Innovating in Service: The Role and Management of Automation

  • Mary LacityEmail author
  • Leslie P. Willcocks
Part of the Technology, Work and Globalization book series (TWG)


Using software to automate tasks is not a new idea, but interest in service automation has certainly escalated in recent years. The popular press is filled with provocative titles like “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future” (Ford 2015), “A World without Work (Thompson 2015),” and “I Am Robot: Will Robotic Process Automation Revolutionize the BPO Industry?” Although the term “robot” connotes visions of physical robots wandering around offices performing human tasks, the term as it relates to service automation really means the delivery by software of service tasks previously performed by humans. Service automation comprises a continuum of tools, each designed to automate a different type of task.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MissouriSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.London School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

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