Rethinking Service Design: A Socio-Technical Approach to the Development of Business Models

Lauren C. Beaumont, Lucy E. Bolton, Alison McKay, Helen P. N. Hughes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter introduces socio-technical systems thinking as a tool for the concurrent development of organizational business models and associated service offerings that deliver value to customers and suppliers. As organizations offer integrated products and services, interactions and relationships between customer and supplier have assumed greater importance. Traditionally, importance was placed on the customer need and requirements for a physical product. Socio-technical systems thinking advocates a holistic perspective of complex work systems, ensuring the consideration of both technical and social aspects of a system. As illustrated through the three case studies in this chapter, product-service systems are becoming increasingly common within organizations. The first discusses the growing trend for manufacturing organizations to move from traditional transactional business models, with a focus on the delivery of physical products, to the inclusion of service delivery. The second case study provides details of manufacturing supply networks and the associated changing business models needed to support the development of supplier capability. Finally, the third case study considers changing business models and service delivery in the emerging context of technology-intensive healthcare services in the UK. To conclude, a socio-technical framework is proposed as a tool to aid in the development of business models and service delivery using these case studies as examples.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProduct Development in the Socio-Sphere
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783319074047
ISBN (Print)9783319074030
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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