The service concept: The missing link in service design research?

Susan Meyer Goldstein, Robert Johnston, Jo Ann Duffy, Jay Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

515 Scopus citations


The service concept plays a key role in service design and development. But while the term is used frequently in the service design and new service development literature, surprisingly little has been written about the service concept itself and its important role in service design and development. The service concept defines the how and the what of service design, and helps mediate between customer needs and an organization's strategic intent. We define the service concept and describe how it can be used to enhance a variety of service design processes. As illustrations here, we apply the service concept to service design planning and service recovery design processes. Employing the service concept as an important driver of service design decisions raises a number of interesting questions for research which are discussed here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-134
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2002

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Service concept
  • Service design planning
  • Service recovery design


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