Document Type

Research Paper


Service systems engineering (SSE) focuses on the systematic design and development of service systems. Guided by a value proposition, service systems enable value co-creation through a configuration of actors and resources (often including a service architecture, technology, information, and physical artifacts), therefore constituting complex socio-technical systems. IS research can play a leading role in understanding and developing service systems. SSE calls for research leading to actionable design theories, methods and approaches for systematically designing, developing and piloting service systems, based upon understanding the underlying principles of service systems. Three major challenges have been identified: engineering service architectures, engineering service systems interactions, and engineering resource mobilization, i.e. extending the access to and use of resources bymeans of IT. Researching SSE is challenging. Assessing the models, methods, or artifacts of SSE often requires embedded research within existing or even novel service systems. Consequently, approaches such as piloting IT-based innovations, design research or action research are the most promising for SSE research. As an integrative discipline, IS is in a unique position to spearhead the efforts in advancing the architecture, interaction, and resource base of service systems with evidence-based design.