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Updated A.Y. 2019-2020

The learning outcome of the course is that of providing students with advanced skills aimed at analyzing the distinctive peculiarities of service firms. Students are also made aware of the understanding and solving of the main managerial issues that service firms have to face in light of the most recent market trends.

The course aims at providing the student with the specific knowledge and skills needed for understanding and managing the main issues characterizing service firms, through the transfer of advanced knowledge, both theoretically and empirically, and thanks to the support of ad hoc analytical and operational tools. To this end, ample space within the course is dedicated to the study and discussion of business cases, also thanks to industry experts’ seminars.

At the end of the course the student will have acquired detailed knowledge of the fundamental concepts of the management and organization of service firms. The student should be able to apply the acquired knowledge to the analysis and interpretation of the main phenomena that, in the national as well as in the international context, may affect the tertiary sector and the firms operating within it. Furthermore, the student should be able to identify and critically explain the main managerial issues that service firms may face. The student's analytical skills are developed and evaluated through the development and discussion of case studies.

Interactive participation to lectures, as well as to service management experts’ and professionals’ seminars, will stimulate students’ critical analysis and independent judgment skills. Students will also be encouraged to collect and interpret relevant data through a direct and in-depth involvement in the study of the main issues related to the management of service firms. Students’ making judgement skills will also be stimulated by specific tasks required during the course, such as the analysis of case studies and team works.

Communication skills are developed and evaluated not only through teacher-student interaction, but also through team works, discussion of business cases, as well as through the exam.

At the end of the course the student will have acquired the ability to critically deal with managerial issues related to service firms. In this regard, the student will also acquire familiarity with the operational use of complex concepts.

Teaching Methodology

The format of the course is lecture, case studies, guest speakers, individual and group project



For attending students:
The exam includes a written test + 1 team project work + 1 individual work. All the info are in the slides "Introduction"
The written test consists of open-ended questions.  The questions deal with the topics covered in the course, including the topics deepened during the lectures of experts.
Score from 0 to 2 can be assigned to the team work. Score from o to 1 can be assigned to the indivudal project work

For non-attending students:
The exam is based on a written test and a oral test.
The written test consists of open-ended questions.   The oral exam consists of an interview aimed at verifying the result of the written test and the knowledge of the teaching materials. The oral exam may also have to do with questions related to the case studies presented in the course. Only students who have passed the written test with at least sufficient assessment are admitted to the oral test. The results obtained in both tests (written and oral) contribute together to the final mark.



Attending students
Services Marketing, by Zeithmal A., Bitenr M.J., Gremier D., 7th Edition.
Chapters: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 14
2 Harvard Business Case Studies

Not attending students
Services Marketing: People, Technology, Strategy by Christopher Lovelock and Jochen Wirtz, 8th Edition, 2016.
Chapters:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12,13,14, 15, 16
2 Harvard Business Case Studies (see online)
Bitner M.J. (1992), “Servicescapes: The impact of physical surroundings on customers and employees”, The Journal of Marketing, vol. 56, pp. 57-71.
Eroglu, S. A., Machleit, K.A., Davis, L.M. (2001), “Atmospheric qualities of online retailing: A conceptual model and implications”, Journal of Business research, vol. 54, n. 2, pp. 177-184.
Eroglu, S. A., Machleit, K.A., Davis, L.M. (2003), “Empirical testing of a model of online store atmospherics and shopper responses”, Psychology & Marketing, vol. 20, n. 2, pp. 139-150.
Mari M., Poggesi S. (2013), “Servicescape cues and customer behavior: a systematic literature review and research agenda”, The Service Industries Journal, vol. 33, n. 2, pp. 171-199.
Berry, L. L. (2000). Cultivating service brand equity. Journal of the academy of Marketing Science, 28(1), 128-137.
Lusch, R. F., Vargo, S. L., & O’brien, M. (2007). Competing through service: Insights from service-dominant logic. Journal of retailing, 83(1), 5-18.

The students are expected to be fully engaged in the entire learning process. This means that they need to prepare the assigned readings of the cases prior to each class and come to class prepared to participate in group work and/or discussions to enhance the learning of the individual and the class. The students will find the relative assignment for each case on the website. Please read the questions carefully before the lecture.
The objective is to involve all the class members in the discussion. The cases are designed to integrate the concepts from the case into the context of the course.

With case discussions, each student will develop:
1. The ability to set the parameters for the problem (key concepts from the case).
2. Ample knowledge regarding the subject of the case (understanding of material, good response to the observations of others).
3. The ability to connect the case to other course concepts.
4. The ability to involve others in the discussion.

In order to effectively discuss the cases, the students need to be:
· prepared with facts and specific quotes from the case.
· prepared to comment, ask questions, or make observations about the case.

During the discussion, the students need to:
· take a position on a question or a point.
· ask questions to clarify a point.
· help keep the discussion moving and on track.
· help draw others into the discussion.
· integrate theories and content from other cases.

During the discussion, the students should not:
· come unprepared and show your lack of knowledge.
· monopolise the discussion.
· make irrelevant comments.
· be insensitive to other’s desire to speak or share opinions.