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Creating Competences in Service Innovation and Design

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The demand for service innovation and design (SID) competences has rocketed among companies and other organisations across all industries. Rapid changes in the economic environment, demographics and new technologies are driving governments,
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  volume 3 | no. 3 | 12,80 euro  January 2012   Service Design Creates Break-through Cultural Change in the Brazilian Financial Industry By Tennyson Pinheiro, Luis Alt and Jose Mello   Learning the Language of Finance Gives Your Ideas the Best Chance of Success By Jürgen Tanghe   Designing Human Rights By Zack Brisson and Panthea Lee   From Sketchbook to Spreadsheet  The demand for service innovation and design (SID) competences has rocketed among companies and other organisations across all industries. Rapid changes in the economic environment, demographics and new technologies are driving governments, businesses and individuals to seek sustainable efficiency and effectiveness through new service models. The Master’s degree programme in Service Innovation and Design aims to create the distinctive competences needed for future success. The main objective of the degree programme is to provide education which is based on the genuine competence development needs of companies and other organisations. This article outlines the basic structure and practices of the SID Master’s degree programme offered by Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Espoo, Finland. Laurea has been offering the cutting edge Master of Business Administration programme in Service Innovation and Design since 2009. It is a 90 ECTS credit-point, professional program that trains students from diverse backgrounds to  become practicing service developers. The entry requirement for Master’s studies at Finnish universities of applied sciences is that an applicant hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s level degree and has acquired at least three  years of relevant work experience after Creating Competences in Service Innovation and Design The SID Master’s Programme for Practitioners Combines Business and Design Competences Jukka Ojasalo, PhD, professor, has been developing several master’s degree programmes at Laurea, one of them being the SID programme. Katri Ojasalo is PhD. and head of SID Master’s degree programme at Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Espoo, Finland. By Jukka Ojasalo and Katri Ojasalo graduation. The final selection for the degree programme takes place through an entrance examination. The SID Master's degree programme is provided in English and can be completed alongside a full-time job in 18 – 30 months. The aim of the programme is to provide students with multidisciplinary knowledge in service innovation and design. This happens through advanced studies of different service theories and their implications for SID practice. The programme brings students to the fore- 58  service innovationcompetence competences to be created in the degree programme in sidenvironmentenvironment increasing the value for the producerfollowing up the value for the producerunderstanding the value for the providerincreasingthe customervaluefollowing up the customer valueunderstandingthe value forthe customerco-designing the value with the customerco-producing the value with the customer customers (and end users)service provider(s) - business goals: growth, profitability, internationalization- strategic innovations- internal organization- business networks- service culture - change leadership- trends and changes in the global environment- imageCompetences related to - futures thinking - analysis of global environment- change leadership- service culture- management of networks- service accounting and management control systemsCompetences related to - development of revenue models - productivity- investments and financial issues- pricing of services- marketing and selling of services- intrapreneurship- empowerment of personnelCompetences related to - design thinking - customer experiences and value creation- integration of customers in NSD- creativity- revenue models- segmentation- investments- finance- quality- productivity- value co-creation consisting of co-design and co-production- new service development processes- service system- service concept- service resources- service delivery processes- customers’ processes- touchpoints- service technology- customer experiences- customer value creation processes- perceptions of the service and service brand- learning together- needs - expectations- mental pictures- values- attitudes- behaviour- prosesses- culture- networks    b   u   s   i   n   e   s   s   c   o   m   p   e   t   e   n   c   e   i   n   s   e   r   v   i   c   e   i   n   n   o   v   a   t   i   o   n   s   e   r   v   i   c   e   d   e   s   i   g   n   c   o   m   p   e   t   e   n   c   e   s  59  By Jukka Ojasalo and Katri Ojasalo front of recent developments in the SID field by including supervised development training. Another important objective is to improve students' competences in com- bining academic rigour with managerial relevance when working on independent projects. Compulsory study modules are: • Business and Management Competences in Service Innovations (15 ECTS credits) •  Value Creating Competences (15 ECTS credits) • User-centric Service Design Competences (15 ECTS credits) • Thesis: a service development project (30 ECTS)  A central theme of the studies is that services (both commercial B-to-C and B-to-B as well as non-profit) possess a set of unique characteristics that require a distinctive approach to strategy, innovation and design. At the beginning of the studies, students acquire the competences related to deeply understanding customers/users, their latent needs and behaviours in their natural environment. At the same time, they study strategic management and new service development. They also familiarise themselves with the  basics of design thinking. In the second semester, they learn methodologies for futures studies and deepen their competences in service design processes and methods. Moreover, they learn how to build a service brand, and to commercialise and sell services. Finally, service leadership and service culture is their last compulsory topic.The elective studies (15 ECTS credits) enable students to pursue their specific interests, as well as to overcome deficiencies in their service design skills. For example, service design tools, cross-cultural issues and management of business networks are topics that the student may choose. The SID studies culminate in a Master’s thesis project. The aim of the Master’s thesis is to develop the student’s ability to carry out a demanding service development project independently. The students of the degree pro-gramme have a varying and multidisci-plinary background. This is a significant strength of the programme. Most of the students have their educational back-ground (i.e. a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree) either in the field of business administration, information technol-ogy, engineering or design. The group is international: almost all the continents are represented. The students work for many kinds of companies and organisations alongside their studies: multi-national corporations (both manufacturing and pure services), SMEs and public sector. This all creates a unique and fruitful basis for innovative thinking. The heterogene-ous group spends three days per month together and co-creates new compe-tences by discussing, sharing and further developing the individual assignments they have carried out between the contact sessions. For example, a student working for Nokia comments: "The program sup-ports my current position in our Services Unit enormously well. Our SID group is  very international and we are from very different areas of business, so I'm confi- 60  dent my personal goals will be achieved. I wish to find great new ideas, new ways of thinking and working and to be able to exploit them in my everyday work, even while I’m taking the course. I have always supported my work with studies and this SID Master’s programme is a very natural continuation of my previous studies."The SID Master's programme has impressive knowledge in its Advisory Board, not only by academic standards, but also in terms of business competence and experience. The Advisory Board consists of ten highly experienced business execu-tives, entrepreneurs and academics in the field of SID. The Advisory Board meets on a regular basis, around five times a year. The members of the Advisory Board bring state-of-the-art knowledge of the con-temporary issues and trends in SID in the  business community. They also offer their personal network for the use of the pro-gramme. Members of the Advisory board have also been involved in organising the Laurea’s annual SID seminar, selecting the students and key note lecturing.The Service Innovation and Design programme is conducted using the Learn-ing by Developing (LbD) model developed and adopted by Laurea itself  1 . Learning  by Developing is the pedagogical innova-tion that the Finnish National Evaluation Council based their decision on when Laurea was appointed as a Centre of Excellence in Education. The LbD model is based on the principle of involving students in diverse and demanding re-search and development projects, carried out in cooperation with companies and other organisations. For example, the SID Master’s students have been and will be working for a long-term project (2010-2012) called CoCo that aims to enhance co-creation in the b-to-b context and to create concrete tools and methods for in- volving customers in the processes of both designing and delivering services. The CoCo project is carried out in conjunction with four b-to-b service companies, Lau-rea, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Tekes (The Finnish Funding  Agency for Technology and Innovation). The students have analysed the current state of the co-creation approach in the companies, and now they are starting to organise workshops in the companies where they will utilise different service design methods. Under the guidance of lecturers and experts from business and other organisations, students receive genuine, research-oriented and multi-disciplinary learning that is completely different from memorising facts by heart for exams. In other words, a great deal of learning is based on practical problem solving in authentic cases, either in larger projects such as CoCo or in the students’ own organisations. This greatly motivates students, since they are able to directly contribute to their own work and the de- velopment of their organisations. Conse-quently, the role of teacher changes from traditional lecturer into that of coach. So far Laurea’s SID Master’s degree programme has been a great suc-cess. The feedback from both students and the business community has been excellent. It is evident that there is a rapidly increasing demand for SID com-petencies in the future. The next intake for the Laurea’s SID Master’s Degree Programme is in Spring 2012. •  References  1  Raij, K. (2007). Learning by  Developing. Laurea Publications,  A58. Edita: Helsinki. Also online: http://www.laurea.fi/fi/ tutkimus_ja_kehitys/julkaisut/ tutkimukset_a_sarja/Documents/  A58.pdf   61 education and researcheducation and research
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