Doctoral research

If you're interested in joining a dynamic community of talented researchers from around the world to explore research questions that matter, we would like to hear from you.

Our research topics

Within the Marketing group, we are especially keen to receive PhD research proposals in the following areas:

  • consumer behaviour, cross-cultural consumer behaviour, digital consumer behaviour (e.g. social media, mobile apps), customer engagement, consumer identity
  • marketing strategy, innovation, international marketing strategy, services marketing and management and transformative services
  • branding, brand image, brand management, and international brand issues and sustainability.

In addition to this however, group members are willing to consider PhD research proposals. Please use the list to identify a potential supervisor(s), develop your research proposal, share this with the identified supervisor(s) and confirm they are willing to be named in support of your application. You are encouraged to ask for feedback from them to develop your research proposal. Then you should be ready to formally apply.

Belinda Dewsnap

  • marketing strategy development
  • marketing planning
  • marketing leadership

Sahar Mousavi

  • branding
  • customers’ engagement in social media and virtual communities
  • the use of gamification in improving online customer brand engagement
  • applying gamification to new product development

Nina Michaelidou

  • consumer behaviour, as well as cross-cultural consumer behaviour.
  • brand image/ brand equity in the commercial and charity and non-profit contexts
  • social media advertising, usage and motivations
  • social marketing, ethics and health behaviours

Thorsten Gruber

  • customer complaining behaviour and service failure and recovery, esp. using social media and digital devices
  • customers behaving badly (e.g. customer rage, customer deviance)
  • the bright and dark side of AI and (service) robotics
  • the use of technology in higher education (e.g. ChatGPT)
  • customer relationship with and experience of technology (e.g. virtual reality, metaverse, hyperreality)

Anne Souchon

  • organisational decision-making
  • export decision-making
  • Net Promoter Score

Georgios Tsimonis

  • artificial intelligence in digital marketing (e.g. personalised consumer experiences and marketing campaigns, consumer insights/data)
  • blockchain-powered sustainable global brands (e.g. supply chain transparency, tracking of operations, tokenisation of brand assets)
  • consumer behaviour and consumer-brand interactions in the Metaverse
  • the use of AI in product and service innovation
  • digital consumer behaviour (e.g. social media, ecommerce, mobile apps)

Cagri Talay

  • sustainable fashion supply chains
  • sustainable product development
  • power asymmetry in retailer-supplier relationships
  • ethical fashion consumption

Proposed PhD projects

Reverse innovation for sustainable development: a new role for business and emerging economies

Project reference

LB24-SC (please quote this in your application).


Project description

The aim of this project is to analyse the contribution of innovation towards global sustainable development by adopting a reverse innovation perspective.

Whilst business organisations have been recognised as vital partners in the achievement of sustainable development, this role has traditionally been assigned to businesses from advanced economies. In so doing, emerging economies have been considered passive recipients of development models and innovation generated by others.

This research project offers a new perspective and aims to analyse how business organisations from developing countries can be seen as central agents in the promotion of innovation for global sustainable development.

Moving from a western-centric and aid-focus approach to a more globally intertwined one that gives developing countries more agency, we investigate the role of reverse innovation for global sustainable development with three main research objectives:

  1. Investigate and describe the role of emerging economies as agents of global development solutions through the provision of sources of innovation;
  2. Identify and study cases of reverse innovation for sustainable development, to determine their micro determinants;
  3. Develop policy recommendations in the form of a revised global governance equilibrium that considers the new role of businesses in developing countries as contributors to sustainable development.

Sustainable business strategy in the age of AI: the business strategy to manage disinformation and fake reviews in the market

Project reference

LB24-NH (please quote this in your application).


Project description

We are seeking a highly motivated PhD candidate to explore the intersection of sustainable business strategy and the evolving challenges brought about by artificial intelligence (AI). This research is dedicated to crafting sustainable business strategies that effectively address and mitigate risks associated with artificial intelligence (AI).

It is not just a quest for knowledge but a commitment to ethical practices, aligning seamlessly with UN Sustainable Development Goals. Amidst the evolving landscape of AI, this research delves into the intricacies of data privacy, the proliferation of disinformation, creation of fake reviews and the uncanny realism of AI-generated deepfakes. The aim is not only to understand these challenges but to pioneer actionable sustainable strategies. The research also expects candidates with Machine Learning skills.

Please apply now if you are interested in being part of a journey, where research meets real-world impact, shaping a future where business and AI co-exist harmoniously for the betterment of society.