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Service Systems Research Group

The transdisciplinary research we conduct lies in the understanding and design of complex service systems, which come in many forms (Why Service Systems?). Our work ranges from multi-party outcome-based contracts for Rolls-Royce engines to the Ministry of Defence, complex service and logistics contracts to deliver a bank of flying hours for the Tornado or Typhoon jets, to designing multi-sided platforms and markets like the HAT for personal data, and knowledge-based collaborative networks of hospitals and universities.

Our team of researchers, led by Professor Irene Ng, cover a wide range of specialisms. This includes decision theory, ontology engineering, consumer culture theories, modularity and architectural innovation, information systems, economics, supply chain, monetization of digital services, consumer experience and loyalty. Our research has been funded by the UK government through the Research Councils UK, and we also work closely with industry and the public sector.

What We Do

We aim to advance the knowledge of value-creating service systems to help organisations innovate, compete and make better decisions in the design and management of their value propositions to co-create value. We research into and design service ecosystems, in particular, hybrid socio-cyber-physical service ecosystems (also called smart service systems). These could be markets, markets, smart cities, urban transportation systems or systems relating to Internet-of-Things such as smart homes or communities.

These service systems share many commonalities that also contribute to their complexity. Hence, our research involves four main knowledge bases:

  • Business models (of firms in the system)
  • Behaviours (of people within the system)
  • Economic models (who does what, who gets what in the system)
  • Technology/engineering (whether it’s a product, platform or software)

Together, they are entities within a system that, in one way or another, provide a service i.e. A competency into the system (we subscribe to the Service-Dominant Logic definition of service) so that the system functions viably.

Working on exciting projects and powerful tools, we believe in creating impact through the following ways.

1. Cutting-edge research including the following projects: 

  • DROPS: Funded by the EPSRC, this £1.2m project explores how decentralisation, personal data, and our Internet-connected possessions come together on the Hub of all Things (HAT) platform, with a focus on issues of privacy and trust in children’s e-books.
  • CONTRIVE: This £1.2m EPSRC-funded project investigates whether and how increasing institutional concerns over the risks associated with data access, ownership, privacy and confidentiality are reflected in the perceptions of individual users.
  • ACCEPT: This £1.1m EPSRC-funded project studies how people’s behaviour can lead to cybersecurity risks, and also explores new personalised approaches to encourage more secure human behaviours and their impacts on individuals, organisations and society as a whole.
  • Business Model Innovation Tool: In conjunction with Innovate UK, the Innovation Caucus has developed the Business Model Innovation (BMI) Tool to get companies thinking about their business model and business model innovation.
  • Hub-of-all-Things (HAT): This RCUK-funded project has created the first-ever multi-sided market technology platform for the home, allowing individuals to trade their personal data for personalised products and services in the future.

2. Innovative education; find out more about the Masters (Msc) in Service Management and Design programme.

3. Collaboration with like-minded individuals and organisations in the academic, industrial and public sectors

Recent Publications


Thu 26 Apr '18
Privacy and trust in children’s e-books is first focus for new £1.2m study of our future connected world

WMG at the University of Warwick have secured £1.2m grant funding from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) to explore how decentralisation, personal data, and our Internet-connected possessions come together on the Hub of all Things (HAT) platform. The first focus of the WMG team’s project will be issues of privacy and trust in children’s e-books.

The WMG team’s Dynamic, Real time, On-demand Personalisation for Scaling (DROPS) project is a collaboration between academics at the universities of Warwick, Surrey, and the West of England. It will examine the privacy, trust, and identity issues that arise from the development of personalized e-books for children's reading. The researchers’ focus on children's reading is motivated by evidence that shows that despite the value of personalised e-books for learning and reading enjoyment, there is a lack of research that engages with the range of privacy issues that these technologies introduce.

Working with the HAT Community Foundation, a non-profit promoting the use of HAT micro-servers for decentralized, person-controlled personal data, the DROPS project will investigate the technology, business, economic, and legal models of personalisation in a newly decentralised digital economy.






 F3 Tornado jet


Doctors representing health industry 


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