Ruth Bolton

TEMPE Campus


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 marketing academics; they recognize distinguished service and sustained outstanding contributions to the field of marketing. 

She currently serves as President of the Sheth Foundation and on the Working Board of Responsible Research in Business and Management. She previously served as 2009-11 Executive Director of the Marketing Science Institute. 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 currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Sheth Foundation as Vice-President. She received her B.Comm., with honors, from Queen's University (Canada), and her M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University.


  • Ph.D. Industrial Administration, Carnegie-Mellon University 1983
  • M.Sc. Marketing, Carnegie-Mellon University 1980
  • B.Comm. (Honors), Queen's University, Canada 1978


Research Interests

Marketing, Services, Customer Relationship Management, Marketing Models, Pricing, Customer Experience


Representative Publications

  • "A Dynamic Model of the Duration of the Customer's Relationship with a Continuous Service Provider: The Role of Satisfaction." Marketing Science, 17 (1), 45-65, 1998. In Summer 2005, the Editor reported that this article had the largest number of total cites of all articles published in Marketing Science in the previous 10 years.
  • "A Dynamic Model of Customers' Usage of Services: Usage as an Antecedent and Consequence of Satisfaction," with Katherine N. Lemon; Journal of Marketing Research, 36 (2), 171-86, 1999.
  • "A Model of Customer Satisfaction With Service Encounters Involving Failure and Recovery," with Amy K. Smith and Janet Wagner, Journal of Marketing Research, 36 (3), 356-72, 1999.
  • "Price-Based Global Market Segmentation for Services," with Matthew B. Myers, Journal of Marketing, 67 (3), 108-128, 2003. Reprinted in International Marketing, Stanley J. Paliwoda and John K. Ryans, Jr., (eds.) Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, Cheltenham, United Kingdom.
  • "An Empirical Analysis of Determinants of Retailer Pricing Strategy," with Venkatesh Shankar, Marketing Science, 23 (1), 28-49, 2004.
  • "The Effect of Service Experiences over Time on a Supplier's Retention of Business Customers," with Katherine N. Lemon and Matthew D. Bramlett, Management Science, 52 (12), 1811-1823, 2006. (Lead article).
  • "Expanding Business-to-Business Customer Relationships: Modeling the Customer's Upgrade Decision." with Katherine N. Lemon and Peter C. Verhoef, Journal of Marketing, 72 (1), 2008, 46-64.
  • "Interactive services: A framework, synthesis and research direction," with Shruti Saxena Iyer, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 23 (1), 2009, 91-104. 
  • "Balancing Risk and Return in a Customer Portfolio: A Reply," with Crina O. Tarasi, Michael D. Hutt, and Beth A. Walker, Journal of Marketing, 75 (3), 2011, 18-26.
  • "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.


Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
MKT 520Innovating Through Services
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
MKT 520Innovating Through Services
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
MKT 520Innovating Through Services
MKT 791Seminar
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
MKT 520Innovating Through Services
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
MKT 520Innovating Through Services


  • 2016 American Marketing Association / Irwin-McGraw Hill  Distinguished Marketing Educators Award
  • 2007 American Marketing Association SERVSIG Career Contributions in Service Award

Professional Associations

  • American Marketing Association Board of Directors, 2009-11
  • Executive Director, Marketing Science Institute, Board of Trustees, Sheth Foundation

Work History

Arizona State University: 2004-present. Previous appointments: Professor of Marketing, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, 2002-2004; Ruby K. Powell Professor of Marketing, Michael F. Price College of Business, University of Oklahoma, 1999-2001; Associate Professor, The Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland; 1995-1999. Visiting appointments: Thomas Henry Carroll Ford Foundation Visiting Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, 1998-1999. GTE Laboratories Incorporated (now Verizon), 1987-1995