Research in this area explores service management across the public, private, and third sectors. It focuses on the nature of value and the processes of value creation during service delivery. However, it covers a broad agenda, including research on innovation processes; use of electronic and digital services and the emergent impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on service delivery; and the role of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise in the service sector.

This research theme includes a thriving group of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers.


  • Service management in the public and private sectors
  • Co-production, co-design, and value co-creation
  • Innovation and change in public services
  • Service ecosystems
  • Digital and virtual services and the impact of AI
  • Accountability and leadership in service businesses
  • Social entrepreneurship and social enterprises

Services make up over 70% of the UK economy with similar trends across the industrialised and developing/emerging nations, and service delivery is becoming the defining feature of global economies in the 21st century. Not only is the service sector becoming the key component of national economies throughout the world, but the manufacturing sector is also increasingly looking to 'service' as a way both to add value to their products and to enhance their market position. Moreover, many of the key developments in management theory of the recent past have been rooted in the experience of the service sector.

This research theme directly addresses these key developments and draws together research from across different sectors to inform policy, practice, and theory. Current research projects include:

  • The European CoVal programme on value creation in public services, innovation in public service delivery
  • The role of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise in the service sector
  • Value creation and leadership in the creative industries.

Members of the group are also key leaders in the School's Centre for Service Excellence (CenSE).

The research draws strongly on institutional theory, social network and social capital theories, and both Service-dominant Logic and Public Service Logic. This has led to publications in top academic and practice-focused journals, including:

  • British Journal of Management
  • Journal of Social Policy
  • Service Industries Journal
  • Antipode
  • Public Management Review
  • Public Administration
  • Public Administration Review

The group is home to the journal Public Management Review.

In addition to its research, the Service Management sub-theme of the Strategy Group also leads the development of teaching and learning courses in the field, including undergraduate and postgraduate courses in both Service Management and Public Services Management.

Sample projects

  • Value creation in European public administration
  • Public service management and asylum: co-production, inclusion, and citizenship
  • Open government, transparency, and citizen engagement
  • Value and value creation in the Inclusive Arts sector
  • Resilient social enterprises
  • Technological innovation and health care: value co-creation between clinicians and patients