Theory and Research in Service Management

Course info

Business Administration
Any / unplanned
7,5 hp
Person responsible: 
Bo Edvardsson
Contact email: 

The course gives an overview of the field of service management with a special focus on the service logic, service development and value creation through service.

Learning is based on active participation through careful individual and team preparation, team presentations, and group discussions of the assigned literature. The method resembles problem based learning in that the students are responsible for reading the assigned literature (and additional literature when needed), analyzing in in-depth and preparing answers to pre designed questions as well as pose critical questions themselves to the literature. Individual written analysis and team-based presentations of the articles are used to support learning and own reflections. The students in teams discuss and analyze together with the instructors.

Course goals

The course gives an overview of the field of service management with a special focus on the service logic, service development and value creation through service.

The course focuses on key concepts and models as well as specific areas such as the theoretical foundations for service research, service dominant logic, relationship dynamics, service innovation, co-creation of value with customers and service experiences. Challenges when developing, and managing both high-tech (technology-based) services and high touch (where the personal service encounter is key) services will be discussed. Empirical studies, representing both B2C and B2B service contexts will be discussed in the course.

Service management concepts, theoretical frameworks and models as well as empirical results will be discussed in the perspective of the service logic and value creation through service. Furthermore, issues related to the fact that services often are embedded in customer relationships and are dependent on other services and the service infrastructure will be discussed. The course addresses both subject matters and methodological issues when studying service. The course should give the doctoral students a good basis for formulating research problems within the field and conducting their own research.


The course is targeted for doctoral students in Business Administration and related disciplines. The maximum number of participants is 20. If more apply, the selection is based on the course’s relevance to the applicants’ doctoral thesis topic and their previous


Students will be graded for two course elements:
1. Active and informed participation in class (individual and team work), including presentations and discussions.For each lecture the participants are expected to prepare three questions based on the literature that is covered. Each participant should be able to summarize the articles that are covered.
2. Quality of the team term paper, again including presentation and discussion in class. Students are expected to be present and active during the sessions.

The grades for passing the course (including session activity and term paper) are: Satisfactory, good, and excellent.

Presence in the class and active participating in discussions are prerequisites for passing the course. All course elements shall be completed and submitted by the end of the course in order to be accepted and graded. Course elements cannot be substituted or complemented during or after the course.

The student must write a paper (about 3.000 to 4.000 word) focusing on one topic covered in the course literature. The paper should be written as a journal article and the guidelines provided in Journal of Service Management (JOSM) should be used


Admission rules

Each syllabus states target group and eligibility, which should be based on the prerequisites necessary to understand and process the content of the course. Syllabi and scheduled course meetings are posted on the course portal web page for the doctoral level, which is also open to the public. 

Doctoral students who wish to take a course should sign up according to instructions on the course portal.  

Admitted students must meet the requirements stated in the syllabus. If there are more prospective students than the teaching capacity allows, priority is given to students as follows: 

  1. If the course is not included in the obligation stated in item 2 below, admission is primarily granted to eligible students at the department offering the course. If the course is offered jointly by several departments at Karlstad university, priority is given, as agreed, by the departments concerned. If the course is commissioned by the Faculty, all students at the Faculty belong to the prioritised group. In the case of cross-faculty courses, all students at Karlstad University belong to the prioritised group. If order of admission must be made in the prioritised group, the student who first signed up according to the requirement above, is given priority. 
  2. If the course is part of a commitment to a national or international graduate school, network or equivalent, priority is given to their participants.  
  3. If there is an agreement on exchange with a subject, department or faculty at another HEI, eligible students from such institutions have second priority 
  4. Other eligible students at Karlstad University have third priority. 
  5. Other eligible students at other HEIs have fourth priority. 

The appointed course convener decides on admission of students to a doctor level course in accordance with the order of priority stated above.  

Upon completion of the course, the course convener issues a course certificate with a proposed grade to the students.  


I kursplan anges målgrupp och behörighet. Behörighet ska utgå från de förkunskaper som behövs för att tillgodogöra sig kursens innehåll.

Kursplaner och planerade kurstillfällen görs tillgängliga på en webbsida: kurstorg för forskarnivå, som även görs tillgänglig externt.

Forskarstuderande som önskar följa en kurs ska anmäla detta enligt anvisning på kurstorget.

Studerande som ges tillträde ska uppfylla de behörighetskrav som anges i kursplanen. Om fler önskar följa kursen än vad undervisningskapaciteten tillåter görs prioritering enligt nedan.

  1. Om inte kursen ingår i ett åtagande enligt punkt 2 nedan ges tillträde i första hand till behöriga studerande vid den institution som anordnar kursen. I det fall kursen anordnas gemensamt av flera institutioner vid Karlstads universitet ges tillträde i första hand på det sätt som berörda institutioner kommit överens om. I det fall kursen är beställd av fakultet ingår alla studerande vid fakulteten i den grupp som ges tillträde i första hand. För kurser som anordnas gemensamt av fakulteterna gäller det alla studerande vid Karlstads universitet. Om prioritering behöver göras inom den grupp som ges tillträde i första hand ges den som först anmält sig enligt ovan företräde.
  2. Om anordnade av en kurs ingår i ett åtagande gentemot nationell eller internationell forskarskola, nätverk eller motsvarande ges dock deltagare därifrån tillträde i första hand.
  3. I det fall det finns överenskommelse om utbyte med ämne, institution eller fakultet vid annat lärosäte ges behöriga studerande därifrån tillträde i andra hand.
  4. I tredje hand ges tillträde till övriga behöriga studerande vid Karlstads universitet.
  5. I fjärde hand ges tillträde till övriga behöriga studerande vid andra lärosäten.

Den som institutionen utsett som kursansvarig beslutar om vilka som får delta i en kurs på forskarnivå, i enlighet med prioritetsordningen ovan. 

Efter genomförd kurs och prov lämnar kursansvarig ett intyg med förslag på betyg till kursdeltagarna.