Service Management - Harvard Business School MBA Program

Service Management

Course Number 1735

Instructor Roger Hallowell (Adjunct Professor, HEC Paris)
Spring; Q4; 1.5 credits
14 sessions

Service organizations are complex and diverse, and they continue to grow in prominence. They account for 63% of the global economy, 80% of the U.S. GDP, and 86% of the jobs taken by last year’s graduating class of Harvard Business School MBAs.

Service Management is a multidisciplinary approach to Operations, Strategy, Human Resources and Marketing for services. It focuses on the effective design, leadership, and improvement of service organizations. Students will learn:

  • How to create distinctive and sustainable service strategies delivering genuinely differentiated value propositions,
  • How to execute “win-win-win” service models that enable customers, employees, and owners to simultaneously thrive,
  • How to lead in a human-resource-intense service environment (even for Internet-based services),
  • Why services are different from manufacturing and extractive industries and the implications for their economics and leadership, and;
  • How to adapt to evolving customer needs and changing competitive landscapes.

A general management course, Service Management draws upon cutting-edge research and field examples from a broad array of industries, potentially including financial services, government, healthcare, hospitality, professional services, restaurants, retail, transportation, facilities management and others. Cases will be based on North American, European, and Middle Eastern organizations. The course is useful for students planning to start, work in, advise, or invest in service organizations.

Instead of an exam, students will form teams and deliver a new service they have designed themselves. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs in services to sharpen their ideas and expose them to both the critical eyes of their colleagues and the frameworks presented in the course. Regardless of your enthusiasm for new ventures, it has proven to be a fun and useful way to conclude the spring semester.