Case Study: CitizenM hotel

Cranfield School of Management

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New Case Study: CitizenM hotel

By: Innovation and Operations ManagementPublished on: 30/11/2012

Bob, Chris and Keith have just completed their new case study entitled ‘CitizenM hotel’. CitizenM is a boutique budget hotel at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam and was opened in 2008 with a unique customer concept. Its use of technology allows it to run ‘lean’ in the back office but provides an effective delivery of a personalised guest experience. The company has recently opened a hotel in London at Bankside, its eighth property.


Using interviews with one of the founding partners who is now the company’s Chief Operating Officer as well as interviews with its hotel staff and, from undertaking filming in the property, the case centres on two topics:

  • The management of behavioural operations in an experiential service. It looks at how service managers seek to control and influence the process experience i.e. the ‘touch points’ in the customer journey - when the customer comes into contact with the service provider’s staff, facilities and technologies.  The case provides an excellent setting to demonstrate how these touch points or service encounters are managed. 
  • The management of innovation. CitizenM hotel offers a highly differentiated customer value proposition with potential for growth in a crowded market. The case explores its unique business model and the elements of differentiation that may provide sustainable growth.   
The case study has recently been used as part of the Operations Management module on the School’s MBA programmes and on Executive Education courses (most recently in Malaysia) examining strategic innovation management. It may be accessed free at

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