Service Operations Management Module - Online MBA

Introduction and module objectives

The Service Operations Management module is about improving organisations to make them better for customers and service providers. The module will build upon work undertaken in the Operations Management core module. In particular the Service Operations Management module will develop students’ understanding of the concepts, tools and techniques taught previously relating to process design and delivery. However, in the Service Operations Management module we look at process design more from the customer’s perspective.

The module is integrative in approach and so uses analytical lenses from marketing, organisational behaviour, strategy and behavioural psychology. Case, and other illustrative material in the module comes from both profit and non-profit sectors.

The overwhelming majority of students on any MBA programme work in the service sector. The exact percentage depends on your definition of service, but this fact is not surprising if you consider that the “lions share” of GDP comes from services - around 90% in the developed world. The ubiquity of service therefore makes this module an important option for an MBA student.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students should be able to:

  • Understand and be able to explain the critical perspectives on the nature of service.
  • Explain the ways in which good and bad service impacts on customers, staff and profitability.
  • Understand and be able to apply a range of methods for assessing the needs, expectations and perceptions of customers.
  • Explain and apply the principles, tools and techniques of service design.
  • Explain the methods with which organisations can measure their service performance.
  • Explain and apply the general approaches to, and specific methods for improving service.
  • Demonstrate how organisations can deal with challenges such as customer complaints and service failures.
  • Be able to discuss and explain the reasons why some service organisations are consistently deemed to deliver very high levels of performance.


  • Have acquired, through the use of practical examples, case studies and opportunities to hear guest speakers, information about the topical issues facing contemporary service organisations.
  • Gained a good practical knowledge of some of the interconnections amongst service-operations, marketing, human resource and strategic management.
  • Have obtained an appreciation of the practitioner relevance of current published work on service management.