Professor Thorsten Gruber

Dipl.-Oec., MBA, PhD

  • Professor of Marketing and Service Management
  • Director, Centre for Service Management

Expertise: Complaint handling and management; complaining behaviour; frontline employee well-being; positive customer feedback; service failure; service recovery; service robots

Before taking up a Chair in Marketing and Service Management at Loughborough University, Professor Gruber worked as a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Manchester Business School. He received his PhD and MBA from the University of Birmingham.

Professor Gruber co-founded the Centre for Service Management (CSM) at Loughborough University in 2013 and is currently the Director of the Centre. From 2015 to 2017, he was also the Anne-Marie and Gustaf Ander Foundation Visiting Professor of Service Management at CTF- Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Sweden. Among Professor Gruber’s current main research interests are service failure and recovery, service robotics and transformative service research. He regularly presents his latest research findings at leading conferences worldwide and publishes in prestigious international peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Service Research, Journal of Business Research, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Service Management, and Journal of Marketing Management.

For his research, Professor Gruber has received several awards such as the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence (Outstanding and Highly Commended Award) in 2007, 2010 and 2012. He is a winner of the methods@manchester Annual Competition for Innovative Methodological Developments in 2009 and winner of the Academy of Marketing Research Initiative Award in 2008. Further, Professor Gruber won the 2013 Journal of Service Management Robert Johnston Award (Highly Commended Award). He was also nominated as Manchester Business School’s candidate for “Teacher of the Year 2010/2011” and “Researcher of the Year 2011/2012”, as part of the University of Manchester’s Distinguished Achievement Awards. Most recently, Professor Gruber received the 2014 AMA SERVSIG Best Service Article (Runner Up Award) and the 2014 Journal of Service Research Best Article Award (Finalist Award). More recently, Professor Gruber won an Emerald Citations of Excellence Award in 2016 and the 2016 Journal of Services Marketing Best Service Consumer Paper at the AMA SERVSIG International Service Research Conference in Maastricht, Netherlands.

Thorsten’s research interests include:

  • services marketing and management
  • consumer (complaining) behaviour
  • the development of qualitative online research methods.

He supports interdisciplinary and multi-methodological approaches and consequently applies both quantitative and qualitative methods in his research projects.

His current projects address the issue of complaint management in business to business relationships, the role of marketing in organisations, customer feedback management, service quality and satisfaction in higher education services, value co-creation in service networks, and the development of radical service innovations (service robots and autonomous vehicles).

  • Benoit, S., Baker, T. Bolton, R., Gruber, T. and Kandampully, J. (2017), “A Triadic Framework for Collaborative Consumption (CC): Motives, Activities and Resources and Capabilities of Actors“. Journal of Business Research, 79 (October), 219-227
  • Chowdhury, I., Gruber, T. and Zolkiewski, J. (2016). “Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining - Exploring the Dark Side of Value Co-creation in B2B Service Networks “. Industrial Marketing Management, 55 (May), 97-109.
  • Villarroel Ordenes, F., Theodoulidis, B., Zaki, M., Burton, J. and Gruber, T. (2014). “Analyzing Customer Experience Feedback Using Text Mining: A Linguistics-Based Approach”. Journal of Service Research, 17 (3), 278-295.
  • Bolton, R., Parasuraman, A., Hoefnagels, A., Migchels, N., Kabadayi, S., Gruber, T., Komarova Loureiro, Y. and Solnet, D. (2013). “Understanding Generation Y and Their Use of Social Media: A Review and Research Agenda”. Journal of Service Management, 24 (3), 245-267.
  • Henneberg, S. C., Gruber, T. and Naudé, P. (2013). “Services Networks: Concept and Research Agenda”. Industrial Marketing Management, 42 (1), 3-8.
  • Perks, H., Gruber, T. and Edvardsson, B. (2012). “Co-Creation in Radical Service Innovation: A Systematic Analysis of Micro-Level Processes”. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 29 (6), 935-951.
  • Edvardsson, B., Tronvoll, B. and Gruber, T. (2011). “Expanding Understanding of Service Exchange and Value Co-Creation: A Social Construction Approach”. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39 (2), 327-339.