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2 Locating, Collecting, and Managing Knowledge

2 Locating, Collecting, and Managing Knowledge

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Kizashi Method – Grasping the Change of Future User’s Values



Sales Offices Can Promote the Value of Proposed

Products Using Kizashi

Locations where sales are conducted usually promote the benefits of purchasing a

particular product to address the needs of the customer; however, the benefits of

such products anticipated at the time of purchase have not been realized in recent

years because of the extreme changes in society, which have led to unintended

inconvenience for customers. In this regard, proposals with little medium-term risk

can be developed by analyzing the trends in customer sales based on the business

specialty. However, it is very hard to investigate such a phenomenon based on an

understanding of the reasons why a product sells. Enumerating the future social

issues for the field in which product is sold, in accordance with “Kizashi,” fosters an

opportunity for a company to proactively create a story that asserts the long-term

benefits of purchase to the client.

5 Conclusion and Further Discussion

In this paper we have described the features of the Kizashi method as an intermediate output for compiling analysis of users’ values, and compared it to previous

forecasting methods. We have also examined the five-step process on the method

and its applications. Kizashi method can be applied flexibly and dynamically

multiple times in relation to multiple themes to create multiple future scenarios.


Benefits of Analyzing the Change of User Values

Kizashi method collects a number of factors from various aspects of society, and

integrates them into abstract concepts from a perspective of users. This method

allows widely varying interpretations among readers, therefore encourages a lot of

unique hypothetical scenarios to be developed.

Moreover, a feature of the Kizashi method is its insight into changes in users’

values and the use of this insight as an output. Kizashi shows both original insight

and its output, so readers can feel connected to either the output (i.e. visions that we

designed) or the insight (i.e. user values on which the vision is based). By sharing

the process of analysis on user value changes, we have successfully encouraged

customers to build strong and long-lasting relationships with us.



T. Akashi and Y. Maruyama

Improving the Handling of Kizashi Method

On the other hand, some people may feel it difficult to understand the causal

structure of Kizashi, because it is described in a narrative way. For discovering

new Kizashi or applying Kizashi that fits a particular situation more efficiently, the

handling of Kizashi should be improved so that workshop facilitators and participants use the Kizashi method and contents more effectively. Hitachi Design

Division intends to improve the handling of Kizashi to increase more Kizashi

user experts, as well as to develop a method for describing the structure of Kizashi

contents in a logical manner.


1. Washida Y, Mitsuishi S, Horii H (2009) A future scenario generation experiment in sociotechnological problems using scanning method. Sociotechnica 6:1–15 (in Japanese)

2. Strategic Business Insights (SBI) http://www.strategicbusinessinsights.com/scan/

3. Schwartz P (1991) The art of the long view: planning for the future in an uncertain world.

Currency-Doubleday, New York

4. 25 Future Signs for 2025. http://www.hitachi.com/rd/design/25future/index.html. [Beyond

Green] of Sign 3 is a registered trademark of UGL Services Pty Ltd

Service Practices as Organizational


Nozomi Ikeya

Abstract Understanding services as organizational phenomena is explored from

the actors’ point of view, following ethnomethodology’s program. Services are

conceptualized as organizational constructs and examined how these are experienced by members engaged in practical actions from within services. Using the case

of business service in Japan’s public libraries, the study’s findings demonstrate how

a service can be presented as an organized solution by an organization. The study

also shows how actors involved in service practices can experience these as

constituting different kinds of environments.

Keywords Service innovation and design • Public service • Service practices •

Public library • Ethnomethodology

1 Introduction


Frameworks for Understanding Services

Creating a new service involves not just coming up with great ideas but also

interweaving ideas with existing values and services. A new service can be seen

as a solution provided by an organization to achieve its objectives at a point in time.

It may be the result of a series of developments over time in the organization, and

related developments may be on-going [1].

It has been some time since the need for a different framework for understanding

services was first examined. For example, Vargo et al. proposed a shift from

product-dominant to service-dominant logic [2]. Another framework presented by

Normann and Ramirez was a shift from “value chain” to “value constellation” [3].

The offering is the physical and ‘in-person(s)’ embodiment of assets made up of knowledge

and experience, in themselves the result of myriad activities performed by many people

dispersed in time and space [3:49–50].

N. Ikeya (*)

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Keio University, 2-15-45 Mita, Minatoku,

Tokyo 108-8345, Japan

e-mail: nozomi.ikeya@keio.jp

© Springer Japan 2016

T. Maeno et al. (eds.), Serviceology for Designing the Future,

DOI 10.1007/978-4-431-55861-3_34



N. Ikeya

The offering, as Normann and Ramirez explain, is the result of activities carried

out by different stakeholders and will produce value when it is put into action. As

their explanation implies, what is difficult about understanding a service is that it is

usually not designed in a vacuum but rather in an organizational context. This

means that, first, the design is not completed at once. Instead, service ideas may be

developed over time by different people, interacting with each other in a variety of

circumstances. Thus, the offering is “the result of myriad activities performed by

many people dispersed in time and space.” Given this plurality of people involved

in creating value—interacting with each other in different spaces and times—these

authors propose the notion of “value constellation” to replace “value chain”

because, in the latter, value is added in a linear way.

Concerning the plurality of actors involved in a service’s development,

researchers who propose to study strategy from a practice-based approach also

point out a similar issue [4]. Johnson et al. argue that strategy development is not so

much dependent on individuals or even small groups but on people at different

levels in the organization, as well as people from outside the organization (e.g.,

consultants and bankers). Since service design can be regarded as a kind of strategy

development, their approach can be applied to research on services.

What Johnson et al. also point out, similarly to Normann and Ramirez’s findings,

is that strategy practices include a wide range of activities, including strategy

planning, development, and enactment [4]. Based on this framework, they argue

that research foci need to be varied.

In addition, these authors clearly recognize that strategy practices are grounded

in organizations. For example, they argue that “strategy practices such as strategic

planning, strategy workshops or consultancy practices need to be understood as

institutional phenomena that influence what organizational actors do and in turn

how strategies develop in organizations” [4:13]. How individuals behave in organizations can be, therefore, another area on which to focus. These researchers also

share their interest in “understanding what people do both within and as an

influence on institutional and organizational contexts” [4:13].


Services as Practical Constructs

The stance taken in this paper is similar to the above point made by Johnson et al.,

which recognizes that strategy practices are grounded in organizational contexts.

This paper takes this point extremely seriously: People involved in a service are

always acting in an organizational context throughout planning, development, and

enactment, with “no time out,” to use Garfinkel’s phrase [5].

Consequently, the focus of this paper will be on how constructs of services may

appear and are then handled as part of organizational members’ practical actions. In

other words, understanding services as practical constructs will be the focus of this

paper, instead of services as theoretical constructs, following Garfinkel’s

ethnomethodological studies of work programs [6]. This is a reasonable choice as

services are actually applied as practical constructs before being theorized.

Service Practices as Organizational Phenomena


As an attempt to understand services as practical constructs, this paper will seek

to take the actors’ points of view seriously. It also means that the resulting

understanding will be defined in relation to activities. This is significant in the

sense that the understanding will not be decontextualized from the actual activities,

and services can be taken both as results of and as parts of various activities

involving various actors.

The business support service—a new service in Japan’s public libraries—will be

examined. Through analysis, the practical reasoning will be shown as it operates

through the various activities related to this service, alongside some organizing

principles. In addition, this analytical examination will reveal what is new and

innovative about the service in the actual environment where it has been developed

and implemented.

2 Approach and Methods


Ethnomethodological Studies of Work

The ethnomethodological study of work is an approach originated in sociology, that

examines exactly how people manage to accomplish tasks. Using this method, what

participants know—and how they know it—is studied, alongside their practical

reasoning while they work. The word “member” is used to mean any participant

with competency in and knowledge about accomplishing tasks [5].

In his study of projects, Sharrock takes Garfinkel’s advice on researching

organizational practice, treating organizational constructs as entirely practical

[7]. He then examines projects as constructs within organizations, in relation to

different junctures of service tasks. Instead of using theory to define the concept of

service and global criteria for its assessment, services as practical constructs are

treated as a part of members’ carrying out service tasks, which range from planning

and developing services to providing them.

Services as organizational constructs can appear when members explain how the

services are designed to meet organizational objectives. How do services as organizational constructs appear and how are they handled when members of two

organizations seek to collaborate as part of the services’ development? How do

services as organizational constructs appear to members who seek to use the

services and how do these members handle these constructs? In other words, how

organizational constructs appear and how they are treated differently by different

actors, depending on circumstances, is this study’s research question.



N. Ikeya

Business Support Service in Japan’s Public Libraries

The business support service is library services with the additional function of

supporting businesses, including start-up businesses. Support is provided by using

accumulated library resources and digital information available on the Internet and

databases, while training librarians to manage this information [8].

Takeuchi specifies that this service is provided by librarians who are trained to

search and manage library information resources available to the public. The

objective of this service, defined as “supporting business,” implies a radical transformation in Japan’s public libraries for two reasons. First, it adopts a view of

organizing services in which public libraries support citizens’ problem-solving

activities. This perspective often contrasts with the idea that book circulation

services should be the core of public library services—a debate with which this

paper is not concerned. Second, the business support service implies openness in

the ways the service is designed.

It is important to note that “information service” is not included in the literal

translation of the service name, i.e., ‘business support service’. The terminology

and the stated goal do not define the library’s role or means of providing the service.

It does not say, for example, that the library’s role is to provide information. The

intent of the service’s name when it was created and introduced to stakeholders is

something that needs further investigation. However, different independent organizations were given major roles in creating the service with the library, and the

diversity of the service has been noteworthy. In this sense, it is fair to say that

business support is an example of ‘open innovation’ in Japan’s public libraries.

It is interesting to note that the service movement itself was initiated by a mix of

people who were not necessarily direct stakeholders in the public library: journalists, academics, and government officials. This is quite unique, as library services

have typically been viewed as, and have actually been, designed solely by librarians. However, this does not imply that librarians were forced to provide the service

by external parties. In actuality, a number of librarians shared the view that services

needed to be reorganized so that the public library was not just a place to find good

books to read but also a place to search for information to solve life’s problems.

Some librarians were aware that the quantity of male users in their fifties to

seventies had increased, and some reference questions clearly had to do with

solving work-related problems [9, 10].

In addition, public library budgets have been decreasing in most parts of Japan

due to local governments’ economic difficulties. Increasingly, librarians recognized

the need for libraries to contribute directly to solutions for problems that people in

the local community face in their everyday lives [11]. They decided one way to

reorganize library services to be more useful would be to create services supporting

local area businesses, thus enabling libraries to contribute to the local economy [8].

Consequently, the business support service is specifically designed to support

problem solving in business or work-related contexts by utilizing library information resources and librarians’ research and information management skills, and by

Service Practices as Organizational Phenomena


taking advantage of the library as a place open to all citizens. Organizing a library

service based on this problem-solving model is clearly innovative for Japan’s public

libraries, where a strong emphasis has long been placed on book circulation

services. Advocates of this service also generally agree that the mission of public

libraries is to deliver this kind of support by facilitating information seeking and

usage [12]. The issue of how to design and provide actual services still remains, but

this is up to each library to decide.



Materials and data used for the analysis presented in this paper comes from research

that goes back to 2005. After having conducted a survey of libraries in nationwide,

and visited libraries that had started the business support service, the research team

eventually focused on four libraries that were actively providing business support

services, a new emerging service in Japan’s public libraries. Interviews were

conducted with librarians and users at the four libraries throughout 2006–2007

and again, in 2008–2009, at two of the four libraries but with members of other

organizations in addition to librarians and library users [13, 14]. Various related

documents were collected from the libraries, as well as from organizations that

were involved in developing the service. Interviews were audio recorded, photographs were taken at the service settings, and observations of users and services

were conducted. Observations were made whenever possible by attending seminars

held by the library, by attending service consultation sessions whenever permitted,

and by walking around in the libraries attending to how people use collections and

other information resources. Interviewers asked the following questions:

Interviews with users






What was the last use you made of the public library business support service?

What was the goal of your use?

What process led to the generation of your goal?

What use was made of other resources to meet your goal?

Can you give a detailed description of your use of the business support service

for your goal?

6. How would you evaluate the service?

Interviews with librarians

1. What kind of business support service is currently provided in your library?

2. What kind of users do you expect and encounter in reality?

3. What kind of uses or values do you think users get from the service?

Interviews with members from specialized institutions

1. How did your organization come to work with the library?

2. What did the collaboration involve?

3. How did your organization and its members deal with the collaboration?


N. Ikeya

4. What do you think about the collaboration?

5. How do you normally use the library, if you do: as part of your work or private


Tape-recorded interviews were transcribed and analyzed to identify how the new

set of services was designed and implemented in collaboration with different

organizations. Some results have been reported elsewhere [e.g., 13, 14].

In this paper, ethnomethodology’s approach was adopted in the analysis [11];

and more specifically, the focus was on identifying the practical reasoning or

understanding commonly held by different types of stakeholders when engaging

in the new service. In so doing, the author examined ways in which services as

organizational constructs are handled, specifically as a part of activities.

3 Services as Solutions


Services as Solutions Provided by Organizations

The business support service can be defined as a solution provided by public

libraries. When treated as a solution, it is as a new way of meeting the main

objective of public libraries: “linking knowledge and people.” However, as the

service is based on existent public library services, members involved in the

program do not treat it as an alternative to existing services.

As a solution, it consists of three methods of meeting the goal of “linking

knowledge and people.” While these methods have long been available as a

traditional part of libraries’ methods, the ways in which they are actually

implemented may be different from the past as it can be seen in the below. The

business support service is seen as comprised of the three adjusted methods

combined together:

(1) Locating, collecting, and managing knowledge

(2) Curating knowledge

(3) Helping users navigate through the library system



Locating, Collecting, and Managing Knowledge

Creating a Special Section for Business

In creating the business support service, the libraries typically create a section

dedicated to this subject area, where books, journals, pamphlets, magazines, and

often databases are brought together. These can otherwise be scattered in different

parts of the library. This can be understood as ‘curating knowledge,’ through the

selection and presentation of reference material.

Service Practices as Organizational Phenomena


At the time this research started in 2005, the business support service was still

relatively new and unusual in Japan’s public libraries, in the sense that the service

had narrowed its subject area to “business.” The act of providing a service under a

particular topic was unusual at that time, while later, other services on specific

topics—such as law and health—followed suit.


Collecting Knowledge

The majority of the special section is mainly books and journals. Librarians collect

them as a source of knowledge people might find useful in solving their problems.

Librarians also collect various pamphlets and brochures on relevant information,

including business fairs, seminars on starting businesses, financial advice, and other

related events and resources. The libraries obtained these information pamphlets

mainly through the network the libraries created with business-related



Locating Knowledge

Locating knowledge is another thing librarians engaged with this service often

pursue. Creating a web link collection for a specific subject area is one way of

locating knowledge. The collection can include specialist organizations, as well as

pathfinders available at the National Diet Library.

As a part of developing this service, librarians contact business-related organizations. Some librarians find it critical to connect with the business network. For

some, getting to know people in specialist organizations is another way of locating

knowledge in the local area. They can take advantage of these connections to help

users solve their problems.


Managing Knowledge

As part of creating and maintaining the special business section, some libraries ask

for specialists’ help. The specialists decide whether key books for one area are

included in collections. As some information needs to be quickly kept up-to-date,

books need to be reviewed and updated regularly. In addition to making sure that

updated and reliable information is available in the library collections, specialists

can also contribute to selecting books. Librarians may ask for specialists’ opinions

when purchasing expensive books (i.e., which one to choose from amongst candidate books).

While librarians do most of the management of library collections and other

information resources, they sometimes ask specialists to help, to make sure that

their collections are appropriate. Since specialists may also refer their visitors to the


N. Ikeya

libraries’ collections, and they themselves may use these resources, it can be critical

that librarians manage collections in collaboration with specialists.

Maintaining a network with specialists in the local area may be another aspect of

knowledge management if the librarians consider specialists as additional important resources for their libraries. Traditionally, networking was not usually considered part of their work, but it has become a key part for some of the librarians who

are engaged in the business support service.



Curating Knowledge

Organizing Seminars and Lectures

In addition to setting up a special section, the librarians typically organize seminars

and lectures on business-related topics. The topics can range from how to start a

new business to intellectual property, information resources, and methods of market

analysis. Lecturers are those with specialized knowledge in the local business

community. The events are organized by the libraries or by other groups or

organizations, with the libraries hosting the events as a co-sponsor.

Holding seminars and lectures is a way of ‘curating knowledge,’ in the sense that

the libraries select people with specific knowledge, often from the local business

community. Seminars and lectures may attract people interested in immediate

problem solving or exposure to something of potential interest now or in the future.

In this sense, these events can attract people who have different reasons for

obtaining specific knowledge, who may or may not be ‘library users.’


Organizing Displays

As part of the business support service, the libraries organize different displays.

Book displays on current topics are typically organized in or near the related

section. In addition to book displays, libraries organize displays of industrial

products related to the local area, such as a display of furniture made from local

cedar trees or products from local companies that have won a national prize. They

create these displays in collaboration with local industry promotion centers. Thus,

creating a display is another way of ‘curating knowledge’ about a business subject

in books and the local business community.

Service Practices as Organizational Phenomena




Helping Users Navigate Through the Library System

Navigation Through Mechanisms

Libraries have traditionally provided users with navigational mechanisms for

searching collections and other information resources so that they can access

knowledge on their own. Arranging bookshelves with signs is one way of helping

users navigate. However, inevitably, books and magazines on one subject may not

always be together, or books classified under “commerce” (380 in the Dewy

Decimal Classification) are shelved some distance from books under “business

enterprise” (338.7). Creating a special section for business is one new way of

helping users who are specifically interested in searching the collection and other

information resources within this subject area.


Personal Navigation

While librarians expect people to find relevant information using the libraries’

standard navigation tools, they traditionally also provide opportunities for personal

navigation through, for example, reference services. In addition, libraries also

provide business consultation services. They usually collaborate with government

organizations as well as nongovernmental groups—such as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry or other specialist groups to set up this consultation service.

These specialist groups or organizations generally regard libraries as having access

to people who may feel reluctant to visit their specialist organizations unless they

have a specific purpose or developed plan.

4 Services as Organized Environments


The Service as an Environment Organized Under

an Organizational Scheme

As part of developing business support services in libraries, librarians strive to

make their capabilities and their library collection more visible to the public by

referring to the business support service as an organized environment developed

under an organizational scheme.

By creating a special section dedicated to this subject area, which contains

books, journals, pamphlets, magazines, and often databases that can be otherwise

scattered in different parts of the library, the collection is certainly made more

visible. Librarians also promote their capabilities by placing signs next to the

business collection, with a message that users can ask for help at the counter.

Further, by holding seminars and lectures on business-related topics in the libraries,

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