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Bentley Professor Joby John Wins "Highly Commended Paper Award"

March 8, 2007

Bentley Professor and Chair of Marketing Joby John is the recipient of the Highly Commended Paper Award for his article, "Improvisation in Service Performances: Lessons from Jazz," published in Managing Service Quality (2006).

 

The paper establishes the validity of jazz improvisation as a useful metaphor that captures key facets of service performances. "Jazz is a music form distinguished by its significant emphasis on flexibility and adaptability," says John. "That improvisation is also what successful service performance relies on."

 

While you can carefully select and train frontline service employees, he adds, the excellence of their role is sometimes compromised because of uncontrollable factors. Customers often expect service providers to understand and respond to their individual needs, which may require spontaneity.

 

The paper outlines ways in which services are like performances, the complexity and improvisation of services performances, and ways in which service workers can exercise discretion and bend the rules to accommodate customers. It also explores managerial guidelines for applying jazz improvisation to services -- such as flexible tools and thorough training for employees - and the benefits and costs of jazz improvisation.

 

John is a former marketing officer at Pfizer and BAT, in India. He has lectured in a dozen countries in topics such as services marketing, customer focused management and cross-cultural issues. He has published more than 50 scholarly papers, and most recently three books: Services Marketing Self-Portraits: Introspections, Reflections and Glimpses from the Experts (Houghton Mifflin, 2004); Interactive Services Marketing (Houghton Mifflin, 2003); and, Fundamentals of Customer-focused Management: Competing through Service (Praeger Publishers, 2003). John sits on the editorial review boards of four journals. He is a past President of the American Marketing Association's (AMA) Boston Chapter and a past chair of the Services Marketing Special Interest Group of the AMA. John has a PhD in Marketing.

Published by Emerald, an electronic version of the award-winning paper can be found at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do?contentType=Article&contentId=1556615.

 

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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