Transdisciplinary Approach to Service Design Based on Consumer's Value and Decision Making

Transdisciplinary Approach to Service Design Based on Consumer's Value and Decision Making

Takeshi Takenaka, Kousuke Fujita, Nariaki Nishino, Tsukasa Ishigaki, Yoichi Motomura
DOI: 10.4018/joci.2010100804
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Science and technology are expected to support actual service provision and to create new services to promote service industries’ productivity. However, those problems might not be solved solely in a certain research area. This paper describes that it is necessary to establish transdisciplinary approaches to service design in consideration of consumers’ values and decision making. Recent research trends of services are overviewed. Then a research framework is proposed to integrate computer sciences, human sciences, and economic sciences. Three study examples of services are then presented. The first study is a multi-agent simulation of a cellular telephone market based on results of a psychological survey. The second presents a cognitive model constructed through integration of questionnaire data of a retail business and Bayesian network modeling. The third presents a pricing mechanism design for service facilities––movie theaters––using an economic experiment and agent-based simulation.
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Targets of service studies have varied over time. Using an academic database, the authors examined 150,000 articles describing studies of services, particularly addressing historical trends and key technologies (Takenaka & Ueda, 2008). Historically, studies of services are considered to have started with examinations of problems of public and social services. Until the 1970s, service studies were mostly undertaken in the fields of medical science, public administration, and library sciences. Public service infrastructure, for instance, was a main research topic during that period (Weinerman et al., 1965). In the 1980s, although displaying main concerns that were apparently the same as those of previous periods, discussions elemental technologies in the fields of telecommunications engineering gradually entered the relevant literature. During the 1990s, two changes of research targets occurred in service studies. Engineering (electrical, telecommunications, and computer sciences) rose to prominence among research fields related to service studies. That phenomenon corresponds with the worldwide adoption of the internet after 1996. Moreover, management science and management engineering assumed an important role in service studies. Those two important changes suggest that not only public or social services but also service businesses had become important research targets. After the late 1990s, growing interest is apparent in actual service processes, especially those related to internet services and mobile services.

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