GRA 6419 Service Marketing


GRA 6419 Service Marketing

Responsible for the course
Line Lervik-Olsen

Department of Marketing

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

A large percentage of business activity today relates to services. Services, therefore, dominate the global economy and are becoming critical for competitive advantage in companies across the globe and industry sectors. Thus, an understanding of the field of service marketing and its most recent advances is a prerequisite today for those who want to successfully pursue careers and manage businesses both in the private and in public sector.

This course allows students to examine the important issues facing service providers and the successful implementation of a customer focus in service-based businesses. Topics include an overview of services marketing; understanding the customer in services marketing; standardizing and aligning the delivery of services; the people who deliver and perform services; and, the rapid infusion of technology into various industries that has created new kinds of services that offer opportunities for service- and manufacturing organizations to enhance their relationships with customers.

Learning outcome

On completion of the course, students will be able to:

1. Understand and explain the nature and scope of services marketing;

2. Describe how to deal with the challenges faced by service and manufacturing organizations;

3. Develop a better appreciation of the necessary ingredients to create service excellence;

4. Provide a theoretical and practical basis for assessing service performance through the use of frameworks, strategies, and tools;

5. Understand the characteristics and challenges of managing service firms;

6. Develop an appreciation of the key linkages between marketing and other business functions in the context of designing and operating an effective service system;
7. Conduct a services audit plan for a service firm.
8. Present ideas and solutions to service marketing issues;
9. Adapt communication style to audience i.e. academic or managerial;
10. Listen to diverse perspectives as well as critically reflect upon central issues in the field.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Compulsory reading

Collection of articles:
Articles will be selected from journals like the Journal of Service Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Service Management, etc. In addition students need to acquire a set of cases.

During the course there may be hand-outs and other material on additional topics relevant for the course and the examination.
In addition students need to acquire a set of cases.

Recommended reading
Wilson, Alan ... [et al.]. 2012. Services marketing : integrating customer focus across the firm. 2nd European ed. McGraw-Hill

Course outline

New paradigms and frameworks in service marketing

Understanding the service marketing stakeholders

Designing the service performance, experience and the service setting

Understanding the customer: co-creation, complaint management and service recovery

Social media and service marketing

Computer-based tools
Not applicable

Learning process and workload
A course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of 160-180 hours.

The course will require the students to particpate actively as it is based on lectures, discussions, case analyses and presentations. Students need to be well-prepared for each session.

To facilitate discussion and learning for the case discussions students may be divided into two groups, if there is a need for that.

Please note that it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/It's learning or text book.

The course grade will be based on the following activities and weights:

Individual Performance
Class Participation: 15 %
Written Assignment: 35 %

Group Projects
Case Analysis and Presentation: 20 %
Term paper - Service Audit: 30 %

Class participation is based on each students active course participation as well as their use of electronic tests and digital learning tools.
For the case analysis and presentation, student groups will be formed by the course responsible (maximum five students in each group). However, for the final course work, which is the Service Audit, the students must organise themselves into groups under the guidance of the course responsible (maximum three students in each group).

Form of assessment Weight Group size
Class participation 15% Individual
Assignment 35% Individual
Presentation 20%
Term paper 30% Group of max 3 students

Specific information regarding student assessment will be provided in class. This information may be relevant to requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several components of the overall assessment. This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded using points on a scale from 0-100. The final grade for the course is based on the aggregated mark of the course components. Each component is weighted as detailed in the course description. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the points system and the mapping scale in the student portal @bi. Candidates may be called in for an oral hearing as a verification/control of written assignments.

Examination code(s)
GRA 64191 continuous assessment accounts for 100 % of the final grade in the course GRA 6419.

Examination support materials
Bilingual dictionary
Permitted examination support materials for written examinations are detailed under examination information in the student portal @bi. The section on support materials and the use of calculators and dictionaries should be paid special attention to.

Re-sit examination
It is only possible to retake an examination when the course is next taught. The assessment in some courses is based on more than one exam code. Where this is the case, you may retake only the assessed components of one of these exam codes. All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee. Please note that you need to retake the latest version of the course with updated course literature and assessment. Please make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the latest course description.

Additional information
Honour code. Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and are values that are integral to BI's honour code system. Students are responsible for familiarising themselves with the honour code system, to which the faculty is deeply committed. Any violation of the honour code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for academic misconduct. Issues of academic integrity are taken seriously by everyone associated with the programmes at BI and are at the heart of the honour code. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honour code, please ask. The learning platform itslearning is used in the teaching of all courses at BI. All students are expected to make use of itslearning.