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Service Science: Design for Scaling and Transformation

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IBM colleague Jim Spohrer mentions a new book by Cheng Hsu of RPI - Service Science: Design for Scaling and Transformation - that seems to be knitting together "Web science" and "Service science" - and perhaps other things (something that I have been struggling with).

Jim quotes part of the book above. I also found the preface (PDF) listed by Professor Hsu. I found these bits interesting:

  • "My original intent was only to write a different kind of a scientific book about offering an interdisciplinary explanation to why service matters..."
  • "What does 'a connected world' mean? Does service require a different kind of design science? What will be the next waves of the Web? How to make enterprise information systems adequate for service scaling? How to unite cyberspace with physical space? Is it feasible to massively connect independent information resources everywhere? Is a service-led revolution reality or gimmick?"
  • "The situation is not unlike what Management Science faced in 1950's and Computer Science did in 1960's. A counter example is Information Technology of 1990's, which is a would-be field that failed to materialize scientifically."
  • "If a new service science is for real, then it has to be interdisciplinary and integrative, as opposed to merely being multi-disciplinary."
  • "I believe a new population orientation paradigm has arisen in scientific research for the digitally connected world...Such a paradigm studies directly the population knowledge (laws and probabilities) rather than the inference of them through samples (laboratory prototypes and statistics)."
  • "I managed to establish a design theme for the new theory...the book also embarked on analyses of new business designs emerged on the Web since the original e-commerce/e-business, and projected the theory onto their next waves."

Jim is thanked for his contributions to the book, which is not surprising, since he is "Mr. Service Science" at IBM.

This is one of those "research" books, so it is expensive, and to be honest, I am sure I won't understand all of the theory in it (there is a reason I am a practitioner and not a researcher), but it still looks worth buying to me. I am not sure Hsu's "design" is the same as what I consider "design," but I will get the book and find out.