Research at the Chair of Marketing and Value Creation

Our research focuses on value-based marketing strategies in which providers proactively assume (co-)responsibility for creating value for customers and society and thus ultimately generate value for the company. We analyse the challenges arising from the increasing value orientation of marketing from various perspectives. Our research projects can be categorised along the strategy development process and each focus on one of the following aspects (see illustration): (1) selection and design of the strategy (company perspective), (2) implementation of the strategy (employee perspective) and (3) consequences of the strategy (customer perspective). Depending on the project, we analyse practical issues in B2B and/or B2C markets. You will find a selection of our research topics at the bottom of this page.
Our research is characterised by a quantitative-empirical orientation. In our research projects we use a broad repertoire of research approaches and quantitative methods (e.g. experiments, structural equation modelling, multilevel modelling, propensity score matching, fsQCA). Our research is also characterised by a strong practical orientation, which is reflected in numerous corporate collaborations. The aim of our research projects is to derive relevant and realisable recommendations for action for companies and consumer institutions. Our strong research orientation is reflected in the fact that our research work has been published in high-ranking international journals and has been honoured with several best paper awards. Finally, our research is characterised by an international orientation. We greatly value the co-operation and exchange with our numerous national and international research partners.

Research topics

Servitization - Consequences of the service transformation in industrial companies

Many industrial goods companies no longer see themselves as pure producers, but as providers of holistic solutions for their customers. Diebold Nixdorf, for example, not only sells self-service checkouts, but also supports retailers in making the entire self-service process attractive. This means that companies like Diebold Nixdorf are now taking on far more responsibility for key processes at customer companies. The change in companies towards more service and solution offerings is summarised in research under the term servitization (also service transition or service transformation). In our research, we focus on the consequences of this change for the companies offering services and the customer companies.

  • What are the financial and non-financial implications of the service transformation for industrial goods companies?
  • What different types and strategies of industrial services can be identified?
  • Which development paths can be observed in the change from product-orientated to value-orientated strategies?
  • How can industrial service change be implemented? Is business service outsourcing a suitable approach?
  • What challenges does the use of outcome-based contracts (so-called operator models) entail?

• Akalan, R.; Böhm, E.; Eggert, A. (2022). Servitization in the manufacturing industry: Where do we stand? Where do we come from? Journal of Service Management Research, 6 (3), 204-213.
• Harrmann, L. K.; Eggert, A.; Böhm, E. (2022). Digital technology usage as a driver of servitization paths in manufacturing industries, European Journal of Marketing, 57(3), 834-857. [VHB-Jourqual3: C]
• Akalan, R., Eggert, A., and Böhm, E. (2022). Strategic emphasis on service-based business models during the corona crisis: Are customer solutions a curse or blessing for manufacturing firms? Journal of Service Management Research, 6 (1), 47-63.
• Schaefers, T.; Ruffer, S.; Böhm, E. (2021). Outcome-based contracting from the customers’ perspective: A means-end chain analytical exploration, Industrial Marketing Management, 93, 466-481. [VHB-Jourqual3: B]
• Eggert, A.; Böhm, E.; Cramer, C. (2017). Business service outsourcing in manufacturing firms: An event study, Journal of Service Management, 28 (3), 476-498. [VHB-Jourqual3: B]
• Böhm, E.; Eggert, A.; Thiesbrummel, C. (2017). Service transition: A viable option for manufacturing companies with deteriorating financial performance? Industrial Marketing Management, 60 (1), 101-111. [VHB-Jourqual3: B; AMA Best Paper Award]
• Böhm, E.; Backhaus, C.; Eggert, A.; Cummins, T. (2016). Understanding outcome-based contracts: Benefits and risks from the buyers’ and sellers’ perspective, Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation, 2 (1-2), 128-149. [Best Paper Award]
• Eggert, A.; Hogreve, J.; Ulaga, W.; Münkhoff, E. (2014). Revenue and profit implications of industrial service strategies, Journal of Service Research, 17 (1), 23-39. [VHB-Jourqual3: A]
• Eggert, A.; Hogreve, J.; Ulaga, W.; Münkhoff, E. (2011). Industrial services, product innovations, and firm profitability: A multiple-group latent growth curve analysis, Industrial Marketing Management, 40 (5), 661-670. [VHB-Jourqual3: B;
AMA Best Overall Conference Paper Award]
• Münkhoff, E. (2013). Umsatz- und Profitabilitätsauswirkungen industrieller Dienstleistungen – Eine latente Wachstumskurvenanalyse, Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler.

  • Strategic transformation to value-centred business models (01/2019-03/2022; funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), with Andreas Eggert)
  • Investigating service growth strategies in manufacturing firms (sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Business Markets (ISBM), with Lisa Scheer and Vamsi Kanuri)

Solution Selling - Necessary skills and suitable management tools for selling solutions

In order to strengthen their competitive position and gain a competitive edge, industrial goods companies such as IBM, General Electric and Rolls-Royce are increasingly offering solutions (so-called customer solutions) in addition to products and services. Sales employees play a particularly important role in the implementation of the solution strategy. Due to their direct customer contact, they can have a decisive influence on the successful provision of solutions. However, many companies report a lack of willingness on the part of the sales team to sell solutions. In addition, selling solutions often requires different skills than selling traditional industrial products (such as machines and systems). In various research projects, we shed light on the question of which skills are necessary for selling solutions and how the commitment and skills of sales staff can be promoted to sell solutions.

  • What skills do sales employees need to sell industrial services and solutions?
  • Which sales management tools are suitable for promoting the skills and motivation to sell industrial services and solutions?
  • What role do so-called solution champions play in the acceptance of industrial service and solution strategies?
  • What role does incentivising sales staff play in the success of the solutions business?
  • What impact does high variable compensation have on the sale of solutions?

• Alavi, S.; Böhm, E.; Habel, J.; Wieseke, J.; Schmitz, C.; Brüggemann, F. (2021). The ambivalent role of monetary sales incentives in service innovation selling, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 39(3), 445-463. [VHB-Jourqual3: A]
• Salonen, A.; Terho, H.; Böhm, E.; Virtanen, A.; Rajala, R. (2021). Engaging a product-focused sales force in solution selling: Interplay of individual- and organizational-level conditions, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 49 (1), 139-163. [VHB-Jourqual3: A]
• Böhm, E.; Eggert, A.; Terho, H.; Ulaga, W.; Haas, A. (2020). Drivers and outcomes of salespersons’ value opportunity recognition competence in solution selling, Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 40 (3), 180-197. [VHB-Jourqual3: B]
• Terho, H.; Eggert, A.; Ulaga, W.; Haas, A.; Böhm, E. (2017). Selling value in business markets: Individual and organizational factors for turning the idea into action, Industrial Marketing Management, 66, 42-55. [VHB-Jourqual3: B]

Online Reviews - Tools for incentivising and the impact of online reviews

Online product reviews are an effective and universally popular tool. Up to 90% of consumers read the product reviews available online before making a purchase; 84% even trust them as much as personal recommendations. Positive reviews reduce uncertainty, strengthen the intention to buy and increase customers' willingness to pay. At the same time, many companies face the challenge that their customers write too few, too poor or unhelpful reviews. In our research, we look at the various challenges that the management of online reviews poses for online retailers.

  • Which incentives are suitable for increasing the number, rating and quality of online reviews?
  • How does participation in a product tester programme affect the likelihood of submitting an online review and the quality of the online review?
  • To what extent do the effects of positive online reviews differ for different companies or platforms?
  • What factors influence the perceived intention to manipulate and scepticism towards online reviews?

• Kessing, K.; Garnefeld, I.; Böhm, E. (2023). The dark and bright side of online reviews in manufacturer online shops, EMAC Annual Conference, Odense, Denmark.
• Garnefeld, I.; Krah, T.; Böhm, E.; Gremler, D. D. (2021). Online reviews generated through product testing: Can more favorable reviews be enticed with free products? Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 49 (4), 703-722. [VHB-Jourqual3: A]
• Garnefeld, I.; Krah, T.; Böhm, E.; Gremler, D. D. (2020). Do product testing programs lead to more favorable online reviews?, 2020 Winter AMA Conference Proceedings. [Best Paper Award]

Product Returns - Instruments for reducing product returns in online retail

Online retailers, such as Zalando or AboutYou, are confronted with product returns of up to 60%. From the retailers' point of view, product returns are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, generous regulations can reduce customer uncertainty when buying online and increase the likelihood of purchase and customer satisfaction. On the other hand, product returns cause considerable costs for retailers and the environment, e.g. for shipping, packaging, preparation, etc. Due to the importance of product returns, online retailers are continuously looking for suitable tools to reduce the number of product returns without compromising the customer relationship. As part of our research, we analyse the effectiveness of different instruments for reducing returns in order to provide concrete design tips for online retailers.

  • How do product returns affect customer lifetime value?
  • Which instruments are suitable for reducing product returns without compromising customer satisfaction?
  • Can appeals help to reduce product returns in online retail?
  • Does the return rate differ depending on the payment method used (purchase on account versus direct debit)?

• Garnefeld, I.; Böhm, E.; Feider, L. (2017). Managing the necessary evil: Can payment methods reduce product returns, 2017 Winter AMA Conference Proceedings, Orlando, FL. (ausgezeichnet mit Best Paper Award)
• Garnefeld, I.; Böhm, E.; Feider, L. (2016). Retourenmanagement zur Steigerung des Kundenwerts, in: Günther, B.; Helm, S.; Eggert, A. (Hrsg.) Kundenwert: Grundlagen – Innovative Konzepte – Praktische Umsetzungen, 2. Auflage.
• Feider, L.; Garnefeld, I.; Böhm, E. (2015). Threatening customers not to return – An effective strategy for online retailers? Proceedings of the 44th EMAC Annual Conference, Leuven.
• Garnefeld, I; Münkhoff, E.; Raum, K. (2013). Threat and normative appeals to reduce product returns in online retailing – An effective marketing practice?, Proceedings of the 42nd EMAC Annual Conference, Istanbul.

Suboptimal food - ways to reduce food waste in the retail sector

The disposal of food by retailers and consumers is a far-reaching problem. Globally, up to 931 million tonnes of food is wasted every year - that's almost 17% of the food produced worldwide. This results in the loss of valuable resources, unnecessary emissions and methane release, as well as financial losses for retailers. In particular, sub-optimal perceived food (e.g. food close to its best-before date and "ugly" fruit and vegetables) is one of the main reasons for food waste. As these foods are often perceived as inferior by consumers, retailers fear negative effects for themselves and often do not offer sub-optimal foods in the first place. In news research projects, we are addressing the question of which product and price labelling can improve the perception of sub-optimal food and retailers and thus contribute to the prevention of food waste.

  • What appeals are used to promote sub-optimal food products?
  • What are the positive and negative effects of expiry date pricing (i.e. granting (different) price discounts depending on the expiry date)?
  • Which product and price labelling is suitable for improving product and retailer perception?

• Angenendt, L.; Böhm, E.; Garnefeld, I. (2023). Retail sales promotions for suboptimal food – How to reduce food waste without harming customers’ loyalty? 2023 Macromarketing Conference, Seattle, USA.

Research projects

Here you will find information on our current research projects and a selection of completed projects.

Gefördert durch:

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)


Prof. Dr. Eva Böhm,
Professor Dr. Andreas Eggert (FU Berlin)


Januar 2019 bis März 2022


Derzeit beobachten wir in Industriegüterunternehmen einen zunehmenden Wandel von produktorientierten hin zu wertzentrierten Geschäftsmodellen. Durch das Angebot von umfangreichen Dienstleistungen und Lösungen wollen Industriegüterunternehmen einen zusätzlichen Wertbeitrag für ihre Kunden schaffen, der über das reine Produktangebot hinausgeht. Dabei unterscheiden sich die Unternehmen bei der Umsetzung und dem Ausmaß des strategischen Wandels. Einige Unternehmen bieten bereits umfangreiche Betreibermodelle an und übernehmen  ganze Unternehmensprozesse für ihre Kunden. Andere hingegen beschränken sich auf einen zusätzlichen Wertbeitrag rund um das eigene Produkt und bieten ihren Kunden zusätzliche Dienstleistungen, wie z.B. Fernwartungen, an. Diese Veränderungen der Geschäftsmodelle in den Unternehmen sind oftmals historisch gewachsen. Für eine systematische Planung des strategischen Wandels fehlen den Unternehmen oftmals die nötigen Entscheidungshilfen. Das Ziel des Forschungsprojektes ist es deshalb, den Unternehmen Unterstützung zu liefern bei der Frage, ob, wann und wie ein Wandel hin zu wertzentrierten Geschäftsmodellen sinnvoll ist.

Publications of the Chair

  • Alavi, S.; Böhm, E.; Habel, J.; Wieseke, J.; Schmitz, C.; Brüggemann, F. (2022), The ambivalent role of monetary sales incentives in service innovation selling [Link], Journal of Product Innovation Management, 39 (3), 445-463.
  • Garnefeld, I.; Krah, T.; Böhm, E.; Gremler, D. D. (2021), Online reviews generated through product testing: Can more favourable reviews be enticed with free products? [Link], Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 49 (4), 703-722.
  • Salonen, A.; Terho, H.; Böhm, E.; Virtanen, A.; Rajala, R. (2021), Engaging a product-focused sales force in solution selling: Interplay of individual- and organisational-level conditions [Link], Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 49 (1), 139-163.
  • Garnefeld, I.; Eggert, A.; Husemann-Kopetzky, M.; Böhm, E. (2019), Exploring the link between payment schemes and customer fraud [Link], Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 47 (4), 595-616.
  • Eggert, A.; Hogreve, J.; Ulaga, W.; Münkhoff, E. (2014), Revenue and profit implications of industrial service strategies [Link], Journal of Service Research, 17 (1), 23-39.