ActS - Service Design Based on Human Activity Sets

Johanna Gummerus, Jacob Mickelsson, Jakob Trischler, Tuomas Härkönen, Christian Grönroos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to develop and apply a service design method that allows for stronger recognition and integration of human activities into the front-end stages of the service design process. Design/methodology/approach: Following a discussion of different service design perspectives and activity theory, the paper develops a method called activity-set mapping (ActS). ActS is applied to an exploratory service design project to demonstrate its use. Findings: Three broad perspectives on service design are suggested: (1) the dyadic interaction, (2) the systemic interaction and (3) the customer activity perspectives. The ActS method draws on the latter perspective and focuses on the study of human activity sets. The application of ActS shows that the method can help identify and visualize sets of activities. Research limitations/implications: The ActS method opens new avenues for service design by zooming in on the micro level and capturing the set of activities linked to a desired goal achievement. However, the method is limited to activities reported by research participants and may exclude unconscious activities. Further research is needed to validate and refine the method. Practical implications: The ActS method will help service designers explore activities in which humans engage to achieve a desired goal/end state. Originality/value: The concept of “human activity set” is new to service research and opens analytical opportunities for service design. The ActS method contributes a visualization tool for identifying activity sets and uncovering the benefits, sacrifices and frequency of activities.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Service Management
Volume32
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)28-54
Number of pages27
ISSN1757-5818
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19.07.2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management
  • Activity set mapping
  • Activity theory
  • Human activities
  • Service design

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management

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