The structure of institutional support for german service research
One would not necessarily expect a service research community to emerge in a country like Germany, whose past and present economic strength is so closely tied to industrial production. Yet the 3sR initiative (Social Science Service Research) is part of a German service-research community that is, in fact, quite large. This community also includes many universities and research facilities conducting research into business and engineering aspects of the service sector. It is no great exag- geration to claim that Germany has been a pioneer in service research, at least in terms of formal infrastructure. The German national government is one of a very few in Europe that has established a dedicated fund for the support of service-related research. The following review of public support for service research thus focuses on national-level structures; although federal states, individual cities, and scientific foundations also support research related to services, their work has been project-oriented and sporadic.