The Future of the Service Design Category: Authentic Adaption as a Way Out?

Eva Kirchberger
Imperial College London, UK

Mark Kennedy
Imperial College London, UK

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Ingår i: ServDes.2014 Service Future; Proceedings of the fourth Service Design and Service Innovation Conference; Lancaster University; United Kingdom; 9-11 April 2014

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 99:38, s. 388-393

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Publicerad: 2014-06-25

ISBN: 978-91-7519-280-2

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


Service design as a new market category has emerged quite rapidly since the first pioneers; live|work in 2001 and Engine 2002 started offering service design commercially and claimed the label. Since then; a service design field has developed; which features institutions such as the Service Design Network; Master courses at universities; and academic conferences. Recently; the success of service design attracts management consultancies; which include service design as part of their core offering. This represents a challenge for the pioneers; as modifications of the practice might lead to ambiguous meanings and hence the category as a whole can suffer from devaluation by audiences. As a consequence; the entire category is likely to turn into a fad. In order to prevent this from happening; pioneers have several strategic options at their disposal. In the following; we propose a research design; which suggests the theory of ‘Authentic Adaptation’; pioneers might react in drawing from their heritage; while also adapting to the new context.


service design; market category; fads & fashion; pioneer; meaning


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