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1.5. Overview of the Book

This book covers a wide range of issues in managing service organizations and their operations. It focuses on creating value and customer satisfaction. Therefore, the book is designed to provide a comprehensive coverage of topics relevant to that end. Its content is quite different from traditional operations management textbooks; although we have also included some of the topics covered in those books. The discussions draw upon the knowledge and experience of various areas of business as well as on disciplines other than business. For example, discussions frequently rely on the theory and practice of strategy, marketing, international management, human resources, management science, economics, psychology, and sociology. Hopefully, this multidisciplinary and cross-functional approach helps managers and future managers develop a well-rounded and solid understanding of the complexities of services and their management.

The book is organized in four parts. Part I, Chapters 1–6, begins with this introduction and focuses on developing an in-depth understanding of services. Chapter 2 discusses the nature of services and service encounters. Chapter 3 examines customers and their needs, and factors that influence their decisions in services purchasing. Chapter 4 discusses the globalization of services and forms of globalization. Chapter 5 deals with the issues concerning value creation and service strategy. Finally, Chapter 6 contains a discussion of ethical issues in service management and ethical challenges managers face.

Part II covers topics relevant to developing service systems. Building a competitive service system that creates value and customer satisfaction requires the effective use of certain inputs. These inputs are technology (Chapter 7), service design and development (Chapter 8), service supply chains (Chapter 9), the selection of an appropriate site for a service facility, and the design of its layout (Chapter 10).

Part III is devoted to topics that are crucial to managers for operating a service system effectively and efficiently. Topics covered in this part include managing demand and supply (Chapter 11), service quality and continuous improvement (Chapter 12), and service productivity and measurement of performance (Chapter 13). Chapter 14 includes

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