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:
- 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.
3. Collaboration with like-minded individuals and organisations in the academic, industrial and public sectors
- Kucirkova, N., Ng, I. & Holtby, J (2017) From mirrors to selfies: protecting children’s data for personalised learning and future growth. UCL Institute of Education: London, UK
- Batistaa, L., Davis, S, Ng, I. & Maull, R. (2017) Servitization through outcome-based contract – A systems perspective from the defence industry. International Journal of Production Economics 192, Oct, 133-143
- Richard Adams, R., Parry, G., Godsiff, P. & Ward, P. (2017) The future of money and further applications of the blockchain. Strategic Change Special Issue: The Future of Money and Further Applications of the Blockchain,
26 (5), pp 417–42.
- Ng, I. C. L., Wakenshaw, S. Y. L.. (2017). The Internet-of-Things : Review and research directions. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 34 (1).
- Green, M., Davies, P., Ng, Irene C. L.. (2017). Two strands of servitization : A thematic analysis of traditional and customer co-created servitization and future research directions. International Journal of Production Economics.
The development of RUMPEL has been led by our Professor of Marketing and Service Systems, Irene Ng, with funding from the EPSRC. The first of its kind, RUMPEL gives users the ability to browse their very own private and secure 'personal data wardrobe,' called a HAT (Hub-of-all-Things). The HAT collates data about them held on the internet such as on social media, calendars and smartphones, with the possibility of also including shopping, financial and other personal data, and allows people to now control, combine and share it in whatever way they wish.