Saturday, June 22, 2019

Dining in Gernrode with Anja and Detlef (Gernrode, Germany)

After a flurry of  text messages earlier in the week, I was (finally) able to arrange a dinner on Saturday night.  We drove to Erfurt to see our German daughter (Anja) and meet her boyfriend Fynn.  We then told them they would have to "work" for their dinner, but we did not tell them what that meant nor where we were going.  After some very strange GPS suggestions by our rental car, we drove to Gernrode to have dinner with my (distant) cousin Detlef Gremler and his wife Mechthilde.  We dined in a (the?) restaurant in Gernrode that Detlef''s mother used to own and run.
Anja and Fynn served as our interpreters over dinner in Gernrode.
Dwayne Gremler and Detlef Gremler!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Conducting the "Publishing Scholarly Research" Seminar Again at WHU (Vallendar, Germany)

This week I returned to WHU School of Management in Vallendar, Germany (near Koblenz) to conduct my "Publishing Scholarly Research" seminar for the third time.  The students were eager to learn and asked many good questions.  And, as is my custom, I treated them to a drink (for most, a milkshake!) at the end of the course to make sure they had sufficient celebration skills (needed for when they succeed in publishing their research). 
The next generation of great business scholars!
But, before we got to the point were they practiced their celebration skills, we spent several days deep-diving into understanding the research and publication process.
An attentive audience!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Visiting My German "Brother" Uwe (Piene, Germany)

After leaving Karlstad, we spent the night in Malmo, Sweden, and drove the next day through heavy German traffic (again) to visit my German brother, Uwe Gremmler (two "m" name), and his wife Beate.  Samantha and I visited them in June of 2016, and so this trip was Candy's opportunity to meet them.  We were treated to a wonderful dinner at Uwe's golf club and we discussed plans for the next "Gremler Family Meeting" (this time, a reunion!) for 2021.
Uwe inherited the hair in the family!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Catching Up with an Old Friend in Karlstad (Sweden)

Candy and I drove from Liege, Belgium, to Karlstad, Sweden, so that I could attend the QUIS 16 Symposium.  (I first attended the QUIS Symposium in 1996 in was my first international conference as an academic!)  Our drive was quite challenging, and involved two (expensive) ferries to get to Sweden (from Germany to Denmark and then to Sweden).  The highlight of the trip was the opportunity to see a friend I had not seen in probably 10 years...Patrik Larsson.  We hosted Patrik, Maria, and their two children for Christmas when he was a PhD student visiting Arizona State back in 1993.  And we attended his PhD celebration party in Karlstad in 1996.  Patrik is now one of two deans at the University of Karlstad.  We had a great time catching up with each other during the conference dinner...and, remembering a phrase I taught his son Jakob while they were in Phoenix: "Good stuff Maynard!"
Life is much too short to be able to spend as much time as we would like with good friends!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Site-seeing in Copenhagen (Denmark)

We drove in a rental from Liege, Belgium, to Copenhagen, Denmark, in about 12 hours.  (Yes, we DROVE!)  Google Maps indicated that the trip should be about 8-9 hours, but the GPS on our car had us going by a ferry that would have got us in to Copenhagen at midnight.  So, we intentionally deviated from what the car GPS said (until it stopped telling us to turn around and go back); eventually we received alternative instructions from the car GPS.  We also got stuck in several traffic jams on the German highways (on a Saturday!).  We finally arrived in Copenhagen at about 7:30 p.m.
At Nyhavn (the Copenhagen Inner Harbor)

Friday, June 7, 2019

Instructing Future Scholars How to Celebrate Success (Liege, Belgium)

The final day of our four-day Publishing Scholarly Research seminar concluded this afternoon.  As has become the tradition with the seminar, I treated the class to a drink and instructed them on the fine art of celebrating publication success.  (Publications come so rarely in this career that we probably do not get enough practice in doing it right.) 
Their favorite session during the seminar...learning to celebrate success!

The "HEC-School Management Publishing Scholarly Research Seminar, Class of 2019"

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Enjoying Our Time in Liege (Belgium)

Candy and I visited a few places that we had been in previous visits to Liege.  One was a restaurant Le Labo 4.  It is an old chemistry lab, owned by the University of Liege, that was converted to a restaurant. 
Eating right next to the lab tables!
Much of the original lab equipment remains!

Apparently wine has some sophisticated chemical formulas.
We also had a drink at a classic spot in Leige, La Maison Du Peket.  The building is quite old, adding to its atmosphere (inside).
I had a caramel (Peket) drink, and Candy a white chocolate (Peket) drink.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Watching Candy Lead Singing of "Un Petit Canard" (Liege, Belgium)

I was photographer for Candy as she led a Belgian kindergarten class in singing "Un Petit Canard."  She originally learned the song from Stina's mother (Cecile) before coming to live in Liege in 2015-2016 (when I was on sabbatical and we were living in Liege).  Candy learned the song then so she could play it for Stina on the days they "hung out" together.
"Un Petit Canard"
If you would like to see/hear the video I made of Candy singing with the class, click here: .

Monday, June 3, 2019

Starting the "Publishing Scholarly Research" Seminar at HEC-University of Liege (Belgium)

Today we had 16 PhD candidates attending my seminar, "Publishing Scholarly Research," being hosted by Yves Crama and Cecile Delcourt at HEC School of Management at the University of Liege. This is where, in effect, my seminar was first was a "mini" version that I did at HEC (in a couple of hours) in November, 2011; I did the seminar two days after Cecile's PhD defense (in Nijmegen, The Netherlands).  The seminar has grown in length to 20-24 hours of discussion (and, lots of articles to read concerning publishing) over the past eight years.
The next generation of great business scholars!
After they heard me tell a couple of stories of my publications, they shared with each other a piece of research that they considered to be "interesting" and one that was "NOT interesting".  (Several students suggested is was actually more of a challenge to identify uninteresting research.)
Discussing "interesting" research

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Visiting My Favorite Belgian 6-Year-Old (Liege, Belgium)

Candy and I spent the weekend just outside of Liege in a small hotel (10 rooms) called Au Comte de Mercy in Hermalle-Sous-Argenteau, Belgium.  (The GPS on our car sent us to a very different location, but we were finally able to make it to the hotel after leaving Muenster.)  Most of the time was spent working on my "Publishing Scholarly Research Seminar" for next week as we sat in the hotel garden next to the Maas river.  After we transitioned on Sunday to an Airbnb apartment in Liege, we went to have dinner with my Belgian colleague Cecile, her partner Fabrice, and their daughter Stina. 
Fabrice made Mojitos for everyone except me...I had a Belgian beer (Curtius), of course!
Stina (with her mother's encouragement) has been working on her English language skills since she was quite young.  Recently she received a certificate for her English language knowledge!
My next co-author?

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Experiencing the German "Service Desert" (Muenster, Germany)

My friend Thorsten Hennig-Thurau has described Germany as being a "service desert" because of the lack of good service that frequently occurs.  We experienced that last night, as we waited for 35 minutes just to place an order at the Peter Pane restaurant in Muenster.  We sat outside, where only about half of the tables were occupied, and when we sat down it took a lonnnnnnnnng time for someone to even acknowledge we were there.
We experienced quite slow service here.
When we finally placed our order, Candy ordered a Raddler.  (Robert had ordered that in Muenster a couple of nights earlier.)  We both had hamburgers, which were tasty but quite thin.
Candy and her Raddler!

Wrapping Up Another Course at WWU (Muenster, Germany)

Today was the final day of the Service Management class.  Four teams provided an overview of the service innovation they designed using the service blueprint tool.  Afterwards, as part of my tradition, I treated those who did not have to go off to another class (or, to work) to ice cream. 
The students seemed quite happy to be done with their big project...and, to get ice cream!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Reuniting with Samantha & Robert in Europe (Maastricht, The Netherlands)

We had not seen Samantha and her new husband, Robert, since they visited us in Ohio at Christmas (2018).  But, it worked out for us to travel from Muenster to Maastricht to see her.  Since we had a car, we drove out to Gulpen to have lunch (we had ice cream at the restaurant in 2006 when my sister Tammy, her two kids, and my mother came to visit us).
Samantha & Robert Kitson, Candy and I having lunch in Gulpen, The Netherlands

I was delighted to find my favorite (Belgian) beer on tap...Tripel Karmeliet!!!
Once we finished having lunch, since it was Memorial Day in the U.S., we visited the American Cemetery near Margraten, The Netherlands. The Dutch have always been very appreciative of the U.S. support in World War II.  Our son-in-law, Robert Kitson, is currently serving in the U.S. Air Force.
Samantha & 2nd Lt. Robert Kitson (Air Force) at the American Cemetery in Margraten, The Netherlands

Dining 17 Years Later at the Lemminks' House (Maastricht, The Netherlands)

In June 2002 I brought the family with me as I helped to organize the Frontiers in Services Conference in Maastricht, The Netherlands.  We spent a week in Maastricht, and one of those evenings the Lemmink family and the Gremler family enjoyed dinner in the Lemmink Garden.  (See second photo below.)  Nearly 17 years later, we had a similar experience...this time with only one of our daughters (Samantha) and her husband.

Jos and Marion Lemmink, Candy, Samantha and Robert Kitson, and some guy from Pittsburgh

Mallory (in pink) Samantha, Lotta, Jos (wearing a Bowling Green hat!), Dwayne, Candy, Marion, and Ester

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Dining Outside at Lit Fass (Muenster, Germany)

Christof Backhaus and his girlfriend Paula suggested we try an "unusual" restaurant in Muenster, Lit Fass.  What turned out to be the unusual part was my meal. After asking Christof for assistance in interpreting the menu (written in German, of course) I ordered a bratwurst dinner.  When the food arrived it included fried potatoes, two eggs, and a salad.  But no bratwurst.  I thought a mistake had been made by the kitchen.  It turns out that the mistake was made by Christof, who paid attention to only the "brat" part of the description..."brat" is the FRIED part of the fried potato. 
Look, Mom, no bratwurst!
When I asked if they had any bratwurst in the restaurant that they could add to my meal, they said no.  Bummer!   (Thanks for your help, Christof...)

Exploring Roman Ruins (Xanten, Germany)

Today was the first break from teaching since arriving in Muenster.  Candy and I were joined the Krah family for a visit to the Roman ruins in Xanten, Germany.  We drove about 90 minutes (we rented a car yesterday) and explored the ruins for about 4 hours.
Mtahias Tesch, Jan Frederik Dohmann, Doreen and Tabea Krah, Candy, and Dwayne inside the Amphitheater (Photo by Jens Krah)
This once held about 10,000 people.
Dwayne exploring the Amphitheater and "Gladiatoren"
The Hafentempel

An interviewing viewpoint from below.

Lunch in Xanten (Photo again by Jens Krah...he is good at avoiding being IN the picture)

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Student Project Work on a Saturday (WWU, Muenster, Germany)

For the fifth day in a row we had class.  Today (a Saturday!) we discussed service recovery and service guarantees; one company that came up as an example in both discussions was Domino's Pizza.  I displayed a response from the Bowling Green Domino's related to a service failure years ago (they did an excellent  job of service recovery) and a commercial where Domino's offers "Carryout Insurance."   For the second half of class students worked on their team projects for next week (and thus were designing a service innovation using the service blueprint tool we discussed on Thursday).  Apparently all of the talk about pizza and Domino's made students hungry for Domino's Pizza.  So, they placed an order and had the pizza delivered to the classroom.
A working lunch with Domino's Pizza!
Bastian was quite hungry!
One student (purposely?) dropped her pizza to test the Carryout Insurance offer made by Domino's!
Enjoying the pizza on the lawn outside of the MCM.
And, after testing out the Domino's service quality (and Carryout Insurance offer), it is back to work on the service blueprints...

Friday, May 24, 2019

Dinner at the Hennig-Thurau Estate (Muenster, Germany)

After four straight days of teaching I was a bit tired this evening.  But, to take my mind off of my teaching duties, Thorsten Hennig-Thurau (my Muenster contact) invited Candy and I to his house for dinner.  Claudia Thurau, of course, did all of  the work in preparing three excellent pizzas.  Also at their house was Raoul Kubler (an assistant professor) and his wife, my PhD candidate colleague from Arizona State University, Mark Houston, and Thorsten's three sons: Frederick, Patrick, and Tom.

The dinner party!
Thorsten, Mark, Raoul, and Dwayne
Thorsten's preferred style...the Selfie!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Teaching Students How to Use the Service Blueprint Tool (WWU, Muenster, Germany)

Today in the Service Management class at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU) we discussed service blueprints.  Students divided into to four teams and created a blueprint for Revive, a hydration clinic located in Chicago.

Team 2 Identifies Customer Actions for the Revive Clinic
Team 1: Carolin B., Anna E., Christina K., Annika B., and Alexandra K.
Team 2: Marie B., Bastian H., Sophie V., Lisa B., and Luca K.

Team 3: Jessica B., Jessie H., Franziska H., Isabelle W., and Dominik L.

Team 4: Melina B., Felix H., Sarah P., Felix G., and Jenny M.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Playing Knobelkäse at Pinkus Brewery (Muenster, Germany)

On Tuesday evening, Christof Backhaus and his girlfriend Paula joined Candy and I for dinner at Brauerei Pinkus Müller.  We had some traditional German food, and afterwards played a game using cheese (Knobelkäse).  (Mallory and I played this game two years ago with Christof.)

To play Knobelkäse, you begin with a block of cheese (ours was 4" x 4" x 1/2"), a knife to cut the cheese, a match stick, a die (one dice?), and a cup to roll the die from.  The match stick is placed in the center of the block of cheese.  Each person rolls, and if you get a six (6) you are required to cut a triangle-shaped piece (i.e., three-sided) which you can then eat.  
Media by knobeline: #originell #münster #knobelkäse #pinkusmüller #spaß
The game starts with a block of cheese, 4" x 4" x 1/2", with a match stick stuck in the middle.
Only those who roll a six get to cut the cheese.  If one rolls another number, she/he simply passes the die and the cup on to the next person.  Each person who rolls a "6" cuts a triangle.  The object of the game is to avoid being the last person to cut the (triangular piece of) cheese and have the match stick fall over.  That person is the loser, and thus pays for everyone else's beer (or meal). 
Christof takes a picture while Candy cuts the cheese.  (Means something totally different in the U.S.)

It was Christof's turn...
The match stick fell...Christof lost...and, thus, he bought!