This article illustrates and qualitatively explores the value of understanding the social networks present in a service operation through a case study of a local government service network that manages regional development applications. It also examines how social learning underpins service systems performance improvement and how it is instrumental in creating a richer environment for ongoing service network innovation and development. It is argued that gaining a better understanding of these social networks and the social learning potential in a system offers substantial and highly practitioner-friendly avenues to progress service systems capability development. These fi ndings clearly place an emphasis on developing the human and social aspects of service systems and also provide humancentred points of departure for researchers examining more holistic service systems theory development.
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