• Length:
    8 Weeks
  • Effort:
    3–4 hours per week
  • Price:

    Add a Verified Certificate for $49 USD

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  • Course Type:
    Self-paced on your time


No prerequisites. This course is designed for undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in services. Although some advanced theoretical materials are included, the theme (services) should be familiar to everyone. Students are expected to complete several assignments throughout the course. In these assignments, students will observe, document, and analyze services around them.

About this course

Skip About this course

Services are everywhere in our society. We cannot live without them. More than 70% of advanced economies fall under the category of the service sector. Other sectors, such as agriculture and manufacturing, also seek to incorporate service business.

What is service? While the existing discourse on services emphasizes customer satisfaction, hospitality, and clear design, this courseoffers a radically new perspective on services.

The coursework will explore major underlying theories of service, including customer satisfaction and service quality. In addition, learners will be exposed to competitive analyses, and explore the contradictory relationships inherent in services from an intersubjective perspective.

In this business and management course, you will learn how to analyze customer interactions, using video data taken in actual service organizations. Through discussions of a variety of services such as sushi bars, restaurants, hotels,and apparel, you will explore the complex nuances and begin to see services differently.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Radical perspective on the culture of customer service
  • Basics of customer service research
  • How to critique and design services
  • How to analyze customer interactions

Week1: Introduction

  • Discuss the general characteristics of service

Week 2: Service experience: Comparative analysis

  • We can start to see the paradoxical nature of service.

Week 3: Existing theories of service

  • Review some major theories of service such as customer satisfaction and service quality.

Week 4: Ethnomethodology: Analysis of customer interactions

  • Learn to analyze recorded interactions in detail

Week 5: Hospitality: A critical perspective

  • Gain a critical understanding of the concept of hospitality

Week 6: Aesthetic of service: Taste and manners

  • Learn the social struggle over cultural aesthetic, taste,and manners.

Week 7: Dialectic of customer relations

  • Understand the contradictory relationship of service from intersubjective perspective

Week 8: Service design from cultural perspective

  • Discuss service design that goes beyond human-centered design

Meet your instructors

Yutaka Yamauchi
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Management
Kyoto University
Nao Sato
Ph. D candidate, Graduate School of Informatics
Kyoto University

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Learner testimonials

Let me congratulate you for making this MOOC, complex, but at the same time accessible. I really enjoyed it. I hope more MOOCs from you come later, and I hope to meet you one day in order to do a study in Kyoto University!!