Aalto University School of Science, IRIS Research group, FINLAND

The Service Engineering and Management (SEM) group of the Aalto University investigates services and service operations in inter-organizational service systems. Services have become a salient focus of economic and industrial activity and the body of scientific knowledge on services is growing rapidly. The SEM research group combines multidisciplinary knowledge to conducting multi-method research on services.
The current areas of focus include service operations management, service innovation, multi-party interaction in service systems and information technology-enabled transformation of service business. Also, the aim of the group is to link industry-academia collaboration with the education on services in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management. We are fascinated by the grand research challenges related to service engineering and management and look forward to cooperating with scholars and business practitioners sharing similar interests.

Team Members

Tiina Tuominen, Research Manager, M.Sc. (Econ.), PhD Student

Service innovation, innovativeness, employee-driven innovation practices
Professional service organisation as an innovative social system
Katriina Valminen, Researcher, Project Manager M. Sc. (Educ.), PhD Student
Productisation of services, service development approaches
Productisation of services: towards a learning platform
Mikko Lehtonen, Project Manager M.Sc. (Eng.), M.Sc. (Econ.), PhD Student
Project business, public sector innovation, organizational control
Organisational control in organisational development programmes

Taija Turunen, Project Manager M.Sc (Eng.), PhD Student,

Developments in industrial services
Evolving service business in industrial firms: creating balance between corporate goals and customer orientation
Aku Valtakoski, Researcher M.Sc. (Physics), M.Soc.Sc. (Econ.), PhD Student
Service strategies in software industry
he impact of knowledge-intensive service provision on SME performance: A study in software industry
Mari Holopainen, Researcher (on maternity leave until 11/2011) M.Sc. (Econ.), PhD Student
Service design, user experiences, foresight
Exploring the futures perspective in the design process of services
Piia Helminen, Researcher (on maternity leave until 11/2011) M.Sc. (eng.), Licenciate’s thesis in 2011
User experiences, lead user methods
Advancing Lead User Methodology in the Fuzzy Front-End of Product Development

Guide Fields

Mari Holopainen in Goteborg

Selected Research Projects on Services

The current projects of the group include:
The Service Solutions for Fleet Management project is part of S4 Fleet research program of the FIMECC consortium involving 5 universities and 30 companies. The project investigates service transformation of industrial firms. That is, the project analyzes empirically the strategic transformation of industrial organizations toward proactive fleet management and the role of IT as an enabler of multi-actor value creation, and the ways organizations pursue high business performance and long-term survival and success in competitive B2B markets. The value-based approach to service operations requires making use of the enabling technologies, organizational capabilities, managerial practices and methods that enable productive ways to increase customer-perceived value throughout the lifecycle of the entire fleet of installed equipment and assets.
The Future Industrial Service project involves 9 research institutions and 19 firms, The project focuses on the integration of service innovation, engineering activities and customer interaction in service operations management. The main objective has been to improve the service business competitiveness and growth of industrial service-oriented firms by expanding future service offering in the industry through an increased focus in service innovation and efficient market entry. The focus of the empirical analysis is laid to exploring customer centric innovation and service content creation for future global markets and the integration of service innovation to engineering and customer interface processes.
A list of the publications of the group can be obtained using the following search from the Aalto University library:

Selected Publications

  • Helminen P. (2010). Disabled Persons as Lead Users for Silver Market Customers. In Kohlbacher & Herstatt (Eds) The Silver Market Phenomenon: Marketing and Innovation in the Aging Society. Springer.
  • Holopainen, M. (2010). Exploring service design in the context of architecture. The Service Industries Journal, 30(4), 597-608.
  • Holopainen, M. & Toivonen, M. (2010, accepted for publication). Weak Signals – Ansoff Today. Futures.
  • Toivonen, M. & Tuominen, T. (2009). Emergence of innovations in services. The Service Industries Journal, 29(5), 887-902.
  • Toivonen, M., Brax, S. & Tuominen, T. (2008). Client-oriented multicompetence - the core asset in KIBS. International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 10(2/3/4), 175-189.
  • Toivonen, M., Tuominen, T. & Brax S. (2007). Innovation process interlinked with the process of service delivery – a management challenge in KIBS. Economies et Sociétés, No. 3/2007, 355-384.
  • Tuominen, T. & Toivonen, M. (forthcoming in April 2011). Studying innovation and change activities in KIBS through the lens of innovative behaviour. International Journal of Innovation Management, 15(2).
  • Turunen, T. & Toivonen, M., (2011). Organizing customer-oriented service business in manufacturing. Operations Management Research. Available at www.springerlink.com
  • Valminen, K. & Toivonen, M. (forthcoming 2012). Seeking efficiency through productisation. A case study of Small KIBS participating in a productisation project. The Service Industries Journal.
  • Valtakoski, A. (2008). Towards a Taxonomy of Software Service Meanings. Journal of Harbin Institute of Technology, 15(Supp. 1), 71-78.

Contact Information

Research Director
Taija Turunen
+358 50 344 0132

Risto Rajala
+358 40 557 2211


Visiting Address : the TUAS House
Otaniementie 17
Otaniemi, Espoo

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 15500

FI-00076 AALTO


  • Tiina Tuominen Innovation Research in Services (IRIS), BIT Research Centre, Aalto University School of Science, P.O.BOX 15500, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland T +358407239609
    E  tiina.tuominen@aalto.f...
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European Association for Research on Services
Authors: Brigada