Towards a dissertation

Dissertation ProposalAfter researching water utility marketing for almost four years, I am now ready to start writing a dissertation on the subject.

I have submitted a formal dissertation proposal and commenced writing 80,000 words on my views of managing a customer focused water utility.

Click on the book to read the dissertation proposal (ten to twenty minutes reading time). This proposal deviates from the dissertation structure typical in business studies, which I hope will help to provide an innovative perspective on this industry.


The primary purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to the discussion on using private sector marketing concepts in managing public services, such as urban water utilities.

The managerial aim of this dissertation is to enhance the current discourse on customer-centric service provision reticulated water by developing marketing theory peculiar to this sector to assist managers with maximising customer value. This objective is realised through commercialisation of the outcomes of this research.

From an academic perspective, this dissertation seeks to enhance understanding of how market orientation relates to service quality in ‘service factories’, with particular reference to the role of engineers in technologically driven services. Service factories are services that require a low intensity of labour, rely on the incidental interaction between customers and the service provider and they only allow for a low level of customisation. Furthermore, this dissertation seeks to address a gap in knowledge regarding the measurement of quality in services dominated by tangible elements. Lastly, this dissertation assesses the influence of consumer involvement on perceptions of quality held by water utility customers.

2 thoughts on “Towards a dissertation

  1. Peter – are you familiar with WaterSmart Software? I’d be happy to talk with you about our utility customer engagement approach if you’re interested. We use behavioral science and normative comparisons to drive improvements in water-use efficiency and customer engagement levels and satisfaction have been proven to increase dramatically. Providing customers with money saving recommendations tailored to their household profile changes the dynamic in the relationship between utility and rate payer.

    • Hi Jeff,

      That sounds very interesting. The purpose of my dissertation is to develop a theoretical model to underpin these relationships. There is little interest in utilities in marketing and vice versa marketing scholars think there is no need to research an essential utility.

      Love to catch up and discuss this further.


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