CHAPTER 1

Living in Unsettled Times

Defining and Characterizing “Unsettled Times”

In this book, we consider the impact of what we refer to as “unsettled times” on service systems. Service systems have been defined as “dynamic configurations of people, technologies, organizations and shared information that create and deliver value to customers, providers and other stakeholders.”1 Here we specifically focus on what could be termed spatial service systems; namely, where the boundaries of the system are defined primarily in terms of their geographical extent. Thus, towns, cities, regions, and—at an even broader spatial scale—even nations, could be thought of as service systems. Such spatial entities have been explicitly acknowledged as service systems. ...

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