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UJ marketing expert explores consumer relationship management Professorial Inaugural address: Prof Mornay Roberts-Lombard

Mornay Roberts-Lombard, a Professor and the Deputy Head of the Department of Marketing Management at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), will deliver his inaugural address with the theme, A Theoretical Conceptualisation of Trust and Commitment as Two Pillar Antecedents for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), in the the Council Chambers, Madibeng Building, Auckland Park Kingsway Campus on Tuesday, 28 October 2014 at 18:00.​​

​Prof Roberts-Lombard holds a PhD degree in Business Management (with specialisation in Marketing Management) from the North-West University. He started in the economic planning division of SANLAB consulting as a junior economist before moving into the academic sphere.

Prof Roberts-Lombard has been in academia for 22 years and started his career as a junior economist at the South African Land and Agricultural Bank, Pretoria in 1991. After a year in Pretoria he moved to Port Elizabeth to start his academic career in the field of Marketing Management. In 1993, he took up a position as Senior Lecturer at Boland College a Senior Lecturer at Boland College. There the academic path towards his PhD started, and ended in 2006.​

​Prof Roberts-Lombard joined the Department of Marketing Management at UJ in 2007. He is currently the Deputy HOD and the programme manager for Master’s and Doctoral studies in the Department.

He lectures Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for the BCom (Honours) students, and Customer Management to the MCom degree students in the Department. He specialises in Relationship Marketing and Services Marketing and has published 55 articles in refereed journals, delivered 75 conference papers at both local and international conferences, published 14 articles in industry journals and has been nominated for and won four academic paper awards at international conferences. He is the Editor and Associate Editor of 5 international and local journals, and has contributed to 15 academic books over the past 7 years. He has successfully delivered 4 Doctoral students and 13 Master’s degree students, and is currently supervising 8 students at both Masters and Doctoral level.

Prof Roberts-Lombard was invited in 2010 as a visiting lecturer to the Brunel University in Uxbridge, London where he presented seminars on the integration of Marketing and Design to undergraduate students in the School of Design and Engineering. He is currently a visiting Professor to the Australian Institute of Higher Education in Sydney, Australia, a visiting scholar to the University of Nottingham Trend in the United Kingdom, and an external moderator to five South African universities and two international universities.

Prof Roberts-Lombard evaluates articles on a regular basis for journals such as the European Business Review, Journal of Contemporary Management, South African Business Review, Acta Commercii, International Journal of Business and Economics, and the Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences. He is a popular speaker at South African industry conferences and has also participated at Services Marketing conferences hosted in South Africa and Zimbabwe. He served on the Academic Board of the International Colleges Group (ICG) from 1995-2013 and currently serves on the Management Committee for the Global Business and Technology Association (GBATA), the International Business Conference (IBC) and the education board for the Marketing Association of South Africa (MASA)

Abstract of the inaugural address by Prof Roberts-Lombard

The development of trust is considered an important result of investing in a dyadic and affective relationship between the parties in the relationship. Increased trust is cited as critical for relationship success between the customer and the business (Kumar, Mani, Mahalingam & Vanjikovan, 2010). A customer will desire a relationship with a specific business if he finds the benefits received to exceed the effort in obtaining benefits. From this it is evident that both parties in the relationship have certain costs or effort, but also expected benefits (Rootman, 2006). The benefits sought through the relationship by customers are satisfaction, value and quality, while the business ultimately endeavours to create long-term loyalty and profitabilty (Wetsch, 2005:38). Trust refers to the confidence in the dependability of one party to act in the long-term interest of the other party. A party to a relationship has trust, if the feeling that the other party can be depended on, exists (Nyadzayo, 2010). Customers are loyal when they have consistently been satisfied, and are then passionately loyal about doing business with sellers who can always be trusted. This high-trust relationship requires going further than the realm of a customer transient and transaction-based feeling of delight, and is regarded as total trust (Clancy, 2010). Trust exists when one party has confidence in an exchange partner’s reliability and integrity. Relationships characterised by trust are so highly valued that parties will desire to commit themselves to such relationships (Ibrahim & Najjar, 2008). The following guidelines are proposed for winning the trust of customers, namely secure the confidence of customers, enhance trust in the product quality or service quality of the offering, customers must perceive the service provider as reliable, there must be channels to secure two-way communication, constant provision of high quality service delivery is required, an affiliation with a professional body or Association is recommended, a supplier must do continuous market research on the needs and preferences of their customers, there must be a continuous effort by the supplier to honour commitments made to customers, promises made to customers must be honoured, and the employees of the supplier must act in a professional manner at all times (Roberts-Lombard, van Tonder, Pelser & Prinsloo, 2014). Therefore, considering the argument provided above, it can be stated that trust has been recognised as an important factor in affecting relationship commitment.

Read full address here ​​

Prof Roberts Lombard
Professor and the Deputy Head of the
​Department of Marketing Management:​​
​Mornay Roberts-Lombard
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