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Business professor, alumnus speak at seminar

February 23, 2009, Christi Mathis

${image-alt} John H. Summey speaking

CARBONDALE -- A faculty member and an alumnus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale were the featured speakers at a recent seminar in Dwarka, New Delhi, India.

John H. Summey and Ramenda Thakur spoke at the Apeejay School of Management International Seminar entitled “Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to Relationship Share.” Summey is an associate professor of marketing and distinguished teacher in SIUC’s College of Business. Thakur is an assistant marketing professor at the Moody College of Business Administration at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and a 2005 recipient of a marketing doctorate from SIU.

Well over 100 students, faculty members and industry representatives were on hand to hear Summey and Thakur’s presentation last month. Apeejay offers a Customer Relationship Management master’s degree program and the audience included students and faculty from that program along with advertising, information technology and management department students and faculty. Guests from the pharmaceutical and cellular telephone service industries were in attendance too.

An interactive discussion about CRM kicked off the presentation, followed by a presentation of the results of a research study by Summey and Thakur about how willingness to engage in a relationship with a business is predictive of relationship share. “Moving from Customer Relationship Management to Relationship Share” suggests that when customers form a relationship with a business, they are more likely to give a larger share of their purchasing power to that business from among the many businesses available or even the others they patronize.

“Our study found that a customer’s willingness to form a relationship with a business does relate to and predict the amount of business that customer is willing to give to a specific business,” Summey said.

The final portion of the seminar was a panel discussion featuring Summey and Thakur along with speakers representing the pharmaceutical and cellular telephone industries. Serving as chairman for the five-person panel was Mukesh Chaturvedi, marketing professor at Birla Institute of Management Technology in Greater Noida, India.

“It was a great experience for the two of us,” Summey said. “The students at the school were quite knowledgeable and inquisitive. That led to extensive discussion following each presentation with insightful exchanges of information and comparisons of differences and similarities of business strategies in the two countries -- India and the United States.