Dwayne Gremler
Dwayne Gremler

Services marketing is focus of Dwayne Gremler Fulbright award

Dr. Dwayne Gremler will be sharing his expertise in services marketing with faculty and students at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands next spring as the recipient of a lecturing award from the Fulbright Scholar Program.

He applied specifically to the University of Maastricht because, he said, his specialization in services marketing dovetails with its Academic Center for Research in Services’ focus. He also has ties to the Dutch university, having spent six weeks there as an invited visiting scholar and senior research fellow
in 1998.

“The University of Maastricht is one of the leading centers of services marketing and management research in the world,” Gremler said.

Services marketing differs from traditional marketing in that the primary benefit being offered to the consumer does not include a tangible product, he explained. Yet the service economy, which includes such businesses as accounting, health care, even house painting, makes up more than 80 percent of the United States’ gross national product.

“When the product offering does not include a tangible output as its primary focus, there are significant implications from a marketing point of view,” said Gremler, who came to BGSU in 2000 to help strengthen the University’s program in that area.

In return for sharing his marketing knowledge at Maastricht, Gremler said he wishes to gain experience in problem-based learning, which he hopes to do more of in his Bowling Green classes.

“Maastricht is a pioneer in problem-based learning. All of their classes are set up that way, from freshman year on. They were one of the first universities to do this,” Gremler said.

He will supervise eight to 10 classes of about 14 students each, in which the students will work as teams to solve real-world problems. He will also consult with doctoral students on their projects.

While in Europe, Gremler plans to “be an ambassador for BGSU,” he said. He has scheduled several speaking engagements and will conduct seminars at universities in France, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany, hoping to recruit students to Bowling Green and make additional faculty connections in the process.

Gremler is the co-author of one of the foremost textbooks on services marketing. Now in its fourth edition, Services Marketing: Integrating Customer Focus Across the Firm is published by McGraw Hill. It stresses the importance of developing strong customer relationships through quality services.

His being named a Fulbright lecturer is a continuation of a series of events aimed at strengthening BGSU’s position as a leader in services marketing education, he said. The last two faculty members hired by the department focused on services marketing while receiving their doctoral degrees, and the department has added classes in that area so students “will have additional opportunities to learn and to position themselves in the marketplace,” Gremler said.

In addition, BGSU held a symposium last spring on services marketing that drew 320 area businesspeople. Titled “Managing the Customer Experience: Winning Strategies and Tactics of Industry Leaders,” the event featured executive speakers from the Ritz-Carlton and the Mayo Clinic, both known for their exemplary customer service, along with BGSU faculty experts.

Gremler received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Arizona State University. Before coming to Bowling Green, he taught at the University of Idaho and has conducted a number of undergraduate and graduate seminars at European universities, some of which he will be revisiting
in the spring.

He has published numerous award-winning papers and journal articles, frequently gives conference presentations on services marketing and regularly helps organize academic conferences in that field.

October 10, 2005