SERVICE MANAGEMENT ASSIGNMENT1. Select a service operation or a sub-process, or activity from within that serviceoperation (not an industry or a whole institution). This is important. Forexample you cannot analyse the “UK Government”, “The University ofBirmingham”, “The Financial Services Industry”, “Walmart inc”, “Apple inc”,“Huawei”, “The McDonalds Corporation”. “The Automotive industry”. Theseare industries and institutions.The subject service may be from your work environment or it may be aservice that you use in your private life. It may be that you have access to aninteresting service operation via friends or family. It does not matter how youget access really, as long as you can get sufficient information to carry out ananalysis.One exception to this latitude in the choice of operation is that you are notallowed to take a ‘ready-made’ case study and then analyse that. Forexample, you cannot analyse an existing research or teaching case fromtextbooks or journal articles. The information on your subject operation shouldcome mainly from primary data. You cannot choose Singapore Airlines andbased on the work done in the performance management assignment, I wouldalso encourage you not to do an assignment specifically using the DS, SLMActivity and Outcome models, unless you can take it to a whole new level.Another criterion for selection of the subject is that the operation has someobvious problems. It is much easier to write a meaningful critical appraisal ifyou have some interesting problems to analyse.2. What service operations challenges or problems are there to be addressed inyour subject operation, and why?3. What theory, concepts, tools and techniques could be used to address thesechallenges and problems, and how might you apply them? You may selectanalytical material and approaches from any unit of the module, though beaware that if you use a theory that you have previously applied in the groupassignments, then the bar is raised. If you apply anything that you have usedpreviously in the group work then we would insist on you carrying outadditional research and that research should be clearly evident in yoursubmission. You cannot get marks twice for the same piece of work!Select material from two or at most three topic areas of the module. A broadbased analysis using four or more topic areas is feasible, but it is notrecommended as the work might become a little ‘thin’. Stay focused.4. Your analysis should be based on data gathered from observation, publicdomain information, survey work, interviews, discussions withcustomers/managers and from any secondary sources that might beavailable. Please do not include lots of raw data in the main body of thereport. If you feel the need to include lots of data, put the data in an appendix.You should explain your methodology for data collection and analysis clearlyin the body of the report.Note. Many students get hung up on the word ‘data’. assuming that it refers tothe information derived from quantitative survey work. This is not the case.Data comprise pretty much anything you can get your hands on that informsyou about the subject of your analysis.5. The core of the assignment is to analyse your data using one or two tools,concepts or techniques provided in this module. (Keen students will actuallygo beyond the module content and carry out further reading into thetopic areas of interest. Evidence of this additional research will berewarded.) The analysis of the data should be provided in the body of thereport.The following are the key journals where you could focus your additionalresearch: Journal of Service Management The Service Industries Journal Journal of Service Research Journal of Service Theory and Practice Service Business International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research International Journal of Public Sector ManagementAll are linked to in the Master Resource List for the module. 6. As a result of the analysis, what can you say about the operation and thetool/concept/ technique? What recommendations would you make about howto improve the operation and the tool/concept/technique? How robust/validare your recommendations?Important Notes Start your work by briefly explaining the environment and competing prioritiesof the service operation. You might want to use one of the summary devicesfrom the early part of the module like the service concept. Keep it brief. Theintroduction has got to do a practical job of work but should do so, wherepossible, using service management frameworks, language, etc. Theintroduction has to quickly inform the reader about the service operationstask. Briefly explain the service operations challenges or problems that you aregoing to analyse. Why is the service operation of interest? Don’t provide loadsof background information: it earns few marks. It might be worth ranking the problems in order of importance. What theory, tools, techniques and concepts are you going to apply in youranalysis, and why? The theory needs to be appropriate for analysis of theoperations issues of interest. The Method section also briefly explains howyou will apply your selected service operations material. You do not need torepeat back a lot of theory … sections of my notes, the textbook, etc. If you doso, you will earn hardly any marks from this repetition. Focus your analysis and make recommendations for improvement. Do not tryto cover everything. Provide a brief argument for focusing on one or twooperational problems and then concentrate on those. If you must reapply any material that you used previously in the group-workelements, then the bar is raised. You will have to carry out substantivelydeeper analysis in this final assignment. You may use material from other Service Management subjects (for example,from textbook chapters not covered in the module) but, if you do so, pleasediscuss your intentions with your tutor. Critically, you should search for further reading in the service managementjournals that enhance your knowledge of the concepts you will apply. If youapply module content thoroughly, then you will likely get a pass. If you canshow application of further reading in the peer-reviewed service managementjournals then you are likely to earn higher marks. If you discover some bit ofservice management theory outside the mainstream that you want to apply inyour work, great. As long as it is service management and not pure marketing,strategy, economics, etc., then fine. There is nothing wrong with common-sense, but if all you do in thisassignment is apply common-sense you will fail. You really need todemonstrate, by application that you understand service management.
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