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Ralph Badinelli - The human-technology frontier for next-generation, smart service systems


What are the challenges on the horizon as the service economy, fueled by new technologies, transforms and disrupts the lives of people in every part of the world?  This question motivates audacious research-and-development initiatives across industry, government and research institutions.  My own research and involvement in professional societies has brought these initiatives into high relief.


In this presentation, I summarize the results of a recent Workshop sponsored by the U.S.  National Science Foundation (NSF) and the International Society of Service Innovation Professionals (ISSIP), which was held to “Focus attention on research/technologies that neither industry nor academia are working on at the moment, but that may be necessary to enable the next generation of service systems.”  The outcome of this international gathering of thought leaders is an agenda for the next generation of industry and academic research in service innovations. 


Two salient themes drive these initiatives.  First, is the burgeoning awareness and understanding of the true nature of service as cocreation of value, which lies at the heart of every value-generating activity.  Second, is the rapid and dramatic advent of new technologies, which enable the deployment of smart service systems.  These themes enlighten some common errors in the perspectives behind many service innovation projects: connectivity alone cannot induce intelligence; technology enables, but does not create service; predictive models do not constitute decision support systems.  We are consequently driven to model the human-technology symbiosis as the foundation of service innovation.


Ralph Badinelli holds the Lenz Chair in the Department of Business Information Technology, Pamplin College of Business of Virginia Tech.  His research interests are in the field of service science.  He has published refereed articles in Operations Research, Service Science, Management Science, Decision Sciences, European Journal of Operational Research, Naval Research Logistics, Computers and Operations Research, International Journal of Production Research and other international journals. He is a member of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS), Project Management Institute (PMI), former Chairperson of the INFORMS Service Science Section, Founding Board Member and President (2017) of the International Society for Service Innovation Professionals (ISSIP).  His teaching responsibilities are in the areas of analytics, operations management and project management at the undergraduate, MBA and doctoral levels.  He received a B.S. in mathematics and physics from Hofstra University, an M.S. in physics, an M.S. in business and a Ph.D. in business from Purdue University.

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