Service operations management: from the roots up

Robert Johnston (Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The purpose of this paper is to assess developments in the service literature over the last six years and to lay out some challenges and opportunities for the operations management academic community.


The paper is based on issues raised in a previous paper and contains the results of a literature review and a content analysis of around 250 papers from three journals.


The paper suggests that there is a window of opportunity for operations academics to engage in the service arena and apply their knowledge and skills to answer fundamental questions in the areas of quality, productivity and efficiency, and to apply their expertise in business services and the not‐for‐profit and voluntary sectors.

Research limitations/implications

This polemic reflects the biased opinions of the author.


Assesses developments in the service literature.



Johnston, R. (2005), "Service operations management: from the roots up", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 25 No. 12, pp. 1298-1308.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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