Managing Stakeholder Involvement in Service Design: Insights from British service designers

Qin Han
School of Design, DOJ, University of Dundee, UK

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Ingår i: Conference Proceedings ServDes.2009; DeThinking Service; ReThinking Design; Oslo Norway 24-26 November 2009

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 59:8, s. 93-104

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Publicerad: 2012-09-19

ISBN: 978-91-7519-771-5

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


The global shift towards a service-based economy has led many organisations to rethink their operations and strategies from a service-centred point of view; which is intangible; customeroriented and relational (Vargo and Lusch; 2008). Professionals and scholars from different disciplines have subsequently pioneered practices and research in the field of service. As a response; Service Design; with its creative- and people-centred nature emerged as a distinct discipline.

Designing a service system requires input from all stakeholders; which include internal stakeholders from the different organisational functions; as well as external stakeholders such as user groups and supply teams. When design specialists are involved; they are expected to bring skills and approaches that not only balance complex stakeholders’ requirements but also create embodied solutions to meet these needs. Consequently; to achieve the best solution; acknowledgment and input from multiple stakeholders are essential to designer’s decision-making.

This paper reports emerging insights from some British Service Design practitioners who were interviewed as part of the empirical studies of an ongoing PhD research project. The project initially asked; ’How do designers; as external consultants; manage multiple stakeholder involvement in Service Design projects?’

In this paper; the theoretical and empirical contexts are briefly reviewed; which lead to three specific research questions. A three-stage qualitative research approach is then introduced of which two have so far been carried out. Two case studies are introduced; which lead to two emerging categories of designers’ approaches to multiple stakeholder management; namely leading and facilitating. In order to develop these emerging categories; further study is required; which forms the final stage of this research project and which is detailed at the end of this paper.


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