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Paul Johnston

Principal Lecturer


Presently subject group leader for the Marketing Subject Group in Sheffield Business School. I specialise in business to business marketing. My research looks at the ways experienced sales and marketing professionals create and propose value to their customers. I contribute to the understanding of value orientated selling and the theorising of service dominant logic.

I see selling and key account management as a social interaction & I am especially interested in how imagination, relevance making and reading social context are used by sales professionals and key account managers in the act of proposing value to create competitive difference in business to business markets.

Through the perspective of what I term 'the value proposing professional' my research shows how the communication, vision and performance of customer facing executives are used to create value by bringing the invisible aspects of relationships and service to life.

Senior Management Roles and Responsibilities:

17 years commercial experience including private sector board level roles in the leisure and electronic games and gaming business. I have experience of company turn arounds, participated in a multi -million pound management buyout and have experience of trade sale and pre-flotation exercises.

Responsibilities spanned strategic and organisational management, key account management, brand management, customer insight and research and product and service innovation and creativity.


  • About


    • 2014: Doctorate of Business Administration, Marketing, Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom
    • 2005: Post Graduate Certificate in Education, Learning and Teaching, Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom
    • 2001: Master of Business Administration, Nottingham Trent University
    • 1977: BA Modern Studies, Other

    Teaching expertise

    • Marketing
    • Strategic Management


    • Business to Business Marketing

    Industry Links

    • Consultancy
    • CPD/ Training
    • Developing student projects

  • Teaching

    Department of Management

    Sheffield Business School


    2014 to 2016: Customer Culture and Psychology, Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom

    2013 to 2016: Strategic Marketing and Decision Making , Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom

    2012 to 2015: Developing Individual and Organisational Creativty, Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom

    2010 to 2015: Research Methods, Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom

  • Publications

    Journal articles

    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. Springer.


    Johnston, P., Nicholson, J.D., & Kelly, S. (n.d.). Proposing business-to-business customer value: towards a conceptualisation of the value proposing actor. Presented at: 32nd Annual IMP Conference, Poznan, Poland, 2016

  • Other activities


    • 2014: Inspirational Teacher , Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom

  • Postgraduate supervision

    Current supervisions

    • 2010:Phd Director of Studies (1 student)

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