing these.
The initial part of the course will introduce the students to basic concepts that regard theory of science and knowledge production within social science research. This part aims to establish an awareness of the concerns and possibilities that different approaches to studying the social science may contain.
The remaining part of the course focuses on central qualitative methods, used in business studies. In the class the students are exposed to four central methodological techniques: participant observation, interviews, focus group interviews and document analysis. The course aims to train the student’s ability to use and combine these techniques in a competent manner, and thus to enhance their analytic abilities.
The course will be organised in 10x2 lectures and 5x2 workshops to enable the students to apply and train the different methods and topics of the course.
The last of the 5 workshops will give the students an opportunity to try out the steps of the research project process and will last app. 1½ day. It is optional for the students to participate.
- Explain and discuss basic concepts within the theory of science: central perspectives that regard knowledge production processes based on empirical research.
- Identify a research object or problem area and propose an operable research question.
- Discuss and develop different research strategies, appropriate to form research projects that aim to study specific objects and phenomena.
- Explain, discuss and assess benefits and drawbacks of central qualitative methods and methodological concepts (with a particular focus on participant observation, interviews and document analysis), with reference to relevant research questions.
- Present written output in a structured and linguistically fluent form.
The objective of this course is to provide the student with a thorough understanding of microeconomics applied to the problem of managerial decision-making. The first step in achieving this objective is to understand how to model economic behavior. The student will learn how a manager chooses production inputs based on marginal productivity, prices, and various other economic variables. The student will learn to develop an economic model through the use of algebra and basic calculus. The student will gain a feel for the art of choosing assumptions to set up and solve a meaningful problem. The second step in achieving the objective is to build an understanding of the many economic problems. The student will examine economic problems in consumer theory, production, technology, cost analysis, profit analysis, and market interactions. When the foundations of the course have been established they are applied in more complex settings like market structures, game theory, competition, pricing, and other managerial decision making models relevant to the service industry.
20 x Lecturing (L1-L20)
The course consists of 20 lectures (L1-L20) each of 3 x 45 minutes. The lectures will explore the core areas of the theory requiring a considerable amount of self-study. It is advisable with 4-6 hours of preparation for each lecture.
8x Active workshops (W1- W8)
Each workshop is 6 lectures of each 45 min. The workshops consist of cases in theoretical and empirical problems and are part of the curriculum. Naturally these active learning sessions will correspond to the content and headlines of the previous lectures. The workshops are very important for the learning process. All students have to answer and submit online 6 workshop-papers. The workshops can be solved individually or in groups but the online questions must be answered individually.
3 x Technical workshops
These workshops focus on updating and developing technical skills necessary to complete the course. There will be 2 mathematical workshops during a weekend in the beginning of the course and one Excel workshop. These workshops are extremely important in order to possess the skills necessary to get optimal learning out of the course and do good in the exam.
To be awarded the highest mark (12), the student, with no or just a few insignificant shortcomings, must fulfill the following learning objectives:
- The student should be able to account for selected theories
- The student should be able to apply the correct theory on a given issue.
- The student should be able to apply technical solution methods when solving a given issue.
- The student should be able to illustrate the solution to a given issue.
- The student should be able to use the correct course vocabulary.
- The student should be able to reach a decision based on economic rationing.
- Accounting as a form of communication
- Financial statements and Annual Reports
- Double-entry bookkeeping
- Cash basis and accrual basis of accounting
- Inventories and Cost of Goods Sold
- Cash, receivables and short term investments
- Fixed Assets (Tangible & Intangible)
- Current Liabilities, Present Value, and Long-term liabilities
- Shareholders’ Equity
- Cash Flow Statements
- Financial Statement Analysis
- A Case Study in Financial Accounting
Students learn to develop their understanding of financial accounting via reference practical examples, mini-cases and annual reports of various companies.
After having completed the course students should be able to:
- Read, understand and examine the data in an annual report, herunder the key components in the financial statement.
- Fully understand the difference between cash and accrual accounting.
- Be able to record business transactions using financial accounting pratices
- Prepare financial statements from the source data based on accounting transactions.
- Understand the critical role of ethics in providing decision useful accounting information.
- Develop financial ratios for a company and analyze the information content of these measures to make sound business decisions.
This course offers a general introduction to macroeconomics. We ask questions such as, ‘What determines production, unemployment and inflation in the short and medium run?’ To answer this, we develop an analytical framework based on equilibrium conditions in three markets: the goods market, the financial market and the labour market. This framework is also used to analyze questions like, ‘What is the scope for a government to stabilise the economy using fiscal and monetary policy?’ Moreover, issues related to the open economy are addressed, such as capital mobility, exchange rates, balance of payments etc.
The following issues are addressed in the course:
• Demand for goods
• Demand for money
• Labour market
• Inflation and unemployment
• Fiscal and monetary policy
• The open economy
• Financial markets and expectations
Course aim: The purpose of the course is to give students an understanding of (i) movements in the economy over the business cycle, (ii) macroeconomic stabilisation policy (monetary and fiscal) in closed and open economies, and (iii) basic aspects of financial markets and expectations.
- Explain basic macroeconomic terminology (e.g. "growth", "recession", "natural unemployment", "trade balance deficit" etc.) in a comprehensive way
- Describe how real GDP is determined in the short and medium run.
- Describe the main determinants of other important macroeconomic variables such as inflation, unemployment, real wage, interest rate, exchange rate etc.
- Perform simple algebraic calculations related to developments in the main macroeconomic variables
- Describe and explain the assumptions and relations of the main macroeconomic models (e.g. the IS/LM model, the AD/AS model, etc.).
- Illustrate diagrammatically these models, perform policy experiments (like increasing government spending or changing the money supply) and interpret verbally what happens when moving from one equilibrium to another.
- Solve algebraically simple macroeconomic models in order to determine the value of the variables in equilibrium (national income, interest rate, consumption, investment etc.)
Electives / Exchange / Internship (30 ECTS)
On the fifth semester you can take electives, go on exchange or do an internship in a company.
A Project Guideline is published at the end of the fall semester. It supplements the Program Regulations and serves as a teaching aid for the Project.
The Manual provides detailed information about Project requirements and deadlines, as well as practical suggestions and advice regarding the Project experience and proper use of a Project Adviser. The Project Guidelines will be available at the BSc SEM e-campus (Exam > Exam guidelines).
An introduction lecture (2h) and workshop (3h) in late January/early February will introduce to the Bachelor project. Students will get an overview of the process, the development of reasearch questions, and learn how to engage with the supervisor.
- Independently formulate and justify research questions
- Select, combine and apply relevant concepts and theories in relation to specified research questions
- Select and use relevant quantitative and qualitative methods to answer such research questions
- Identify and retrieve relevant data/information
- Formulate and present (orally and in writing) coherently argued answers, combining theory, methodology and data, to the research question posed.
- Reflect critically on the quality of the answers produced.
Service Management Foundations
The course content has two main elements. The largest part of the course presents key concepts and foundations of one of the following fields: (1) tourism and hospitality, (2) arts and culture, and (3) service innovation. Each field represents the study focus for one of the three specializations in the SEM program. The course provides a succinct yet comprehensive introduction to each specialization and field of study, by giving a general overview of service industries and their development. The course discusses the importance of services in the context of each field of study (see 1, 2, 3 above) and critically examines relevant research methods and data sources.
The second element of the course consists of a brief introduction to to the fundamentals of descriptive statistics and data management. This part includes the management of statistical data and the design and analysis of tables and graphical representations.
In order to be awarded the highest grade (12) the student would have to fulfill the following course objectives:
- Explain and apply the concepts and theories on services and service sectors presented through the course
- Discuss and analyse the structure and development of specific service sectors presented in the course
- Explain and discuss reports and documents about services using concepts and theories presented in the course, together with the knowledge on statistical data
- Explain and apply statistical measurements, and select data sources
- Demonstrate the ability to present statistical data in the form of tables and other graphical representations
Method ll. Statistics and quantitative methods
The course addresses established statistical methods for representing and analyzing quantitative data, primarily survey data. The focus will be on selecting and applying the methods that are appropriate for a given type of data. Students will learn how phenomena can be measured and analyzed statistically, how to report the results of their analysis, and what kind of conclusions statistical research can lead to.
The main modules composing the course are:
• Confidence intervals and hypothesis testing
• Tests of hypotheses about means and proportions
• Tests of association between categorical variables
• Correlation analysis
• Regression analysis
Students will learn how to perform statistical analyses in Microsoft Excel.
Upon completion of the course, the students should be able to:
- Explain different kinds of population characteristics (types of variables), their measurement from a sample, and sampling biases.
- Explain and discuss the concept of probability and the concept of inference, and relate to measures of test statistics, critical value, confidence interval and p-value. Understand the concept of inference.
- Explain and perform appropriate tests of hypotheses about means and proportions
- Explain and perform tests of hypotheses about the association between two categorical variables.
- Explain the concept of correlation between numerical variables, and compute a correlation coefficient
- Explain the logic of regression analysis and the difference between correlation and regression analyses. Formulate and discuss adequate regression models for explaining different phenomena.
- Perform linear regression, including multivariate regression and regression with categorical (dummy) variables as explanatory variables. Interpret regression coefficients and related measures (t-tests, F-tests, standard errors, p-values etc.) and the determination coefficient (R2), and investigate residuals.
Management Control Systems
The aim of the course is to provide the student with both theoretical understanding and practical skills of management control systems and management accounting practices.
Management control systems are perceived as a mechanism to increase the likelihood for an organization to 1) achieve its objectives and 2) utilize resources efficiently when implementing strategies. Included in this section is also introduction to basic concepts and calculations in cost accounting.
Additionally, the management control system can become an early warning system for feeding back information to the strategic planning and control system. Alternatives to traditional management accounting are introduced. However, the main focus is on financial results control systems going from planning and budgeting models to balanced scorecards. This includes introduction to concepts and calculations in cost accounting.
The student will learn to integrate performance measurement, evaluation, and incentives as part of a management control system so as to be able to influence an organization to actions and behavior that will increase goal congruence and achievement of objectives. The course also deals with important management control roles and ethical issues faced by managers and employees.
The course contains the following elements:
- Management control alternatives (results controls, action controls, and people controls)
- Design criteria for management control systems including analysis of control tightness and cost vs. benefit
- Financial result control systems used in for-profit organizations including
• Decentralizing in financial responsibility centers
• Allocating resources effectively with the use of transfer prices
• Planning and budgeting processes
• Determining financial performance measures and targets
- Non-financial perfomance measures
- Designing performance dependent reward systems
- Performance measurement issues and their effects on financial results control systems, most notably the problems of Myopia and Uncontrollable Factors.
- Strategic performance measurement issues with particular focus on the Balanced Scorecard, including non financial performance measures
- Corporate control roles and the organization of Corporate Governance
- Management control related ethical issues
After having completed the course the students should be able to a) describe the theories and models that are taught in the course (as described in the course content and its elements) b) Apply the theories and models of the course in case study settings by: 1) Identifying and explaining management accounting issues and management control issues 2) Discuss aspects of the management control systems and management accounting practices 3) Recommending courses of action for management with respect to their management accounting practices and control systems.
The course covers the core aspects of Corporate Finance theory, including capital budgeting, financial instruments, portfolio theory and, capital structure decisions. The course provides a financial background in Finance for a professional career based on the bachelor degree as well as for further academic studies.
With Corporate Finance Theory as context the student is expected to be able to: • Identify, explain, discuss and apply the core concepts, models and methods • Calculate, interpret and compare financial statistics, prices, returns and costs • Elaborate, present and discuss solutions for financial decision problems
The legal framework more and more influences the reality of cross-border business in the service sector. This course aims at providing students with the basic theoretical knowledge and practical skills useful for analysing the dynamics and consequences of this interaction, by focusing on legal aspects of international business activities and international service management.
The course provides a number of legal parameters and tools for students of international service management. Areas include private international law, EU business regulation, as well as particular areas of interest such as intellectual property rights, health care or financial services. Students will gain an understanding of the main elements of legal contract management and relate it to a real service firm. The relationship between theory and practice will be achieved by integrating the knowledge provided in the course to specific cases of real service corporations. Through its learning activities and assessment this course enhances competencies of problem solving, team work, writing and presenting academic reports for an expert audience, the coordination of project activities and the application of knowledge to practice.
After completing the course, the students will be able to:
- Demonstrate a holistic understanding of the legal aspects of service management, including the relationship between business and society;
- Identify the challenges to business in establishing international and cross-border contracts;
- Critically assess international business challenges in a global context;
- Examine various business environment challenges, including culture, politics and sustainability, for the service sector;
- become familiar with the definitions and concepts of EU trade liberalisation and integration, and to
- identify and explain the basic concepts of International and European Trade Law, including its regulatory aspects;
- evaluate and apply the basic international rules of contracts for the sale of goods, services, intellectual property rights, and in particular e-commerce;
- understand and apply the general EU rules on free movement of services, with a focus on fundamental rights and non-discrimination;
- identify and apply the general rules on public procurement of services and of state aid in the EU context;
- generally speaking, identify the essential elements of a concrete legal problem, select the relevant sources of law, and present a convincing argument for the resolution of that problem.
Introduction to Management Studies
In the first semester the students will be introduced to 3 core themes within the field of Management Studies: 1) The Organzational Biography of the Firm, 2) The Horizontal and Vertical Boundaries of the Firm and 3) Business Unit Strategy and Corporate Strategy.
In the first theme on the Organizational Biography of the firm we will try to understand the transformations that take place in the organization of the firm as the firm grows and gets older. On one hand we study the structures and processes and on the other hand some contingency factors such as age, size, technology, strategy, the environment, etc. In this theme we present theories such as Contingency Theory, Configurational theory and Organizational Life cycle Theory.
In the theme on the Horizontal and Vertical Boundaries of the Firm(related to outsourcing, cooperation, integration and diversification) we discuss some of the forces that from an economic perspective determine the size, growth and changes within a firm. In this theme we introduce theories such as Classical Microeconomics, Edith Penrose’s theory of the Growth of the Firm and Ronald Coase’s and Oliver Williamson’s Transaction Costs Economics.
In the third and last theme on Business Unit and Corporate Strategy we present some of the basic models that discuss the strategy or long term behavior of the firm. In this theme we present the two basic strategy-models: Porters ”Five Forces-model” and the Resource-based VRIO-model. While the first model focuses on the external environment of the firm, that is the industry, the second model focus on the internal environment, that is an evaluation of the resources and capabilities of the firm. Finally we discuss how multiproduct firms determine their corporate strategy.
- The overall objective is that the student should be able to analyze a concrete firm using basic frameworks from Management Studies.
- This implies that the student should be able to study the organizational structure of a Firm, including the different types of organizational forms that the firm uses during its lifecycle.
- The student should be able to analyze what determines the horizontal and vertical boundaries of a firm from an empirical and theoretical point of view.
- The student should be able to perform both an internal and external strategic analysis as well as an strategic analysis on the business unit and on the corporate level.
- The student should be able to classify, structure and justify their choices of theories in a project as well as set up a coherent problem formulation for their project and describe the metod(s) used in the project
1st year project (7.5 ECTS)
The course provides insights into analyses of service concept in contemporary market oriented companies both internally and externally. The course make space for students to discuss the key characteristics of services and service consumption compared with that of tangible goods, the role of the consumer in the perception of service quality and the role of internal stakeholders in service delivery.
The topics for the 1st year project are:
Tourism and Hospitality: Tourism marketing
Arts and Culture: Art and culture marketing
Service and Innovation: Service marketing
Demonstrate a knowledge and ability to utilize central models, concepts and theories presented through the course
Critically assess the value and relevance of models, concepts and theories presented through the course in relation to their practical application
Identify key characteristics of services and the organisational factors that aid in the production of services
Demonstrate an understanding and use of basic methodology to address Service Marketing
Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of Economic Psychology. Economic socialisation, decision processes and buying behaviour and service psychology.
This course will provide students with a fundamental understanding of the characteristics and behavior of groups and organizations. Students will be acquainted with contemporary perspectives on how organizations act and how organizations impact the actions of organizational members and vice versa. Modernist, symbolic-interpretive, critical and postmodern perspectives on organizations are presented, and it is expected that by the end of the course, students are not just familiar with differences between these perspectives, but also can see the strengths and weaknesses of the various perspectives.
The course will offer specific emphasis on organizational issues in the context of tourism and hospitality. It will examine group dynamics and processes, culture, leadership, power, and organizational structure, as well as how the organizational context and environment influences on the organization. Throughout the course students will explore relations between individuals (employees, managers, leaders), formal and informal groups, organizations, industries and the wider organizational context.
A range of teaching methods and course materials will help us introduce important approaches, concepts, and frameworks, and apply those to different types of organizations operating in diverse sectors and geographies. The course will also highlight particularities of organizational behavior in the specific case of tourism and hospitality, through a range of examples from around the world.
The course will allow students (1) to develop an ability to analyze, comprehend, and explain important aspects and determinants of behavior in organizations, and 2) to apply theories and approaches from the course in a practical way to competently and strategically address problems, envision and achieve organizational change, and learn what it takes to be more effective and engaging leaders and managers, especially in the context of tourism and hospitality.
After taking this course, the students should be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of concepts, theories, models and perspectives presented in the course.
- Demonstrate an ability to analyze and explain complex organizational situations and practices, using concepts, theories, models and perspectives discussed in the course.
- Formulate effective solutions to organizational problems or situations, using the concepts, theories, models and perspectives addressed in the course.
- Deliver well‐structured and compelling written and oral presentations on organizational associated issues, tailored to the needs of a specific audience.
2nd year project (7.5 ECTS)
Specialised Course II (7.5 ECTS)
Tourism and Hospitality: Tourism, Social Entrepreneurship, and Sustainability
This course aims at providing students with the appropriate conceptual frameworks and knowledge to reflect critically on how tourism businesses can contribute to sustainable development through social entrepreneurship.
The UN Development Programme states that development is "The expansion of people’s freedoms to live long, healthy and creative lives; to advance goals they have reason to value; and to engage actively in shaping development equitably and sustainably on a shared planet. People are both the beneficiaries and the drivers of human development, as individuals and in groups". Social entrepreneurship, in turn, is "motivated primarily by social benefit to address social problems or needs that are unmet by government and the private sector in a way that is generally congruent with market forces” (Brooks 2009, p. 177). Such businesses usually start small and local, but also grow to have global relevance, as we can see with the example of microfinance.
This course focuses more specifically on how the tourism entrepreneur can act as a driver of development and sustainability. The course combines theoretical knowledge and case studies that can be used as inspiration and provide tools to be applied in developing a social enterprise business plan.
Arts and Culture: Cultural Entrepreneurship
The course provides the students with the theoretical and conceptual frameworks to discuss, analyze and manage cultural entrepreneurship. It provides competences to formulate and develop entrepreneurial processes and to apply these to empirical cases within the field of arts and culture. The course introduces three approaches to cultural entrepreneurship: 1) cultural entrepreneurship as managerially driven endeavors to change and renew cultural institutions. 2) cultural entrepreneurship as politically and economically driven endeavors to initiate and support urban and regional development. 3) cultural entrepreneurship as socially driven endeavors to advocate community identity and increase diversity in artistic and cultural expressions. The course links the three approaches to globalization with a specific focus on new social media and technologies, cultural and identity studies, and the opportunities offered by a global economy. In terms of paedagogics, the course requires the students to initiate, organize and assess cultural projects.
Service and Innovation: Sustainability
This course provides students with conceptual frameworks and theoretical knowledge that are relevant for critically examining how innovation in service organizations can contribute to sustainable development.
The course takes the perspective of innovation as an approach to problem-solving, and focuses on challenges raised by social and environmental aspects relevant for business organizations. Such challenges have strategic, managerial, financial and political consequences that will be analyzed and discussed during the course. Aspects such as resource scarcity or the excessive amounts of wastes generated during the provision and consumption of products or services are analysed as opportunities for business innovation. Social innovation and entrepreneurship offer complementary perspectives for understanding corporate renewal and competitiveness. The course combines theoretical knowledge, empirical case studies and tools that can be applied to examine and discuss sustainable innovations in service contexts.
Tourism and Hospitality
Develop and present an original social business idea related to social/sustainable tourism
Critically apply theories and concepts from the course to develop a business plan for a social enterprise
Write and present a thorough and convincingly developed social business plan that includes attention to the 'what', 'why', and 'how' aspects
Critically assess their own business plan
Work in teams and apply academic knowledge to practical cases
Arts and Culture
Account for the theoretical and conceptual framework
Apply the theoretical and conceptual framework to empirical cases
Discuss and assess the theoretical and conceptual framework in terms of relevance, usefulness, efficiency and epistemological/ontological assumptions
Present argumentation in support of a given action oriented conclusion based on an analysis of an empirical case
Reflect on the proposed conclusion in terms of social, cultural and economic impact
Initiate, organize and assess cultural projects as part of the syllabus
Service and Innovation
To explain and apply theoretical concepts and models relevant to innovation in service organisations
To explain and discuss main approaches that are relevant for examining links between innovation and sustainability
To identify and critically discuss strategic, managerial and operational characteristics of sustainability driven innovations in service organisations
To apply theoretical knowledge about service innovations and sustainability to a given case, and to effectively communicate results
Course aim: Service industries play a central role in the world economy. This course aims to provide students with economic and business theories, analytical tools and practical methods to understand the specific characteristics and conditions of the service economy and to provide solutions to improve the management of service firms.
Course content: The course consists of different knowledge areas of the service economy: the economic role and specific characteristics of services, the design of the service enterprise and the managing of services. The first part of the course focuses on understanding services’ characteristics, their relation to economic evolution and it discusses competition and strategy issues in services. The second part focuses on theories, tools and methods for designing the service firm and deals with the areas of innovation, quality and new service development. The third part introduces strategies for process improvement and facility and location considerations relevant to the management of service firms. The final part analyses models and methods to manage capacity and demand, capacity planning and queuing systems. The different theories and tools are applied using interactive exercises and practical case studies of (1) service innovation, (2) tourism and hospitality, and (3) culture and the arts.
- Explain concepts and theories about the nature and role of services in the economy
- Apply the different economic theories with special focus on the management conditions of service firms.
- Provide a critical analysis of the characteristics of a service operation and present solutions to management problems.
- Critically discuss the competitive environment of services and apply theoretical frameworks to examine the competitiveness of service firms.
- Examine service design, innovation processes and quality management in services applying theoretical models and new service development tools.
- Work in teams and apply academic knowledge to practical cases in services
Strategy in a Service Perspective
The course provides an introduction to core thinking on strategic management, that is, how firms seek to achieve and sustain competitive advantage. Thus, the course provides students with a general understanding of the issues, considerations, analyses, and decision-making situations that confront general managers in a strategic perspective. Strategic decision-making is concerned with the long-term performance of the firm, the size and scope of its business activities, the market position of the firm, the resources needed to perform diverse corporate functions, etc. Moreover, management must consider how to coordinate and utilize the specialized departmental functions in the organization to achieve superior performance on a consistent basis.
To achieve these aims, the course introduces both classical and new theories and models within the area of Strategic Management that can be used by the students to address some of the fundamental strategic issues confronting the firm: Is the firm well positioned in an industry? What are the key resources on the basis of which the firm competes? How can the firm ensure its resource base in the future? How can the firm increase the creation and appropriation of value? How does the firm ensure an effective implementation of its strategy? What are the specific strategic challenges of service industries and firms—and how can we handle these?
At the end of this course, students should:
- Understand the particular strategic challenges associated with service firms.
- Understand the key issues of strategic management: Value creation, value appropriation, superior positioning, and (sustained) competitive advantage.
- Be able to explain and discuss the strategic management theories and models introduced in the course.
- Be able to explain and discuss the links between the different theories and models introduced in the course.
- Be able to identify and apply relevant strategic management theories and models to analyze practical situations and issues related to firms’ strategy.
- Understand how various functional areas fit together and influence the performance of the firm, which provides an important way in which this course serves an integrative purpose relative to the other courses in this program.