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Does service‐dominant design result in a better service system?

Bo Edvardsson (Faculty of Economy, Communication and IT, CTF‐Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden)
Gloria Ng (Institute of Systems Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore)
Choo Zhi Min (Institute of Systems Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore)
Robert Firth (Institute of Systems Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore)
Ding Yi (Industrial and Systems Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




Few empirical studies have been conducted to explore the mechanisms and drivers of service exchange and value co‐creation. In particular, no study has compared a service system design informed by service‐dominant logic (SDL) with a service system design informed by goods‐dominant logic (GDL). The purpose of this paper is to address this knowledge gap. The research question is: does a service‐dominant system design result in a more favourable customer experience than a goods‐dominant service system?


An experiment was carried out on a group of habitual bus travellers. The subjects were asked to plan a specific journey using two online journey planning systems. Two hypotheses were tested: first, an SDL informed service system will evoke a better overall customer experience than a GDL informed service system. Second, this better customer experience arises out of seven service system design characteristics. Both objective and subjective data were gathered to compare the customers' experiences of using the two service systems.


The results show that a service‐dominant service system outperforms a goods‐dominant service system in terms of both objective and subjective criteria. Moreover, the experiment elucidates the subjects' perceived importance of the characteristics of a service‐dominant service system. Analysis of the subjects' perception of the two service systems reveals that certain characteristics set the service‐dominant service system more distinctly apart from the goods‐dominant one.


The paper contributes by extending the empirical foundation for service‐dominant logic, providing new knowledge on value co‐creation and design characteristics of service systems, and identifying the most important service system characteristics perceived by the customer.



Edvardsson, B., Ng, G., Zhi Min, C., Firth, R. and Yi, D. (2011), "Does service‐dominant design result in a better service system?", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 540-556.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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