In 2008 RESER Council conferred the commendation for lifelong achievement and contribution to service-related research to Bo Edvardsson (Sweden) and Sven Illeris (Denmark).
Pofessor Bo Edvardsson obtained his PhD in 1981 in Uppsala. Early on in his research career he developed an interest in company strategy and product development. This interest led him to focus more on the service perspective. He had seen in his early studies that companies tended to see services as an add- on to hardware, even though they acknowledged the importance of various forms of service activities. This notion became the foundation point for a long and distinguished career of service research.
After joining Karlstad University in the early 1980s Professor Edvardsson became the president of the Service Research Center in 1986. At the time research on services was in its starting phase in Sweden and the research center came to establish itself as a major hub for service research under the supervision of Professor Edvardsson. Over the years Professor Edvardsson has developed a deep knowledge of various aspects of the service economy, where the two main areas are product development and service management. Over the years Professor Edvardsson has built an extensive international reputation and has been a visiting professor or research fellow at several distinguished research institutes and universities in the USA, Europe, Asia and Oceania.
He has published extensively in international journals and published several books and reports. Professor Edvardsson is currently the editor of the International Journal of Service Industry Management and serves on the editorial board of Managing Service Quality, International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising and Journal of Service Research. He is also on the organizational committee for the Quality in Services symposium or QUIS, held biannually. In 2004 Professor Edvardsson received the Career Contribution to the Services Discipline Award, presented by the Services Marketing special interest group of the American Marketing Association.
Prof. Sven Illeris devoted the first half of his working life to practical activities in physical planning and regional policy, working primarily at the Danish Ministry of the Environment, but has also been connected with local governments and with the European Commission in Brussels.
He has always been interested in research and - without losing contact with practice - he switched to an academic career in the second half of his working life, becoming professor of geography at Roskilde University, and from 2004 professor emeritus.
His primary research interest was economic geography, in particular the geography of service activities, which has brought him into studies of other aspects of service research, and forces behind the growth of service activities and qualifications in services. Building on the past experience as a planner, he has also done research on regional economic and demographic development, regional policy, urban geography and physical planning.
Prof. Sven Illeris has a wide international orientation. Among other distinctions, he became a member of the selection committee for the Vautrin Lud laureats (the prize being the closest to a geographical Nobel prize). He was ordinary member of the Urban Geography Commission of the International Geographical Union 1984-2000, a chairman/member of several national and international committees and expert adviser to consulting firms.
Prof. Sven Illeris published about 275 books and articles of which a large number can be described as “compulsory reading” for students of service issues. He was a very active member of the RESER and vice Chairman in the period 1994-2001.