Faculty, postdoctoral and doctoral reseachers

Faculty, postdoctoral and doctoral researchers at the CERS Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management, in alphabetical order. Contact: firstname.lastname@hanken.fi

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Jaakko Aspara

Jaakko 2022

Jaakko's research focuses on strategic marketing and management, including innovations and new business models; marketing-finance interface; brand management; field experiments with digital services; and consumers' financial decision-making. More about Jaakko



Larissa Becker
Assistant Professor

Larissa Becker

Larissa’s research focuses on service research mainly from a customer’s perspective. She is interested in customer experience, customer and consumer journeys, customer experience management, service-dominant logic, and practice theory. More about Larissa. 



Peter Björk

Peter Björk, 2022

Peter's research focus is in the field of service marketing, consumer behavior, tourism marketing and destination development. He has a special interest in service innovation and design, destination branding, tourist experiences and attraction marketing. Björk is associate editor for Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, and Finnish Journal of Tourism Research, and a board member of the Finnish University Network for Tourism Studies (FUNTS). More about Peter


Robert Ciuchita
Associate Professor

Robert 2022

Robert is passionate about and intrigued by service innovation. His research revolves around consumer learning from technology-empowered interactions and consumer (dis)engagement with service innovation with a focus on digital services such as mobile payment, multiplayer video games and online socialization platforms. More about Robert


Åke Finne


Åke's research focuses on relationship communication: Integrated marketing communication (IMC), communication from a recipient perspective as well as silent communication. Åke is also interested in the relationship between visual advertisement and ethics from a gender perspective. More about Åke


Mika Gabrielsson

Mika Gabrielsson

Mika's research focuses on international marketing, including internationalization of firms, international new ventures, international business-to-business marketing and global digital business. More about Mika



Christian Grönroos
Professor Emeritus


Professor Emeritus Christian Grönroos' research focuses mainly on three areas: the nature of a service-centered perspective on business and marketing (service logic), reinventing marketing through promise management, and transforming manufacturing into service business. He has recently published a series of short video lectures on "Principles of service management" on YouTube. More about Christian


Johanna Gummerus

Johanna Gummerus 2022

Johanna's research interests are wide, and include consumer service experiences, service innovation and social media marketing. She is also interested in how value is created, destructed and assessed by different parties. She finished her Ph.D. thesis in 2011 on the topic "Customer value in e-service: Conceptual foundation and empirical evidence". More about Johanna


Kristina Heinonen


Kristina is interested in service value, e-service and mobile service, dynamics of customer relationships, and integrated marketing communication. More about Kristina




Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen

Maria Holmlund

Maria's primary research focuses on service and customer-oriented management in business-to-business markets including the following topics: - Mental models in business and the relevance of marketing in companies. - Relationship dynamics: Initiation of business-to-business relationships, and Relationship ending. - Service transition and services in an industrial setting. More about Maria


Gustav Medberg


Gustav’s primary research interests include service marketing and management, retail banking, value creation/destruction, and qualitative research methods such as, for example, netnography and narrative inquiry. In his PhD thesis, Gustav explored how customers perceive value in retail banking services. More about Gustav


Mekhail Mustak
Assistant Professor

Mekhail Mustak

Mekhail researches on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing, service marketing, and business-to-business (B2B) marketing. In particular, he focuses on the use of AI for better marketing decision-making and performance; superior customer participation in service business; and appropriate pricing strategies and enhanced profitability in B2B contexts. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Service Theory and Practice and the Service Industries Journal. More about Mekhail


Pia Polsa
Associate Professor

Pia 2022

Pia's research includes cross-national service quality, power and relationships in marketing channels and retailing, business models in emerging markets, and crystallization in business methodology. Pia's empirical research settings are cross-national and comparative, emerging and poor markets, and non-profit organizations like health care. Pia has worked with both ethnographic and quantitative data from Finland, US, Poland, China, India, Nigeria, and Netherlands. More about Pia


Arafat Rahman
Assistant Professor

Arafat Rahman B&W

Arafat’s primary research focus is in the domain of transformative service research (TSR). He studies how service-providing organisations influence individual-level well-being. His research interest also includes customer-brand relationships, and artificial intelligence and modern technologies in marketing. More about Arafat.


Annika Ravald
Associate Professor


Annika's research follows an inductive approach, focusing mainly on basic research aiming at conceptual theory development. Ravald fancies strategic marketing issues, such as business logics and models; market, network, relationship and service dynamics; navigation in emerging business landscapes; and the dynamics of value creation in various types of constellations. Her publications can be found in for instance Journal of Service Research, Journal of Business Research, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Service Management and European Journal of Marketing. More about Annika


Anne Rindell
Associate Professor Emeritus


Anne Rindell is Associate Professor and Docent at CERS Hanken. Anne's research focuses primarily on branding, corporate heritage and image management. Her special interest is the consumer and customer perspective. She also does research on arts management and service innovation.More about Anne


Carlos Diaz Ruiz
Assistant Professor

Carlos Diaz Ruiz (BW)

Carlos research integrates consumer culture and market shaping. His research is built upon his experience as a market researcher and marketing manager to investigate how firms construct consumer insights in ways that shape marketing strategy. His research focuses on the following three streams: (1) insights “as practice.” A stream in which he investigate how firms represent consumers in ways that textbooks fail to prescribe. (2) market-shaping. An empirical phenomenon in which an actor, usually a firm, fundamentally transforms its business landscape to its advantage. (3) Disinformation. Carlos is also interested in the social and cultural dynamics of echo chambers in social media. More about Carlos 


Kaj Storbacka

Kaj Storbacka B&W

Kaj Storbacka is the Hanken Foundation Professor and board member of the Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA). Kaj's main research focuses on market and business model innovation, market shaping strategies and solution business transformation. More about Kaj



Tore Strandvik
Professor Emeritus


Research on service, relationships and marketing communication both within the field of B-to-C and B-to-B. More about Tore







Dominik Mahr
Senior Fellow Researcher

Portrait of Dominik Mahr

His work integrates research, education and business practice of marketing, innovation, digitisation, strategy, services and design thinking. 




Stefanie Paluch
Senior Fellow Researcher

Portrait of Stefanie Paluch

Her research and teaching is concerned with innovative topics such as risk and frustration with smart technologies in the B2B-context.




Magnus Söderlund
Senior Fellow Researcher

Portrait of Magnus Söderlund

His current research interests comprise customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and service encounters.





Per Kristensson
Senior Fellow Researcher

Profile of Per Kristensson

His research focuses on creativity, innovation, decision making, behavior change, service management and consumer psychology.


Anu Helkkula
Affiliated Researcher


Anu's primary research interests include service and value experience, experience of value creating practices, co-creation of value, phenomenology, qualitative research methods and development of innovation practices. Before entering academia, she worked for 20 years in service management and development positions. More about Anu



Christian Kowalkowski
Affiliated Researcher


Christian's research is concerned with service infusion in manufacturing firms; that is, how traditional goods-centric firms can navigate the transition to a service-savvy business model. He is also interested in service innovation, dynamics of value propositions, and solutions marketing. More about Christian




Helena Liewendahl
Affiliated Researcher

Helena Liewendahl

Helena's research focus: Dr. (econ) Hanken, 2014. Brand-, service- and CSR promise alignment & employee motivation. More about Helena





Reza Movarrei
Affiliated Researcher


Reza’s research focuses on quantitative study of consumer decision making including value creation through conspicuous consumption, social consumption and gamified consumption of services and products. More about Reza




Anna Abramova
Doctoral Student


The main focus of Anna’s research is in Sales Management. Anna is looking at how social media can be used at different stages of a sales process. Her interest also lies in cross functional cooperation between sales and marketing departments and alignment of their KPIs and rewards. More about Anna 


Kimia Aghayi
Doctoral Student

Photo of Kimia Aghayi

My research areas are artificial Intelligence and AI applications in Marketing. More about Kimia





Stefan Burggraf
Doctoral Student

Stefan Burggraf PhD student in marketing

Stefan is interested in understanding how inclusive service systems function and how they theoretically reduce human suffering and increase human well-being.




Phuong Dao
Doctoral Student


Dao's research focus is service design and Innovation - especially disruptive innovation in the digital industry. Dao studies how service design can be a strategic tool to improve digital innovations to make it product-market fit based on the customer orientation method. More about Dao


Marianne Dube
Doctoral Student


Marianne's research focuses on blog marketing and different ways how bloggers and companies could work together. She is also interested in what motivates people to produce and share content in social media. More about Marianne



Wuraola Falana
Doctoral Student

A picture of researcher Wuraola Falana

Wuraola is interested in consumer behaviour research but currently working on the drivers of consumer perception of brand innovativeness, how this perception can be changed and sustained. More about Wuraola




Jori Grym
Doctoral Student


I research how human beings make choices using decision theory. I'm especially interested in unconscious and ethical decision making. I study these subjects in a broad context but lately have been concentrating in the world of cryptocurrencies. More about Jori



Pekka Helle
Doctoral Student


During the past half a dozen years, Pekkas research has aimed to provide an alternative to the models of value creation that we have inherited from neoclassical economics. Pekkas natural areas of interest thus involves research within a stream of research called Service Logic (i.e. Service-Dominant Logic, Service Science). More about Pekka


Naomi Kasahara
Doctoral Student


Naomi´s research focuses on understanding how brand meaning is being formed in the Japanese cultural and social contexts and how Japanese culture influences on its formation from a customer perspective. Naomi completes his study by examining the mental activities of consumers´ minds that emerges from the interaction of social and biological processes. Beside mental activities, Naomi is also interested in cultural values of consumers. More about Naomi


Syeda Khatoon
Doctoral Student

Syeda Khatoon

Syeda is interested in customer experience and branding research. Her current research focuses on understanding the influence of Artificial Intelligence on customer experience and service quality. She is exploring how robotic process automation can be used as a strategic tool for elevating the customer experience and service quality. More about Syeda. 


Hoàng Khuat
Doctoral Student

Hoàng Khuat

Hoang's academic journey is driven by a profound interest in the realm of virtual avatars and the AI technologies that power their interactions with customers. He embarks on this doctoral research endeavor to dive deeper into this intersection between technology and humans. In an AI-driven world and with technologies that are reshaping marketing, Hoang's work unravels how such technologies are perceived to make contributions to the future of digital engagement. More about Hoàng.


Ksenia Kosheleva
Doctoral Student

Ksenia Kosheleva PhD student

Ksenias research interest is an intersection of art and business, that not-so-sweet spot where the market logic meets the logic of the cultural domain. The operating environment in which cultural organizations attempt to create value is undergoing a fundamental transformation caused by new tech-savvy stakeholders and an increasing link to private money. Specifically, she is fascinated by the conjoining of museums and markets and the ways new actors and practices (re)shape those established cultural institutions and foster their business renewal. Her research streams are arts marketing, market shaping, and institutional logics.


Tomas Lindström
Doctoral Student


Tomas is interested in brand images and measurement. His current research focuses on brand images evolve in different company stakeholder groups. Tomas is also interested in how market researchers' assumptions on brand image measurement shape how firms see the brand image and ultimately attempt to manage it. More about Tomas


Irina Neganova
Doctoral Student


Irina's research interests concern the role of customers in service innovations. Particularly, she explores customer perspective on solution development. She also studies value co-creation in consumer communities relating to new service development. More about Irina



Phuong Nguyen
Doctoral Student

Phuong Nguyen PhD marketing student

I am intrigued by such research topics as service innovation, consumer behaviours, strategic marketing and Artificial Intelligence. My area of expertise is recommender systems as service technology and consumer behaviours. At presence, I am conducting research on AI-human collaborations. 


Virpi Näsänen
Doctoral Student


Virpi has a professional background in arts management and her current research focuses on marketing and market orientation of art organizations. She is also interested in service design in the field of arts and culture. More about Virpi



Pekka Saarikorpi
Doctoral Student 

Doctoral Student Pekka

Pekka’s research focuses on social and symbolic dimensions of customer experience. With a background in the arts and culture, Pekka is passionate about cultural-sociological phenomena and participatory culture in the arts. More about Pekka



Steven Schoenmaker
Doctoral Student 

Photo of Steven Schoenmaker

Steven is interested in behavioural economics and studies the phenomenon nudging. He tries to uncover the factors that influence consumer's unconscious decision-making processes regarding their choices for a healthy – or unhealthy – lifestyle. By aiming to figure out how and why a specific architecture of choices, i.e. the way a choice is presented, steers consumers into a certain direction, Steven hopes to be able to provide policy-makers and organisations with guidelines on how to design choice architectures in a way that they can reduce socioeconomic problems regarding an unhealthy population. More about Steven

Kristoffer Wilén
Doctoral Student


Kristoffer's research interests include: social ecological economics; degrowth; ethics and the social logic of sustainable consumption; sustainability of consumerism, consumer culture, and economism; individualization and privatization of responsibility; commodification of life in marketing society. His PhD thesis is called 'Sustainable Consumption in a World of Disconnectedness'. More about Kristoffer

Sickan Åberg
Doctoral Student

Sickan Åberg

Sickan's research intrest are centered around Transformative Service Research. Her work draws insights from relationship marketing, sustainability entrepreneurship, and natural ecosystem well-being. She has a special passion for exploring how to effectively manage the intersection of strategic organizational inputs, the experience and well-being of natural ecosystems, and the promotion of responsible business practices. At Hanken she is involved in academic research concerning the licensing industry, investigating what critical capabilities and resources services companies need to hold in order to align with SDG#12 "Responsible Consumption and Production. More about Sickan. 

Prefect, Peter Björk

Director, Johanna Gummerus

Previous director, Kristina Heinonen

Representative for professors, Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen

Representative for non-professors, Carlos Diaz Ruiz

Representative for Doctoral Researchers Stefan Burggraaf