Former President

Dr. Ruth N. Bolton

Board Member Since 2012
Ruth Bolton

Ruth N. Bolton is Professor of Marketing at the W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.

She is the recipient of the 2016 American Marketing Association / Irwin / McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award and the 2007 recipient of the Christopher Lovelock Career Contributions to Services Award. Both awards are given to only a select few academics; they recognize sustained and outstanding contributions to the fields of marketing and service science respectively.

She previously served as 2009-11 Executive Director of the Marketing Science Institute. MSI is a nonprofit (501(c)3) organization, founded in 1961 to bring the best of science to the complex world of marketing. Today, MSI is unique as the only research-based organization with an extensive network of marketing academics from the best business schools world-wide, and marketers from 60+ leading global companies. MSI funds academic research and promotes its practical application with the aim of advancing marketing knowledge.

In her research, Dr. Bolton studies how organizations can improve business performance over time by creating, maintaining and enhancing relationships with customers. Her recent research has focused on the customer experience, multi-channel management and high technology, interactive services sold in global business-to-business markets. She previously held academic positions at Vanderbilt University, the University of Oklahoma, Harvard University, University of Maryland, and the University of Alberta. She also spent eight years with Verizon, working on projects in the telecommunications and information services industries. Dr. Bolton’s earlier published articles investigate how organizations’ service and pricing strategies influence customer satisfaction, loyalty and revenues. She has extensive experience with survey research design, as well as the econometric analysis of large-scale, integrative data bases. Her research is typically conducted in partnership with businesses, such as the Marriott Corporation, Hewlett-Packard and Schneider National Inc. She has also participated in executive education programs around the world.

Dr. Bolton has published articles in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Service Research, Management Science, Marketing Science, and other leading journals. She previously served as editor of the Journal of Marketing (2002-2005) and Area Editor of the Journal of Marketing Research (2005-2007), as well as serving on the Editorial Review Boards of other leading marketing journals. She has also served on the Board of Trustees of the Marketing Science Institute and the Board of Directors of the American Marketing Association. She received her B.Comm., with honors, from Queen’s University (Canada), and her M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University.

In 2016, Dr. Bolton’s book, Service Excellence: Creating Customer Experiences that Build Relationships, was published by Business Expert Press. In 2017, her autobiographical reflections were published in the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing. Her career is especially noteworthy for her work at the intersection of marketing science and practice and her role as the first female editor of the Journal of Marketing (the premier marketing journal).

University Affiliation:
Arizona State University
Arizona State University
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Ph.D. (Industrial Administration), Carnegie-Mellon University, 1983.
M.Sc. (Marketing), Carnegie-Mellon University, 1980.
B.Comm. (Honors), Queen’s University, 1978.

Best Article Awards

“How Marketing Actions Affect the Value of Customer Assets,” (with Paul Berger, Douglas Bowman, Elten Briggs, V. Kumar, A. Parasuraman and Creed Terry),  Journal of Service Research, 5, 2002, 39-54. Federal Expresss Excellence in Service Research (JSR Best Article Award, 2002)

“Striking the Right Balance:  Designing Service to Enhance Business-to-Business Relationships” (with Amy K. Smith and Janet Wagner), Journal of Service Research, 2003, 271-291.  [Finalist for Journal of Service Research Excellence in Service Research (best article) Award, 2003].

“An Empirically Derived Taxonomy of Retailer Pricing and Promotion Strategies,” (with Venkatesh Shankar), Journal of Retailing, 79 (4), 2003, 213-224. Finalist for the Davidson Award for the Best article in Journal of Retailing 2003, Volume 79.

“Forward-Looking Focus:  Can Firms Have Adaptive Foresight?” (with Valarie Zeithaml, John Deighton, Timothy Keiningham, Katherine N. Lemon, Andrew Peterson), Journal of Service Research, 9 (2), 2006, pp. 168-183. [Finalist for Journal of Service Research Excellence in Service Research (best article) Award, 2007].

“Balancing Risk and Return in a Customer Portfolio,” [with Crina O. Tarasi,Michael D. Hutt, & Beth A. Walker], Journal of Marketing, 75 (3), 2011, 1-17.   Harold H. Maynard Award 2011.

“Why Attachment Security Matters: How Customers’ Attachment Styles Influence Their Relationships with Service Firms and Service Employees” [with Martin Mende], Journal of Service Research, 14 (3), 2011, 285-301.  Finalist for JSR Best Paper Award.

“Relationship Characteristics and Cash Flow Variability: Implications for Satisfaction, Loyalty, and Customer Portfolio Management” [with Crina O. Tarasi, Anders Gustafsson and Beth Walker], Journal of Service Research, 16 (2), 2013, 121-37. JSR Best Article Award 2013.

“Understanding Gen Y and Their Use of Social Media:  A Review and Research Agenda,” [with A. Parasuraman, Ankie Hoefnagels, Nanne Migchels, Sertan Kabadayi, Thorsten Gruber, Yuliya Komarova Loureiro, David Solnet], Journal of Service Management, 24 (3), 2013, 245 – 267. [Finalist / “Highly Commended” for the JOSM 2013 Robert Johnston Award.  From ISI Web of Science: “As of  November / December   2014 , this paper received enough citations to place it in the top 1% of the academic field of Economics & Business based on a highly cited threshold for the field and publication year.”]

Book Chapters

“The Evolution of Conceptual Work on Customer Engagement,” by Ruth N. Bolton, in Customer Engagement, Linda Hollebeek and David Sprott, eds. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2019.

“How Papers Get Better Before They Get Published,” by Ruth N. Bolton, in How to Get Published in the Best Marketing Journals, Edited by David W. Stewart and Daniel Ladik, Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019.

Official Online eBook Version

Service Timing: Designing and Executing Service in a Dynamic Environment,” by Ruth N. Bolton. Chapter 5 in the Handbook of Service Science, Volume 2, Edited by Maglio, P. P., Kieliszewski, C. A., Spohrer, J. C., Lyons, K., Patricio, L. & Sawatani, Y. (Eds.)., New York: Springer 2019, p. 13-33.

2018 Routledge/Taylor & Francis Society for Marketing Advances (SMA) Distinguished Scholar

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