Frances X. Frei

UPS Foundation Professor of Service Management
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Planning and Recruiting

Frances Frei is a Professor in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at Harvard Business School and the Senior Associate Dean, Director of Faculty Planning and Recruiting.  She is the best-selling author of Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business (Harvard Business Review Press). Her research examines how organizations can build service models that reliably deliver excellence.  Her work has been published in top-tier journals such as Management Science and Harvard Business Review.  In addition, she has published dozens of case studies across a variety of industries, including financial services, government, retail, software, telecommunications, and hospitality.  These cases include Zipcar, eBay, Southwest Airlines, Tiffany’s, Houston Rockets, Commerce Bank, Progressive Insurance, Orient Express Hotels and Zappos, among others.

Frances Frei is a Professor in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at Harvard Business School and the Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Planning and Recruiting.  She is the best-selling author of Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business (Harvard Business Review Press). Her research examines how organizations can build service models that reliably deliver excellence.  Her work has been published in top-tier journals such as Management Science and Harvard Business Review.  In addition, she has published dozens of case studies across a variety of industries, including financial services, government, retail, software, telecommunications, and hospitality.  These cases include Zipcar, eBay, Southwest Airlines, Tiffany’s, Houston Rockets, Commerce Bank, Progressive Insurance, Orient Express Hotels and Zappos, among others.

Many of those case studies appear in Managing Service Operations, an elective course she developed that investigates organizations’ efforts to diagnose and improve service experiences.  The course trains students on how to design operating environments that deliver on customer promises while creating value for broader stakeholders.  In support of this agenda, students learn to foster and manage organizational improvement, learning, and innovation.

Professor Frei recently led the development of the new FIELD curriculum at HBS, which focuses on learning experiences that are experiential and immersive, with the goal of advancing the School's mission to develop leaders who make a difference in the world. In addition, Professor Frei teaches in Executive Education programs throughout the university.  Professor Frei has received the HBS Student Association Faculty Award for teaching excellence on multiple occasions, as well as teaching awards from the Wharton School of Business and the University of Rochester.  Her teaching assignments at HBS include FIELD, Managing Service Operations, Strategy, Technology and Operations Management, and Why You Should Care: Creating a Culture of Excellence.

Harvard University encourages its faculty to disclose any activities that might present a real or apparent conflict of interest.  Professor Frei advises organizations on how to create the context for organizations and individuals to thrive.  In particular, she helps organizations address issues of customer focus, organizational change and how to scale inclusively and effectively.  This work stems from her work on service excellence, leadership, and strategy. Organizations that she has provided professional services to in the past three years are listed below. 

AIG, Amdocs, Andrews Distributors, BlackRock, Berkshire Partners, Best Western, Cactus Club, City of Hope, ClickSoftware, Colliers International, Council of Public Relations, Cross Country Group, Di-Corp, General Electric, Gerstein Fisher, Great Clips, Houlihans, InterContinental Hotels, Intercorp, iShares, Jack Morton Worldwide, JPMorgan Chase, Kaiser Permanente, Ketchum, Lowes, Mars, McAlisters Deli, MetLife, Nestle, Ocshner Health Systems, Omnicom, Porter Novelli, Postnet, Rackspace, Sewell Automotive, StellaService, Stream, Stryve, Susser Holdings, Tata Consulting, Tatra Banka, The Select Family of Staffing, United States State Department, United Technologies, Westcon, XL Axiata, and Young Presidents Organization.

Professor Frei has previously served on the Board of Directors of Advance Auto Parts and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Viewpost.  She has a significant financial investment in GenePeeks.

Professor Frei received her Ph.D. in Operations and Information Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  She holds an M.E. in Industrial Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania.