PhD- Service Ecosystem: Conception, Configuration and Capability

According to our prior studies of the companies ARM, TSMC, Taobao from UK and China for this project, nurturing business ecosystems (Moore 1993; Rong et al. 2013) and applying S-D (service dominant) logic rather than product-dominant logic attracts attention from both academia and practitioners (Vargo & Lusch 2004).

For example, the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturer, TSMC, has already established a ‘Design for Manufacturing’ service ecosystem to encourage partners to share design and manufacturing IP to improve performance with shorter lead-time and higher quality. Other examples include the Apple iTunes store, and the Renault-Nissan electric vehicle ecosystem. In these ecosystems, partners like practitioners, government agencies, universities and other stakeholders co-evolve to deliver value to customers, and business success depends substantially on partners’ support and contributions. Product-based ecosystems have been transforming into service based ecosystems. Much literature on business ecosystems is focused on activities, functions or mechanisms (Iansiti & Levien 2004), instead of constructive elements (configuration and capability); and few have a service-centric view.

This research project aims to integrate S-D logic with the concept of the business ecosystem to define a conception of the Service Ecosystem (SE); and to build a framework for the configuration and capability development of a SE for competitive advantage. The research questions are: 1) How to define the concept of SE? 2) What are the configurations of SE and how to nurture an SE? 3) What are the capabilities of an SE and how to develop them for competitive advantage?

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Aims: 1) To map the evolution from firm to Service Ecosystem, and to identify its drivers and key elements, to explore and verify its configuration dimensions (role, relationship, etc.), to compare its patterns in different industries, and to identify strategies to nurture a SE;

2)  To identify the capabilities of SE, to clarify which capabilities are critical to competitive advantage, and to explore operational strategies of building the capabilities.

Outcome The PhD candidate will be expected to complete two refereed journal articles, two conference papers, two case study reports, and one on-line group (collaborative research network, aiming to link with practitioners and academia for co-evolution for further research collaboration) on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Eligibility Criteria Candidates for this fully-funded PhD studentship must demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 3 years. All candidates must satisfy the University’s minimum doctoral entry criteria for studentships of an honours degree at Upper Second Class (2.1) and/or an appropriate Masters degree. An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum is essential for candidates for whom English is not their first language.

In addition to satisfying basic entry criteria, BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project.

To discuss this opportunity further please contact: Ke Rong,  

For details on how to apply please visit the apply button below.

Closing Date: The first call for applications will close on 21st October 2013.

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