Where, exactly, would a manager go to learn about how to encourage, manage and create a culture of service within an organization? This would seem to be a natural area for management development, yet few to none of the accredited business schools in North America appear to have course work in this area.
Out of curiosity, I had a graduate student do a random sample from the websites of 10% of the colleges of business that are accredited by the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) during the summer of 2011. We found a handful of courses in the “marketing of services” and a scant few on how to “manage a customer service function” but not a single one that takes the issue of service and develops it from the perspective of an overall organizational framework.
If, indeed this is the century during which companies can best distinguish themselves from their competition via excellence in service, where and when do managers acquire the skills and perspective to manage that transformation. Certain companies have a reputation for their excellent customer service cultures, but there is little shared wisdom or organized body of knowledge from which to draw insights that can be applied across a range of businesses.
Raul’s efforts to define and develop such a corpus of knowledge resources is noteworthy, and may be prescient in terms of where sustainable competitive advantage may yet be found!