I have had 14 year academic career at Sheffield Business school where I held the post of Marketing Subject Lead until leaving full time academic work in Summer 2017. I continue to work with academic colleagues at the school and other European institutions including IESEG Management School in Paris, France and combine this with commercial work in marketing capability acceleration and value proposition activation. I was a recipient of an Inspirational Teacher of the Year award in 2012 voted by students. I am co-author of the recently published book ‘Value-ology: Aligning sales and marketing to shape and deliver profitable customer value propositions’.

Prior to pursuing my academic career I had 17 years commercial experience including private sector board level roles in the leisure and pay to play electronic games and gambling sector. I have hands on experience in company turn-rounds,  I been a share holding director in a multi -million-pound management buyout and I have had experience of trade sale and pre-flotation exercises. My operational responsibilities and experience spanned strategic and organisational management, key account management, brand and value proposition management, market, customer and consumer insight and research, intellectual property and licensing, organisational learning, leading product and service innovation and development and creativity with multi-disciplinary teams of software engineers, production engineers, sales, marketing and finance executives.

I specialise in business to business marketing management and strategy which is supported by a solid general understanding of consumer behaviour, communications and cognitive and social psychology. I continues to undertake academic research where I am especially interested in the ways experienced sales and marketing professionals generate and propose value to their customers. I am deeply interested in the idea of ‘marketing as practice’.  I contribute to the academic field of value orientated selling and the theorising of service dominant logic together with the network perspective of the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing Group of international academics. I presently research the ways in which customer value is generated through social interaction with suppliers, especially how sales and marketing professionals use their faculty of imagination to bring the invisible layers of service and relationship value to life, how they ensure their value propositions are customer relevant and how they navigate the unique and dynamic social contexts of business to business buying situations.

My doctoral thesis is titled;  Proposing Business to Business Customer Value: Towards understanding the value proposing actor. This research explored the value generating capabilities of experienced key account managers. Through the perspective of what I termed ‘the value proposing professional’ my research gave an explanation for how dialogic communication, vision and social performance are used to generate value.


 Johnston P, Kelly S, Nicholson J (2016) Proposing business to business customer value: Towards a conceptualisation of the value proposing actor. Conference Paper. IMP Conference Poznan Poland.

Johnston, P. (2016), ‘KAM – The Art of Performance‘, International Journal of Sales Transformation

Kelly S, Johnston P, Danheiser S (2017) Value-Ology: Aligning Sales and Marketing to Shape and Deliver Profitable Customer Value Propositions. Palgrave Macmillan



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