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The growth of the global service economy has led to a dramatic increase in our daily interactions with highly specialized service systems. Service (or value-cocreation) interactions are both frequent and diverse, and may include retail, financial, healthcare, education, on-line, communications, technical support, entertainment, transportation, legal, professional, government, or many other types of specialized interactions. And yet surprisingly few students graduating from universities have studied anything about service or service systems. Service Science, Management, Engineering, and Design (SSMED), or service science for short, is an emerging discipline aimed at understanding service and innovating service systems. This article sketches an outline and provides an extensive, yet preliminary, set of references to provoke discussions about the interdisciplinary nature of SSMED. One difficult challenge remaining is to integrate multiple disciplines to create a new and unique service science.


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DOI: 10.4018/jisss.2009070101