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Keywords:

  • services;
  • supply chain management;
  • customer's role in services;
  • systems thinking

Given the central role of customers in services, it is striking that the predominant view of service supply chain management is primarily based on the perspective of the organization. In this conceptual study, we explore the conceptualization and management of service supply chains from a customer perspective, that is, how a customer manages, coordinates and integrates service provision to create value. We have taken a systems thinking lens, and in particular Checkland's characterization of systems (1981), to guide our analysis, worldview, boundaries, hierarchies and mechanisms of control. As a result of this perspective, we have identified eight features of service supply chains and suggested four research opportunities.