Professor Professor Sabine Benoit

Professor of Marketing



In February 2016 Professor Sabine Benoit (nee Moeller) joined the University of Surrey as a Professor of Marketing. She is a member of the Department of Retail and Marketing at Surrey Business School.

Her main research fields are Service- and Retail-Marketing. Her work has been published in leading international Journals e.g. the Journal of Service Research, Journal of Operations Management and Psychology & Marketing. She is on the Editorial Board of Journal of Service Research (JSR), Journal of Service Management (JoSM), Journal of Services Marketing (JSM), Journal of Service Theory and Practice (JSTP) and Journal of Business Research (JBR). From JoSM she received the best reviewer award in 2013. She has taught and teaches courses in Marketing, Services & Retail Marketing and Research Methods on Bachelor, Master, MBA and Ph.D. Level.

From 2013 to 2016 Sabine was Professor of Marketing at Roehampton Business School, Roehampton University, London, UK. She became Director of Research at Roehampton Business School in 2014. Before and starting in 2008 she was holder of the Lekkerland Endowed Chair for Convenience & Marketing at the EBS Business School, Wiesbaden, Germany. At EBS she was manager of the Competence Center for Convenience, Academic Director of the EBS Summer Schools and Chairmen of the doctoral committee. From 2003 to 2008 Sabine Benoit was Assistant Professor at the Chair of Marketing and Commerce at the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany, where she finished her Habilitation (post-doctoral degree) in 2008. Before this she was research assistant and doctoral candidate at the Douglas Endowed Chair of Service Management at the University of Hagen, Germany. She earned her doctoral degree in February 2004.

Research interests

  • Service Marketing, in particular
    • customer participation
    • access based services
  • Sustainability
    • Customer perception
    • Supply chain liability
  • Food consumption
    • on-the-go consumption
    • health orientation

Research collaborations


Marketing in the Full time and Executive MBA

Departmental duties

Business and Engagement Officer of the Department of Marketing and Retailing

My publications


Huneke T, Benoit S, Shams P, Gustafsson A (2015) Does Service Employees? Appearance Affect the Healthiness of Food Choice, Psychology and Marketing 32 (1) pp. 96-106 Wiley
Derived from previous research on social influence on food consumption and social comparison theory, this article examines the effect of service employees? appearance on consumers? food choice using an experimental study, involving a video manipulation and eye-tracking technique. The video shows a menu being proffered by a waitress whose degree of apparent healthiness varies (healthy, overweight, unhealthy lifestyle). The menu contains both healthy and unhealthy meal alternatives. The analysis of participants? eye movements demonstrated that exposure to the overweight employee did not stimulate greater (i.e., earlier or longer) attention to unhealthy meal alternatives, whereas exposure to the employee who displayed an unhealthy lifestyle did. These findings have social and managerial implications: The postulated stigma according to which the presence of overweight others encourages unhealthy eating appears questionable. Service providers that might secretly hire according to body weight have no grounds to do so. In contrast, employees signaling an unhealthy lifestyle through their style choices prompt patrons to pay more attention to unhealthy meal alternatives. Food service providers might want to take this factor into consideration and actively manage the aspects that can be altered by simple measures.
Wagner J, Benoit S (2015) Creating Value in Retail Buyer-Vendor Relationships: A Service-Centered Model, Industrial Marketing Management 44 (1) pp. 166-179 Elsevier
We present a ?service-centered? model of retail buyer?vendor relationships, in which retail buyers? perceptions of a vendor?s economic and social resources affect their assessments of relationship value and relationship outcomes. Economic resources offered at the organizational level of the vendor include brand equity and customer support activities (e.g., merchandising support and margin maintenance). Social resources offered at the individual level of the salesperson include special treatment and customer advocacy. Relationship outcomes include the buyer? intention to grow the business, and in the event of business termination, maintain the interpersonal relationship with the sales representative. Survey data from 532 retail buyers were collected and analyzed using structural equation modeling. The results show that relationship value mediates the effects of economic and social resources on relationship outcomes. However, the process by which this occurs varies.
Moeller S, Ciuchita R, Mahr D, Oderkerken-Schroeder G, Fassnacht M (2013) Uncovering Collaborative Value Creation Patterns and establishing corresponding Customer Roles, Journal of Service Research 16 (4) pp. 471-487 SAGE
Research on value creation traditionally has focused on value created by the company, though customers increasingly serve as active partners, able to create value with firms in a collaborative manner. Despite interest by both scholars and managers, existing research has not yet clarified the interdependencies of service offerings and customer role patterns. This article explores value creation rooted in three generic offerings (configuration, solution, and network) and identifies differences in their prerequisites, customer activities, challenges, abilities, ability enhancers, and perceived benefits that arise in collaborative value creation (CVC). Data from 105 collaborations, collected through in-depth interviews, support the qualitative and quantitative analyses that reveal distinct patterns in customers? value creation for each service offering. A categorical principal components analysis, combined with cluster analysis, identifies five customer roles: bargain-hunting independent, comprehensive help seeker, engaged problem solver, technology-savvy networker, and self-reliant customizer. Our theoretical contribution includes the identification of customer roles across generic offerings and empirical evidence that customers perform multiple roles when engaging in CVC processes. Our findings provide managers engaged in CVC with recommendations on criteria for segmenting customer groups, on the role of the service provider in various value creation processes, and on tailored communication strategies to attract customers.
Benoit S, Schaefers T, Heider R (2016) Understanding on-the-go consumption: Identifying and quantifying its determinants, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 31 pp. 32-42 Elsevier
Although the amount of food and beverages consumed on-the-go has been increasing, existing research has not sufficiently examined this behavior. This study uses a mixed methods design with a qualitative study to identify four determinants of on-the-go consumption: time pressure, price consciousness, health orientation, and enjoyment. Combining the qualitative results with Behavioral Decision Theory, eight hypotheses are derived about the influence of the four determinants as well as their interrelations. Hypotheses testing and predictive validity assessment are based on two large-scale consumer samples, one main study and one validation study. The results confirm a significant influence of utilitarian de- terminants (time pressure and price consciousness), though they are less important than the hedonic determinant. Implications for retail managers are presented, as these results challenge conventional practices. Moreover, existing theory is extended beyond a distinction between utilitarian and hedonic motives by regarding health orientation as a hybrid determinant of on-the-go consumption.
Hartmann J, Benoit S (2014) Clan Liability in Multi-Tier Supply Chains? Responsibility Attributions for Unsustainable Supplier Behaviour, Journal of Operations Management 32 (5) pp. 281-294 Elsevier
When it becomes publicly known that products are associated with suppliers that engage in unsustainable behaviors, consumers protest, as Nestlé, Zara, and Kimberly Clark, among others, have learned. The phenomenon by which consumers hold firms responsible for the unsustainable behavior of their upstream partners suggests the notion of ?chain liability.? This study aims to generate insights into the antecedents and consequences of such consumer responsibility attributions. Using data from four vignette-based survey experiments, the authors find that the chain liability effect increases if an environmental degradation incident (1) results from supplier behavior rather than force majeure, (2) results from a company decision rather than the decision of an individual employee, and (3) is more severe. Responsibility attributions do not differ with varying organizational distance from the supplier, firm size, strategic importance of the supplied product, or the existence of environmental management systems. The chain liability effect also creates strong risks for the focal firm; higher responsibility attributions increase consumers? anger and propensity to boycott. Therefore, firms should work to ensure sustainable behavior throughout the supply chain, to protect them from chain liability.
Schaefers T, Wittkowski K, Benoit S, Ferraro R (2016) Contagious Effects of Customer Misbehavior in Access-Based Services, Journal of Service Research 19 (1) 1 pp. 3-21 SAGE Journals
Customer misbehavior in service settings is problematic for two reasons: (1) because of the direct damage it causes and (2) because of additional negative effects that arise from the contagion of such misbehavior. The authors extend existing theory of customer misbehavior by studying its contagious effect. The investigation focuses on access-based services, defined as transactions in which multiple consumers successively gain temporal, short-term access to a good, while legal ownership remains with the service provider (e.g., car sharing and fashion rentals). Due to the nature of these services, they are especially prone to indirect customer misbehaviour, which is directed at the accessed product and occurs in the absence of others. Two online experiments provide the first empirical evidence for a contagiousness of misbehavior and reveal that this effect is driven by customers? perceptions of the social norms among the customer group. Moreover, they indicate that greater strength of the accessed product?s brand as well as lower anonymity of the accessed product?s owner attenuate contagion. A field experiment shows that an increase in the communal identification among access-based service customers reverses the contagious effect, with customers more likely to remove signs of previous users? misbehavior. The results suggest that access-based service providers should address customer misbehavior by (a) investing in the products they offer access to, (b) establishing more personal relationships with customers, and, foremost, (c) increasing communal identification among customers.
Wittkowski K, Moeller S, Wirtz J (2013) Understanding Firms? Intentions to Use Non-ownership Services, Journal of Service Research 16 (2) pp. 171-185 SAGE
In this study, we investigate why companies intend to use nonownership services by conducting qualitative interviews with 10 experts to develop our hypotheses, then using a survey to test them. Our findings show that, as hypothesized, firms? intentions to use nonownership services are affected by both financial (i.e., tax efficiency and cash and liquid asset management) and non financial (i.e., control over assets and access to the latest technology and tools) factors, with access to the latest technology and tools being the most important driver. Furthermore, we show that the effect that the desire to gain access to the latest technology and tools has on intentions to use nonownership services is enhanced (i.e., moderated) when firms wish to reduce the risk of obsolescence. The hypothesized moderation effect of firm size on the importance of cash and liquid asset management is marginally
significant. These findings are an important contribution to the literature, as previous studies have almost exclusively focused on the financial drivers of nonownership service use.
Benoit S, Klose S, Ettinger A (2017) Linking service convenience to satisfaction: Dimensions and key moderators, Journal of Services Marketing 31 (6) pp. 527-538 Emerald
Purpose: Demand for service convenience, defined as a consumer?s perception of minimized
time and effort spent to obtain a service, has increased in conjunction with certain sociocultural
and demographic changes. Prior research notes the significance of service convenience, but the
importance of different dimensions of service convenience as well as the role of key moderators
affecting the link between convenience and satisfaction (like customer psychographic and
sociodemographic characteristics) remain unaddressed.
Design/methodology/approach: Two models are developed and tested: 1) a multidimensional
model of service convenience with a formative measure of five service convenience dimensions:
decision, access, search, transaction, and after-sales convenience; and 2) a moderator model
hypothesizing different customer psychographic and sociodemographic characteristics (time
pressure, shopping enjoyment, age, household size, income) that affect the link between service
convenience and satisfaction.
Findings: This study reveals that search convenience, followed by transaction and decision
convenience, exerts the greatest influence on the perception of overall service convenience. In
addition, those who value service convenience most are high-income, time-pressed consumers in
smaller households who experience low shopping enjoyment.
Originality/value: Providers have limited budgets for enhancing their services. Thus it is
important to identify which dimension has the greatest influence on the perception of service
convenience as well as the customer segments for which service convenience is most critical.
Benoit S, Baker T, Bolton R, Gruber T, Kandampully J (2017) A triadic framework for collaborative consumption (CC): Motives, activities
and resources & capabilities of actors,
Journal of Business Research 79 pp. 219-227 Elsevier
Collaborative consumption (CC) is an increasingly prevalent form of exchange. CC occurs within a triangle of
actors: a platform provider (e.g., Uber), a peer service provider (e.g., an Uber driver) and a customer. The
platform provider's main role is matchmaking, so that a customer can access assets of a peer service provider.
This paper has three objectives. First, this article identifies three criteria to delineate CC from related constructs
such as access-based consumption, sharing or renting. Second, it introduces a literature-based framework
explicating the roles of the actors in the CC triangle along three dimensions: motives, activities and resources and
capabilities. Third, it highlights areas for further research, such as the dynamics of CC, context-dependent
motives and the emergence of professional (peer) service providers.
Benoit S, Scherschel K, Ates Z, Nasr L, Kandampully J (2017) Showcasing the diversity of service research: theories, methods and success of service articles., Journal of Service Management 28 (5) pp. 810-836 Emerald
Purpose of the paper:

This study aims to make two main contributions: (1) showcase
the diversity of service research in terms of the variety of used theories and methods
and (2) explain (post publication) success of articles operationalized as interest in an
article (downloads), usage (citations), and awards (best paper nomination). From
there, three sub-contributions are derived: (1) stimulate a dialogue about existing
norms and practices in the service field, (2) enable and encourage openness amongst
service scholars, and (3) motivate scholars to join the field.


A mixed method approach is used in combining quantitative and qualitative
research methods while analyzing 158 Journal of Service Management articles on
several criteria such as their theory, methodology, and main descriptive elements
(e.g., number of authors or references) and then using automated text analysis (e.g.
investigating the readability of articles, etc.).


The results show that the Journal of Service Management publishes a large
variety of articles with regards to theories, methods of data collection, and types of
data analysis. For example, JOSM has published a mixture of qualitative and
quantitative articles and papers containing firm-level and customer-level data.
Further, the results show that even though conceptual articles create the same amount
of interest (downloads), they are used more (citations).


This article presents many descriptive results which do not allow for
making inferences toward the entire service research discipline. Further, it is only
based on one service research journal (Journal of Service Management) through a 5
year span of publication.


The results have a number of implications for the discipline that are
presented and discussed. Amongst them are that: (1) the discipline should be more
open towards conceptual articles, (2) service research shows an imbalance towards
theory testing, (3) there is more potential to work with transactional data, and (4)
writing style should be more accessible (i.e. readable).
Originality: This article is the first to conduct an in-depth analysis of service research
articles to stimulate dialogue about common publishing practices in the Journal of
Service Management and to increase the openness of the field.

Keiningham T, Ball J, Benoit S, Bruce H, Buoye A, Dzenkovska J, Nasr L, Our Y, Zaki M (2017) The Interplay of Customer Experience and Commitment, Journal of Services Marketing 31 (2) Emerald

This research aims to better understand customer experience, as it relates to customer commitment and provides a framework for future research into the intersection of these emerging streams of research.


This research contributes to theoretical and practical perspectives on customer experience and its measurement by integrating extant literature with customer commitment and customer satisfaction literature.


The breadth of the domains that encompass customer experience ? cognitive, emotional, physical, sensorial and social ? makes simplistic metrics impossible for gauging the entirety of customers? experiences. These findings provide strong support of the need for new research into customer experience and customer commitment.

Practical implications

Given the complexity of customer experience, managers are unlikely to track and manage all relevant elements of the concept. This research provides a framework identifying empirically the most salient attributes of customer experience with particular emphasis on those elements that enhance commitment. This offers insight into service design to correspond with specific commitment and experience dimensions.


This research is the first to examine the customer experience as it relates to customer commitment ? a key factor in customer loyalty, positive word of mouth and other desired outcomes for managers and marketers. This paper provides a framework for future research into these emerging topics.

Fehrer Julia A., Benoit Sabine, Aksoy Lerzan, Baker Thomas L., Bell Simon J., Brodie Roderick J., Marimuthu Malliga (2018) Future Scenarios of the Collaborative Economy: Centrally Orchestrated, Social Bubbles or Decentralized Autonomous?, Journal of Service Management 29 (5) pp. 859-882 Emerald


The collaborative economy (CE), and within it, collaborative consumption (CC) has
become a central element of the global economy and has substantially disrupted service markets
(e.g., accommodation and individual transportation). The purpose of this paper is to explore the
trends and develop future scenarios for market structures in the CE. This allows service providers
and public policy makers to better prepare for potential future disruption.


Thought experiments ? theoretically grounded in Population
Ecology (PE) ? are used to extrapolate future scenarios beyond the boundaries of existing


The patterns suggested by population ecology forecast developmental trajectories of CE
leading to one of the following three future scenarios of market structures: the centrally
orchestrated CE, the social bubbles CE and the decentralized autonomous CE.

Research limitations

The purpose of this research was to create CE future scenarios in 2050 to
stretch one?s consideration of possible futures. What unfolds in the next decade and beyond could
be similar, a variation of, or entirely different than those described.

Social implications

Public policy makers need to consider how regulations ? often designed for a
time when existing technologies were inconceivable ? can remain relevant for the developing
collaborative economy. This research reveals challenges including distribution of power, insularity
and social compensation mechanisms that need consideration across states and national borders.


This research tests the robustness of assumptions used today for significant, plausible
market changes in the future. It provides considerable value in exploring challenges for public
policy given the broad societal, economic, and political implications of the present market

Benoit Sabine, Hogreve Jens, Sichtmann Christina, Bilstein Nicola (2019) Professionalism Kills the Trading Star: Explaining Member Participation in Trading Communities, SMR ? Journal of Service Management Research Verlag C.H.Beck,
Trading communities provide non-commercial members with an online platform on which
to exchange goods. Its success depends on member participation; however, little is known about
its drivers. Based on literature we identify five drivers. To capture their impact over time, we test
a latent growth curve model with longitudinal data, comparing the effects at an initial point of
time with their impact on the growth of member participation over three subsequent periods. The
results show that providers? responsiveness and community identification have a positive effect
on the initial level, but not on growth. Members? enjoyment has no level effect, but a growth
effect. Only role clarity has an impact on level and growth. Interestingly, co-members?
cooperation weakens member participation, which leads us to conclude that too much
cooperation - which appears as professionalism in a trading community - ?kills? member
participation. We conclude with theoretical and managerial implications.
Benoit Sabine, Evanschitzky Heiner, Teller Christoph (2019) Retail format selection in on-the-go shopping situations, Journal of Business Research 100 pp. 268-278 Elsevier
Consumers patronize different store formats to purchase products. Prior literature describes store
and format choices for big, multi-item shopping baskets, but limited insights determine consumers?
unique shopping routines when they seek to buy just one or a few items while on the go.
Such shopping situations might affect consumers? format selections for both search and experience
goods. This study uses multi-attribute utility theory to develop a framework, tested with a
scenario-based experiment. For search goods, a format?s economic utility (price level, speed) is
more important; its functional utility (quality, variety) and psychological utility (atmosphere, service)
become less important considerations. Furthermore, the tolerable range of formats is larger
for search goods. The level of on-the-go purchase and consumption frequency moderates these
effects. Therefore, this research helps to clarify what drives consumers? format selections in on-the-go shopping situations, with useful managerial insights for how retailers can compete in the
growing on-the-go market.
Fombelle Paul W., Voorhees Clay M., Jenkins Mason R., Sidaoui Karim, Benoit Sabine, Gruber Thorsten, Gustafsson Anders, Abosag Ibrahim (2019) Customer Deviance A Framework, Prevention Strategies, and Opportunities for Future Research, Journal of Business Research Elsevier
The phrase the ?customer is always right? assumes that customers provide universal benefits for
firms. However, in recent years, customer deviance is on the rise and the academic literature has
provided little insight into the drivers of deviance, the actual behaviors, and strategies for how
managers can better manage a customer base that cannot be classified as universally benign. This
article addresses customer deviance ranging from classic examples like shoplifting to engaging
in hostile to anti-brand behaviors on social media or even breaking established norms such as
trespassing in stores after closing hours. In an effort to spur new research into customer
deviance, we propose a customer deviance framework encompassing the triggers, behaviors, and
consequences of customer deviance with attention given to differentiating firms, employees, and
other customers as the possible targets of deviant behaviors. We outline prevention strategies that
comprise social, design, and technological-oriented factors, which in turn can help firms better
manage deviant behavior. In doing so, we identify gaps in the literature and close with an
actionable agenda for future research that can help firms curtail these negative customer