What is CERS?

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


CERS aims to create frontline academic knowledge in these areas through interactions with its international academic network as well as the surrounding business community.

Home to 20 senior researchers and 30 doctoral students, the centre continues to be one of the leading service research centres in the world. The goal of the research done at CERS is to contribute to both business thought and practice. This is done by encouraging innovative research that challenges current knowledge in the service discipline.

Kristina Heinonen, 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
Evert Gummesson, Stockholm University, Sweden
Jens Hogreve, Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany
Christian Kowalkowski, Linköping 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 Norway University of Applied Sciences

Allard van Riel, Hasselt University, Belgium

Francisco Villaroel Ordenes, Luiss University, Italy

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, Australien

Sven Tuzovic, 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, The 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 Kristina Heinonen: kristina.heinonen(at)hanken.fi.


Back to CERS page

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.