Johannes Habel

Associate Professor and Program Director, ESMT Berlin at ESMT



Johannes Habel is an associate professor at ESMT Berlin. In his research and teaching, he focuses on sales and marketing strategies of so-called Hidden Champions, that is, highly successful SMEs with a low level of public awareness. Specifically, Johannes has cooperated with Hidden Champions in industries such as machine-building, automotive, construction, power tools, imaging, hygiene, apparel, and retailing. In addition, he has cooperated with Fortune 500 players in the automotive, telecommunications, airline, insurance, and steel industries.

Johannes' research has been published in some of the world's most renowned academic management journals, such as the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and the International Journal of Research in Marketing. Furthermore, Johannes has published case studies with Harvard Business Publishing and The Case Centre as well as managerial articles with journals such as Harvard Business Manager and European Business Review. He has taught executive and degree courses at Darden School of Business, Saint Paul Business School, Imperial College, ESCP Europe, HEC Lausanne, Addis Ababa University, Mannheim University, and Bochum University.

Before joining ESMT Berlin, Johannes worked as a strategy consultant for Booz & Company (today Strategy&) and as a radio journalist for several years. Johannes studied business administration at Mannheim University and completed his doctorate in sales management at Bochum University. He also graduated from Harvard Business School’s Global Colloquium on Participant-Centered Learning.


  • Dr. rer. oec. (Ruhr University of Bochum)
  • Dipl.-Kfm (University of Mannheim)


Sales management, personal selling, marketing, strategy


Sales management, marketing management, strategic management, empirical research methods



Brand strategy, consumer behavior, customer loyalty, customer orientation, customer relationship management, customer retention, management consulting, management education, managerial incentives, marketing, marketing (industrial markets), marketing communication, marketing research, negotiation, professional services, retail sector, sales force management (in industrial markets), strategic marketing, technology-based industries (B2B markets)


German, English

In the news

Luxus zu verkaufen! 05/02/17, Springer Professional

"Tudo o que pode ser digitalizado será digitalizado" 02/09/17, Propmark

Evento trata da eficência das empresas alemãs 02/01/17, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços

Estudos comprovam: ouvir música faz bem à saúde 02/01/17, Jornal Dia Dia

Receitas ditarão aperto nas despesas 01/31/17, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços

Palestra ESMT (European School of Management andTechnology) - Liderança e Gestão 01/30/17, Maxpress

Palestra ESMT (European School of Management and Technology) – Liderança e Gestão – 02/02 01/30/17, Jornal Joseense News

Palestra ESMT (European School of Management and Technology) - Liderança e Gestão - 02/02 01/30/17, Journal Web Digital

Palestra ESMT (European School of Management and Technology) - Liderança e Gestão - 02/03 01/30/17, Segs

Managing customer satisfaction better 05/26/16, The European Business Review

When customers see CSR as a negative 05/17/16, IEDP

Mit Strategie zum Ziel 09/16/15, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Testing 08/26/15, Global Network Perspectives

Fehlende Replikation 07/01/15, Harvard Business Manager

Adventures in car buying: Marketing experts analyze sales talks 05/13/15, ScienceDaily

Abenteuer Autokauf: Bochumer Vertriebsexperten analysieren Verkaufsgespräche 05/04/15, RUBIN

When Does Downsizing Hurt Customer Satisfaction? 04/01/15, Ideas for Leaders

Consultores MBA: cada vez más freelance 10/16/14, AméricaEconomía

Jedem sein Luxus 06/01/14, Unsere Wirtschaft Interview with Johannes Habel on luxury marketing

Die Lust der Kunden, gequält zu werden 05/24/14, Der Tagesspiegel

Treue Kunden feilschen gern 06/18/13, Bild der Wissenschaft

Wenn Kundentreue zum Trumpf wird 02/21/13, WAZ

Studie belegt: Treue Kunden kaufen günstiger 02/20/13, Ruhr Nachrichten

How companies use customer loyalty as trump cards * 02/19/13, Big News Network * 02/19/13, The Times of India * 02/19/13, TopNews * 02/19/13, TruthDive

Treue Kunden erzielen hohe Preisnachlässe 02/02/13, absatzwirtschaft


Qualifying leads using sales analytics 05/31/17: Thought Leadership on the Sales Profession Conference, HEC Paris, Paris, France

The crux of the morality halo: The interplay of corporate social responsibility and price increases on consumers’ perceived price fairness 05/24/17: EMAC 2017, EMAC, Groningen, Netherlands

The ambivalent role of variable compensation in industrial servitization 05/25/16: EMAC 2016, EMAC, Oslo, Norway

“No emperor has the power to dictate to the heart.”: Increasing a supplier’s CSR engagement in B2B supply chains without exerting explicit pressure and force 08/07/15: Society for business ethics meeting, Society for Business Ethics, Vancouver, Canada

The role of efficiency orientation in personal selling 07/16/13: 4th conference on enhancing sales force productivity, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Münster, Germany

Removing the rose-colored glasses: The vicious circle of customer loyalty in price negotiations 02/16/13: Winter marketing educators' conference, American Marketing Association, Las Vegas, NV, USA

Customer reactions to massive workforce reductions: when is satisfaction affected? 08/12/12: Summer marketing educators' conference, American Marketing Association, Chicago, IL, USA


Articles Journal Article Forthcoming Exerting pressure or leveraging power? The extended chain of CSR enforcement in B2B supply chains Journal of Public Policy and Marketing Urs Müller, Johannes Habel, Marcel Stierl

Journal Article Forthcoming The role of leadership in salespeople's price negotiation behavior Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science Sascha Alavi, Johannes Habel, Paolo Guenzi, Jan Wieseke

Journal Article Forthcoming When serving customers includes correcting them: Understanding the ambivalent effects of enforcing service rules International Journal of Research in Marketing Johannes Habel, Sascha Alavi, Doreén Pick

Journal Article New From products to solutions: Mastering sales force incentives European Business Review 2017(September–October): 33–35 Johannes Habel, Olaf Plötner (2017)

Journal Article When do customers get what they expect? Understanding the ambivalent effects of customers' service expectations on satisfaction Journal of Service Research 19(4): 361–379 Johannes Habel, Sascha Alavi, Christian Schmitz, Janina-Vanessa Schneider, Jan Wieseke (2016)

Journal Article Managing customer satisfaction better The European Business Review May/June: 52–54 Johannes Habel (2016)

Journal Article Statistik: Einfluss auf das Ergebnis [Statistics: Influence on results] Harvard Business Manager 1 Johannes Habel (2016)

Journal Article Warm glow or extra charge? The ambivalent effect of corporate social responsibility activities on customers' perceived price fairness Journal of Marketing 80(1): 84–105 Johannes Habel, Laura Marie Schons, Sascha Alavi, Jan Wieseke (2016)

Journal Article Customer reactions to downsizing: When and how is satisfaction affected? Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 43(6): 768–789 Johannes Habel, Martin Klarmann (2015)

Journal Article Darf's etwas mehr sein? [Anything else?] Acquisa 9: 62–65 Jan Wieseke, Johannes Habel, Sascha Alavi, Christopher Kock, Melanie Leitloff (2015)

Journal Article Fehlende Replikation [Missing replication] Harvard Business Manager 7: 96–97 Johannes Habel (2015)

Journal Article Willing to pay more, eager to pay less: The role of customer loyalty in price negotiations Journal of Marketing 78(6): 17–37 Jan Wieseke, Sascha H. Alavi, Johannes Habel (2014)

Journal Article Erfolgsstrategien im persönlichen Verkauf von Luxusmarken [Success factors in personal selling of luxury brands] Marketing ZFP - Journal of Research and Management 35(2): 131–143 Jan Wieseke, Sascha H. Alavi, Johannes Habel, Sabrina Dörfer (2013)

Book chapters Book Chapter Die richtigen Schlüsse ziehen [Drawing the right conclusions] In Jahrbuch Markt- und Sozialforschung Schweiz 2016, 12–15. Alpnach: vsms - Verband Schweizer Markt- und Sozialforschung. Johannes Habel (2016)

Book Chapter Wie aus Usern Kunden werden: Entwicklung und Umsetzung einer erfolgreichen Social Media Strategie [How to turn users into customers: Development and implementation of a successful social media strategy] In Social Media und Brand Community Marketing, ed. Hans H. Bauer, Jürgen Rösger, Boris Toma, 167–184. München: Vahlen. Michael Peterson, Sebastian D. Blum, Johannes Habel (2013)

Case studies Case ESMT's pitch to EAD Systems (A) Urs Müller, Johannes Habel (2015)

Case ESMT's pitch to EAD Systems (B) Urs Müller, Johannes Habel (2015)

Case The kitchen purchase: Briefing for buyers: Mr and Mrs Stulle Johannes Habel (2015)

Case The kitchen purchase: Briefing for sellers: Mr and Mrs Hase Johannes Habel (2015)

Other publications Online blog Customers often believe that suppliers who engage in CSR charge unfair prices Johannes Habel, Laura Marie Schons, Sascha Alavi, Jan Wieseke (2016)

Online Mein Kunde: Er liebt mich, er liebt mich nicht [My customer: Love me, love me not] Christian Schmitz, Johannes Habel, Luisa Kuschke (2015)

Online Der Teufelskreis der Kundenloyalität [The vicious circle of customer loyalty] Jan Wieseke, Sascha Alavi, Johannes Habel (2015)

Online Hilft Aberglaube im Vertrieb? [Does superstition in sales help?] Jan Wieseke, Johannes Habel (2014)

Conference Proceeding Mass layoffs: When and how do they affect customer satisfaction? 1(1): 55–58 Johannes Habel, Martin Klarmann (2014)

Online Ziele verfehlt - und nun? [Targets missed - now what?] Johannes Habel, Christian Schmitz, Luisa Kuschke (2014)

Courses Taught

Read about executive education

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