What is CERS?

CERS is a leading research and knowledge centre that focuses on research in service and relationship marketing.

Johanna Gummerus ny professor

CERS- Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management, is dedicated to creating cutting-edge academic knowledge in various fields. Through extensive collaboration with its international academic network and active engagement with the local business community, CERS strives to be at the forefront of service marketing.

Home to a distinguished team of 20 senior researchers and a group of 22 doctoral students, CERS consistently maintains its position as a prominent institution in the field of service marketing. The primary objective of the research conducted at CERS is to make valuable contributions to the thoughts and practices of businesses. To achieve this, the center fosters an environment that promotes innovative research capable of challenging and expanding the existing knowledge in the service discipline. 

Johanna Gummerus, Director of CERS.



CERS network consists of our faculty, postdoctoral and doctoral researchers at the CERS Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management, and of our visitors and associated researchers.

CERS also cooperates actively with other researchers and research centres, in the field of services marketing.

Our collaborators include, for example

in Finland

Elina Jaakkola, University of Turku 

Ilkka Lähteenmäki, Aalto University 

Hannu Saarijärvi, Tampere University 

Ulla Särkikangas, University of Helsinki 


in Europe

Tor W. Andreassen, NHH, Norway 

Lorena Blasco, ESCP Business School, Spain 

Lisa Brüggen, Maastricht University, The Netherlands 

Micael Dahlen, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden 

Bo Edvardsson, Karlstad University, Sweden 

Jens Hogreve, Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany 

Jonas Holmqvist, Kedge Business School, France   

Carol Kelleher University College Cork, Ireland 

Volker Kuppelwieser, NEOMA Business School, Germany 

Per Kristensson, Karlstad University, Sweden 

Bart Larivière, KU Leuven, Belgium 

Cristina Mele, University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy 

Line Lervik-Olsen, Norwegian Business School, Norway 

Lia Patricio, University of Porto, Portugal 

Per Skålen, Karlstad University, Sweden 

Bård Tronvoll, Inland University of Applied Sciences, Norway

Allard van Riel, Hasselt University, Belgium 

Francisco Villaroel Ordenes, Luiss University, Italy 

Lars Witell, Linköping University, Sweden 


in the Americas

Linda Alkire, Texas State University, USA 

Lerzan Aksoy, Fordham University's Gabelli School of Business, USA 

Mary Jo Bitner, Arizona State University, USA 

Ray Fisk, Texas State University, USA 

Andrew Gallan, Florida Atlantic University, USA 

Sertan Kabadayi, Fordham University, USA 

Timothy Keiningham, St. John’s University, USA 

Werner Kunz, University of Massachusetts, USA 

Leyland Pitt, Simon Fraser University, Canada 

Javier Reynoso, EGADE Business School, Monterrey, Mexico 

Manjit Yadav, Texas A&M University, USA 


in Asia and Australasia

Tom Chen, Newcastle Business School, Australia 

Jörg Finsterwalder, University of Canterbury, New Zealand 

Jochen Wirtz, National University of Singapore 

Rebekah Russell-Bennett, Queensland University of Technology, Australia 

Sven Tuzovic, Queensland University of Technology, Australia 


in Africa

Ogechi Adeola, Lagos Business School, Nigeria

Christo Boshoff, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


and the research communities

CTF Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Sweden
Service Science Factory, Maastricht University, Netherlands
Center for Services Leadership (CSL), the W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, USA
Service research community Servsig

A list of CERS researchers with some words of their research areas you will find here, and our current visitors are here.

Would you like to be a part of CERS network?

Contact CERS Director Johanna Gummerus: johanna.gummerus(at)hanken.fi


CERS is a leading service research centre disseminating frontline academic knowledge through interactions with the international academic network and the surrounding business community.

With Professor Christian Grönroos as its prominent figure, CERS has been influential in developing an internationally accepted school of marketing thought, referred to as the Nordic School of Service Marketing and Management.

Researchers at CERS have edited The Nordic School book about the Nordic School. In addition to Professor Grönroos, Lars-Johan LindqvistVeronica LiljanderAnnika RavaldInger RoosKaj Storbacka and Tore Strandvik were among the first researchers at CERS who represented this view.

Created in 1994, the centre was primarily established as a vehicle for concentrating on and developing the research within the department, and its goal was to achieve and maintain an influential position internationally. Another objective was to create a collaborative forum between the academic community and industry representatives. The main outcome has been articles published in high-ranked international academic journals. The spin-off effects include novel insights into teaching, the development of postgraduate studies and management education, increased opportunities for external funding and corporate funding, and a positive image for Hanken.

In addition to externally funded research projects, the CERS Award for Excellence in Relationship Marketing and Management is a prime example of the work that CERS has done in order to create connections and disseminate knowledge to the industry in Finland. The award was initiated in 1999, and among the recipients have been such companies as Fazer Bakeries, UPM Kymmene, Ålandsbanken, Diacor, and Nordea Corporate Merchant Banking.

CERS was also influential in establishing the national graduate school in service and relationship management in 1994. The Finnish Center for Service and Relationship Management (FCSRM) was established as a multidisciplinary graduate school covering, for example, marketing, organization studies, management, information technology, and financial and accounting disciplines.

Known for its research in the areas of service and relationship management, CERS produces research on topics such as customer relationships, service, value, and customer experiences. The researchers at CERS have always sought original and thought-provoking ways to look at the world and challenge the current knowledge in the service discipline. In the 1990s, when relationship marketing started to emerge as a service-based and business network-based perspective, CERS was a leader in the field with its first doctoral thesis in 1994.