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Are business schools studying and teaching the right things?

Hans Ulrich Maerki (IBM Europe, Middle East and Africa, Paris, France)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 11 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is to raise awareness of the importance of services as a subject for scientific research and teaching. Services represent the majority of the world economy but universities and business schools have not generally considered services to be an appropriate subject for scientific research and teaching. With the help of industry, universities and business schools need to bring together a variety of current academic disciplines, including engineering, statistics, management theory, and human psychology, to develop a formal, interdisciplinary curriculum around service science. It is imperative that we do this to drive much needed service innovation and to equip graduates for the jobs of tomorrow.


The paper is based on first‐hand experience of working with over 50 universities from around the world which are developing service science as an academic discipline and research topic.


The paper finds that the number of business schools and universities running service science on their curriculum is on the rise. By being part of the Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME) academic initiative, business schools and universities are enabling their graduates to benefit from the swiftly growing service sector and strengthening their linkages with business.


This paper sets out to inspire academic and business school leaders to find out more about SSME.



Ulrich Maerki, H. (2008), "Are business schools studying and teaching the right things?", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 425-430.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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