Blog: My CTF story - Inger Roos2021-11-02
Inger Roos is a senior associate professor in Marketing and was a researcher at CTF during 2002 - 2016. Here, she shares some memories of her first meeting with CTF and what made her become a researcher.
For many years, CTF has meant a lot to me and for my research on customer relationships stability. I left the CTF community in Karlstad in December 2015, but stayed attached to the research during some time after that.
In 1999, I defended my doctoral thesis at Hanken in Helsinki, Finland. This was also the start of my long relationship with CTF. My opponent was Professor Bo Edvardsson, founder of CTF and today senior professor at CTF. He was an opponent that really knew the area of my research and was dedicated to his supervisor assignments. We often had touch point in our respective research and started to collaborate and co-write articles over a long period.
In 2002, I officially joined CTF and the large research profile “The New Service Economy” that was conducted in collaboration with several business partners and financed by the Knowledge Foundation during 2002 – 2013. The aim of the research profile was to gain a deeper understanding of customer experiences and to build new theory on service research and consumer behaviour.
At the time, both Bosse and I were qualitative researchers together with Associate professor Martin Löfgren, who led the research profile, and today is Head of Karlstad Business School. In our research, a quantitative additional approach was often needed, and to our rescue came Professor Anders Gustafsson, at the time researcher at CTF and today, a professor at BI Norwegian Business School. He represents a quantitative genius in my opinion. Anders and I had thereafter a long relationship with Telia Sweden, that was one of the partners in the research profile, which led to many scientific publications in good journals, for example in Journal of Marketing in 2005.
My interest for customer-relationships stems from a long period as an owner of a supermarket in Jakobstad, Finland. Amongst all kinds perspectives on customer relationships my interest turned gradually more towards the strength of relationships. The first step on that path was what I focused on in my doctoral thesis, to describe the customer relationship as a clear process. In that process the actors have different missions; firstly, they either drive the relationship towards loyalty or disloyalty, or secondly, they communicate the relationships. By describing the actors by their missions the loyalty aspect became the fundamental focus in my research.
Gradually, with help from the research community at CTF and from a long history of empirical studies at Telia Sweden, the process was defined. We saw the clear difference between the loyalty enhancing functions and the communicating functions in customer relationships. Later, I saw the importance for digital translations that was related to loyalty. For many companies it turned out to be an interesting aspect on their customers’ loyalty understanding and consequently a topic to concentrate on. In Finland, I have maintained such studies in companies during ten years in order to help them differentiate between loyalty-enhancing and communicating aspects on their customer relationships.
During my years at CTF, I worked with several researchers and we have co-created new knowledge on customer relationships. The people at CTF who made all the research possible by keeping track of everything, such as dates and practical procedures, and by being generally nice and caring are many. You were inalienable to me, really. We had at my time at CTF many such persons, amongst others I would like to mention Ingrid Hansson, Linda Fridberg, Patrik Larsson, Britt-Marie Shandrew and Carolina Camén. CTF has been a special place for me, and I wish you all good luck in the future and with creating new knowledge on value creation through service!