A three-month consultation process following the Cambridge Service Science, Management, and Engineering Symposium in July 2007 produced a white paper called “Succeeding through service innovation: A service perspective for education, research, business and government” (IfM and IBM, 2008). The white paper’s content served as an important inspiration for subsequent service science research. Among other ideas, it identified five “key questions” for service science related to architectures of service systems, building blocks, life cycles, optimization, and outcomes of service systems. This paper addresses the white paper’s challenge by providing a conceptual rationale and then answering each of the key questions. It starts by discussing the series of ideas that form a basis for answering the questions. Its final section looks at each question in turn and explains how the previously discussed ideas, taken in combination, answer each question in a way that is coherent and consistent with the other answers. In essence, this paper is an existence proof illustrating that there is at least one coherent and consistent set of answers for these key questions. Ideally, the existence of one set of answers will encourage the creation of answers from other viewpoints, ultimately supporting future developments in service science.
Alter, Steven, (2017). "ANSWERING KEY QUESTIONS FOR SERVICE SCIENCE". In Proceedings of the 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Guimarães, Portugal, June 5-10, 2017 (pp. 1822-1836). ISBN 978-989-20-7655-3 Research Papers.