Service management theory, developed by two concurrent schools (Nordic and American), emphasises customer-focused management practices and relates to the fields of marketing, operations, organisational behaviour, and human resource management.

This chapter describes four main components forming service management theory: creating value for the customer, collaboration both internally and externally, focusing on quality, and developing the personnel. Research shows the correlation between service quality, value and customer satisfaction, and the quality between internal process and external service dependency. Moreover, it opens a discussion on how customer and employee behaviour affect overall organisational performance.

This chapter provides examples of how workplace management research has applied service management theory and argues that customer experience of joint service deliveries (in physical, digital and social environments) is the customer experience of the total workplace. The chapter also acknowledges the limitations of service management theory, especially the lack of studies in human-machine encounters due to the increasing role of technology in the workplace and services in general.