Purpose: To draw research attention to service management (SM) as a subdiscipline of management science. Service management offers a different, more customer-value-centric perspective that is scarcely present in management science studies, rooted in manufacturing and production management. The purpose is also to define the scope of SM as an area of research in management science.
Approach: This is a conceptual article that foregrounds ideas and arguments found in the subject literature. The article analyzes the ideas to build a coherent structure and context for future empirical research.
Findings: Service management as a research area evolved from being a subset of monitoring/production management to the forefront of management science thought. Service management provides management science with the capability for staying relevant in the practicing management community. Service management’s importance in management science will continue to grow as there is an increasing number of companies with customer offers called “aaS” (as a Service). Service management presents a clear scope that provides another management science research area and enables it to evolve further.
Value: This article is not the first one to touch on the topic and evolution of SM. However, it is the first one to present SM as part of management science’s evolution as an academic discipline and to highlight the dependencies and connections between the two. The article defines what SM is, why it matters for management theorists and practitioners, and how it will enable management science to grow further.