The contemporary school of thought in service science is currently dominated by the notion of service-centric services (Lusch & Vargo, 2008), whereby it is believed that the end users are the determinant of value of a given service and co-producing a service with the end users would enhance the value of the service. A main assumption made by this school of thought is that all aspect of services, from creation to delivery process, is the domain of the service providers. However, the emergence of disruptive technologies such as the internet, social media, etc has reduced the operational barriers, empowering the end users to become services provider themselves. This empowerment has led to the creation of what is known as user generated services. Such services potentially challenge the complementary notion of service-centric services. Hence, in my term paper, I shall examine how user generated services has affected the service dynamic between the service providers and the end users, using the mobile phone service industry as a backdrop. Firstly, I would define what is exactly is user generated services. Then, I will discuss about user generated services in the mobile phone service industry. Last but not least, I would explore how mobile phone service providers can leverage user generated services, regardless of the service model that the service providers adopt.
2. User generated services
Contemporary services are usually designed around integration within the scope of provider’s business process. However, advancement in information technology has allowed for the development of solutions that facilitates information exchange and collaboration between individuals. With the increased ease in information exchange and collaboration from multiple sources, the end user now has the access and capability to generate user-generated content (UGC) that suits their needs. But consequently, the rise in user-generated content generation has introduced the demand for more specialized services and processes that uses user-generated contents. This present a limitation for service producers who might lack the ability or will to do so. 2.2 Introduction
Contrary to the suggestion of its name, user generated services are the result of re-composing existing service into newer form of services by the end users, who might play no part in the original services that comprised the new service. (Zhao & Laga & Crespi, 2009). Hence, instead of having a front stage and back stage controlled by the service providers (regardless the end user’s level of participation in the co-creation of the service), end users, not the service providers, serves as the main providers of the services 2.3 The unique taxonomies of user generated services
a) Multi-tier service stage model
As mentioned, user generated services generally follows the principles of service composition, where basic services are integrated together to form a unique service offering. Figure 1 show the translation service process of a written article into Russian language and the publication of the Russian language version of the article. However, the final product is the result of engaging two independent services from two different services provider, namely the article writer and translation engine. Thus, user generated service follows a multi-tier services model that grant user the flexibility to choose their intermediaries. An advantage is that user can restructure the final service product without need to meddle the upstream parties’ service stage. Back Stage – Document article process
Back Stage – Translation process
Front Stage – Translation Interface
Front Stage – Create Article
Line of Visibility
Translation of Article
Back Stage – Translation of article into Russian
Line of Interaction
Front Stage – Published Translated Article
Fig 1. An example of the service configuration of a user...