Professor Mary Jo Bitner was selected for the award for her relentless devotion to service research thereby creating service-marketing innovations, such as the 7P structure and the servicescape concept, and for her continued leadership of the Center for Services Leadership.
The other award recipient is her colleague, Professor Emeritus Stephen Brown, for his initiative to establish the first research centre devoted specifically to service research and the study of service marketing, First Interstate Center for Services Marketing, now Center for Services Leadership, and for his many years of successful leadership inspiring young researchers to continue service-marketing research.
The award was handed out by professor Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen from CERS, on the 22nd July, in Frontiers in Service Conference, in New York. It was the first time when the award was appointed to two persons.
The Grönroos Award was instituted in 2010 in Professor Christian Grönroos’ honour – when he resigned from being director of CERS i.e. Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management - to acknowledge his pioneering and innovative advancements in service research in the spirit of the Nordic School of Marketing thought.