Based on the service research priorities of Ostrom et al. (2010; 2015), an academic session was held during the 2016 Service Design Global Conference to reflect on the academic challenges that service design is currently facing. The session started with a brief elaboration on the cited publications, followed by a summary of two academic service design experiences: the Marie Curie Service Design for Innovation Network - SDIN sponsored by the EU, and the Service Design undergraduate and graduate programs of the Savannah College of Art and Design - SCAD. Ensuing the presentations, the session was structured as a World Café throughout which the 12 participants were divided into three discussion groups. Collaboratively, the participants produced discourse elements on how the academic service design research environment can be encouraged and supported by the Service Design Network (SDN) community. The final outcome is a list of participants’ perceptions constituting six academic priorities for the service design community:
- Define a theoretical research base to delineate academic boundaries for service design research;
- Leverage descriptive research on service design;
- Structure a directory of academic researchers promoting service design as a research topic and institute academic connections with other research fields;
- Recognise and understand the non-existence of a commonly accepted definition for service design;
- Examine the role big data and digital tools can have in service design group dynamics of co-creation;
- Support the creation of an outlet for service design academic research papers.
More important than defining actions to address every suggested service design academic priority, this present text highlights one specific opportunity that could foster all of them simultaneously. Participants emphasised the value of creating a blind peer-reviewed academic journal (Priority #6), which could focus on publishing research papers on the other identified service design priorities (Priorities #1, #2, #4 and #5). The very establishment of such an academic journal would require a set of committed academic researchers (Priority #3), who view service design as a research domain and enable calls for publication to move service design in academia forward. This article is relevant through outlining, for the first time and by a service design interested group, six priorities for service design in order to grow its significance in academia. Furthermore, it demonstrates how the creation of a blind peer-reviewed academic journal focused on service design can act as a cornerstone opportunity to support all of the previously named priorities.
Research priorities, service design, academic, research, community.
The full text can be accessed here.
The authors would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution made by the participants of the academic session and, especially, the comments and contributions made to this text by Associate Professor Dr. Wolfgang Vorraber, Graz University of Technology; Berit Godfroij, Research Group Co-Design, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences; Professor Mauricio Bejarano Botero, Services Design and Consumer Behavior Professor, Universidad EAFIT. This project has partially received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement Nº 642116 and from the School of Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design.