Services: A system's perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

22 Scopus citations


A system's perspective of services is contained herein. Analogous to manufacturing, services can and should also be viewed from a system's perspective. While the interdependences, similarities, and complementarities of manufacturing and services are significant, there are considerable differences between goods and services, including the shift in focus from mass production to mass customization (whereby a service is produced and delivered in response to a customer's stated or imputed needs). In general, a service system can be considered to be a combination or recombination of three essential components-people (characterized by behaviors, attitudes, values, etc.), processes (characterized by collaboration, customization, etc.), and products (characterized by software, hardware, infrastructures, etc.). Furthermore, inasmuch as a service system is an integrated system, it is, in essence, a system-of-systems (SoS) which objectives are to enhance its efficiency (leading to greater interdependency), effectiveness (leading to greater usefulness), and adaptiveness (leading to greater responsiveness). The integrative methods include a component's design, interface, and interdependency; a decision's strategic, tactical, and operational orientation; and an organization's data, modeling, and cybernetic consideration. A number of insights are also provided, including an alternative SoS view of services; the increasing complexity of systems (especially service systems), with all the attendant life-cycle design, human interface, and system integration issues; the increasing need for real-time, adaptive decision making within such an SoS; and the fact that modern systems are also becoming increasingly more human-centered, if not human-focused - thus, products and services are becoming more complex and more personalized or customized.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE Systems Journal
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008


  • Decision informatics
  • Real-time decision making
  • Service system
  • Services
  • System components
  • System integration
  • System-of-systems (SoS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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