Department of Strategy and Marketing

Research seminars

Strategy & Marketing research seminars take place on the following Thursdays from 12:30pm-2pm in Jubilee G32, unless otherwise specified. Follow the links via seminar titles for more information about each seminar and the speaker(s).

Upcoming seminars

Using Text Analytics Tools to Improve Online Reputation: Evidence from a Field Experiment and a Lab Study

Thursday 30 January from 12:30 until 14:00
JUB - G32
Strategy and Marketing seminars
Professor Andrea Ordanini

Abstract With the advent of online review platforms, reputation management has become important for marketing managers.

Proto-CSR Before the Industrial Revolution: Institutional Experimentation by Medieval Miners’ Guilds

Thursday 5 March from 12:30 until 14:00
JUB - G32
Marketing research seminars
Dr Stefan Hielscher

Abstract  In this paper, we argue that antecedents of modern corporate social responsibility (CSR) prior to the Industrial Revolution can be...

Past seminars

Autumn term 2019
31 October 
Global Development Agenda Meets Local Opportunities: The Emergence of a Transnational Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for East Africa
Professor Stephan Manning (University of Sussex)


Social entrepreneurs in emerging economies often face a dilemma: While the demand for entrepreneurship combining business objectives and social impact is increasing especially in regions ripe with social and environmental problems, the same regions are often ill-equipped to effectively support social entrepreneurs. We examine how entrepreneurial ecosystems can develop along with a functional institutional infrastructure in regions characterized by severe resource and institutional constraints. Based on qualitative data from East Africa and Boston, we find that certain dynamics may lead to the emergence of transnational entrepreneurial ecosystems – networks of organizations operating across geographic levels in support of new ventures – which supplement often ill-developed local ecosystems in emerging economy contexts. In building ecosystem infrastructures, international ecosystem service providers, such as incubators, university centers and development agencies, play an important role, in particular by forming resource channels through cross-border alliances, by promoting network-building and idea generation through multi-scale events, and by supporting fundable social-business models through the linking of local opportunities to global development agendas. Ecosystem formation is further stimulated by the blending of roles between social ventures and ecosystem service providers and related feedback processes. Findings inform research on social ventures and entrepreneurial ecosystem formation in emerging economies and beyond.


Stephan Manning is Professor of Strategy and Innovation at the University of Sussex Business School. His current research focuses on the interplay between business strategy, social innovation and international development. He is interested in the role of local, digital and transnational ecosystems in supporting social entrepreneurship and innovation; the development and cross-industry adaptation of sustainability standards; and the role of business and intermediaries in tackling grand challenges. He has also studied the role of project network organizations in facilitating inter-organizational collaboration in various contexts, and the dynamics of global services outsourcing. He has done field research in China, Germany, Guatemala, Kenya, Romania, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and the United States. His research has been published in top-tier academic journals, such as Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, Human Relations and Research Policy. He serves as Senior Editor of Management and Organization Review. He also writes blog articles regularly for various outlets.

Spring term 2019
26 February
Poverty and the varieties of entrepreneurship in the pursuit of a better tomorrow
Dr Pablo Munoz Roman (University of Liverpool Management School)


In this paper, we revisit the entrepreneurship and poverty relationship under a eudaemonic perspective that brings together conversion factors, prospective prosperity and goal-oriented actions. Based on an fsQCA of changes in life circumstances of 166 farming entrepreneurs in rural Kenya, we explore how different combinations of conversion factors enable distinct forms of entrepreneurship in the pursuit of life goals and expectations of a better tomorrow. Results show that strong entrepreneurship-enabled future prosperity expectations result from three combinations of enabling conversion factors shaping up three unique varieties of entrepreneurial activity in resource-constrained contexts: family-frugal, individual-market, and family-inwards entrepreneurship, which show a much more diverse and counterintuitive reality. Our research contributes to revealing and theorizing on a split picture portraying the many ways in which entrepreneurs exploit real opportunities in seemingly identical resource-constrained communities. It also challenges our knowledge by revealing a central disconnect between entrepreneurship, life-satisfaction and financial improvements when assessed against expectations of future prosperity. In doing so, this paper responds to calls for a better understanding of the processes whereby entrepreneurship can distinctively improve current and future life circumstances, and the many ways in which this may happen.


Pablo Munoz is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Liverpool Management School. His research examines how, why and with what consequences entrepreneurial individuals and communities address wicked problems and create societal and ecological value through business activities; with or without economic return. It focuses on three key areas: Sustainable/social entrepreneurship, Enterprise and local development, and Alternative forms of organising and value exchange.

More information:

14 March
Is UX all that’s cracked up to be? Why making sense of the rapidly evolving market landscape can be the next source of inspiration and differentiation for designers
Prof. Erik Jan Hultink (Delft University of Technology)


The topic of Erik Jan's talk will be on his sabbatical project in which he investigated the importance of, and tools for, competitor intelligence in the design process. The title of his talk will be: "Is UX all that is cracked up to be? Why making sense of the rapidly evolving market landscape should become the next source of inspiration for designers". I first conducted a systematic literature review of articles on "design (methods) and competition/competitors" in the major design journals, and was surprised how little has been published on the role of competition in the design process. The design literature primarily deals with such issues as design cognition, collaborative design, and user-centeredness. The popularity of design thinking in the last 15 years has also put the user in the center of attention, possibly at the neglect of other important stakeholders. I subsequently interview 17 design researchers, design professionals, and founders of (strategic) design consultancies to identify reasons for designers' strong interest in (or obsession with) user-centeredness, and to identify any tools that designers use to make sense of the turbulent competitive market environment. The results show the potential for visual and creative competition tools that can inspire designers and marketeers alike, which will facilitate inter-functional collaboration in the design process.


Erik Jan Hultink is a Professor of New Product Marketing at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) at the Delft University of Technology in Delft, The Netherlands. He was the founder and first director of the Master Program in Strategic Product Design (2003-2009) and the former Head of the Department of Product Innovation Management at IDE (2011-2018). His research interests include new product commercialization, designing brand experiences, and design for differentiation. He has published on these topics in such journals as the Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, International Journal of Design, and in the Journal of Cleaner Production.

28 March
The Preference for Moderation Scale
Aimee Drolet (UCLA Anderson)


We propose that individual differences in self-reported endorsement of the principle of moderation exist and influence many aspects of consumer decision making. The idea that moderation is an important guiding norm of human behavior is prevalent throughout history and appears as an explicit theme in many philosophies, religions, cultures, and societies, but moderation has not been explored as an individual-level determinant of consumption behavior. We develop a paper-and-pencil instrument that measures the degree to which individuals have a Preference for Moderation (PFM). We then apply the PFM to predict consequential behavior in many contexts, with an emphasis on consumer choice. We report on scale development, including a literature review, the generation and selection of assessment items from a larger sample, and factor analyses showing that the PFM is distinctive in the context of several popular individual-difference variables. The final PFM scale: 1) reliably and uniquely predicts strategies for resolving consumer choice through preference for compromise options (Studies 1 and 5) and the use of balancing versus highlighting choice strategies (Study 2), 2) is related to and hence is potentially derived from aspects of general cultural background (Study 3) and stable moral beliefs (Study 4), 3) predicts a wide variety of measures related to consumer choice including retrospective evaluation of one’s past choice strategies (Study 6), tendency to rely on the representativeness heuristic (Study 7), specific self-reported household financial outcomes (Studies 5 and 8), and finally real self-reported online reviewing behavior (Study 9).


Professor of Marketing Aimee Drolet Rossi specializes in consumer decision-making and teaches in the full-time MBA, Fully Employed MBA and doctoral programs at UCLA Anderson. Currently, she is the school’s marketing area chair.

Her research looks at the mental processes underlying consumers’ choices, specifically focusing on decision-making among older consumers (age 50 or older), consumer habits and meta-preferences. “Although there is much debate over the impact of population aging,” says Drolet, “what we do know is that fertility rates are getting lower, people are living longer, and the world population is getting older.

She co-authored and co-edited The Aging Consumer: Perspectives from Psychology and Economics, named one of Choice Magazine’s Top 10 Outstanding Academic Titles in Business, Management and Labor in 2011. It examines how population aging and the changing consumption habits of older adults may alter the consumer market. Her research demonstrated, for example, that when it comes to goods like transportation services, vacations and food, people tend to decrease their share of total spending as they age. However, for goods like health care, donations and gifts, they tend to increase their share of total spending as they age.

Her latest research focuses on the development of habits and on moderation — that is, avoiding excess in consumption. “It could be any kind of garden variety consumer experience, whether consumer packaged goods or durables,” she says of her research.

Drolet Rossi received a B.A. in classical history and an M.A. in public policy at the University of Chicago, and an A.M. in psychology and a Ph.D. in business at Stanford University. Since arriving at UCLA Anderson in 1997 as an assistant professor, she has won the school’s Eric and E Juline Faculty Excellence in Research Award in 2004 and the Citibank Best Teacher Award in 2008. She is also a visiting committee member at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.



3 April
Visual Design as a Source of Information for Consumers
Alexandra Festila (Aarhus University)


The influence of visual design on consumers goes beyond design’s aesthetic appeal and it is commonly the source of a range of consumer inferences about the brands, the products and the shopping environments they encounter. Such inferences commonly originate in individuals’ long-term learned associations with the physical space and the social context they operate in. One way to look at such effects is through the lens of the conceptual metaphors theory, which posits that humans make sense of more abstract notions such as importance, difficulty, morality by relying on concepts from the experiential domain, which are more concrete. In this seminar, my aims is to give a brief overview of this stream of literature and present a number of studies from my own research on the topic.


Alexandra Festila is currently an assistant professor in Marketing at MAPP Centre, Department of Management Aarhus University, Denmark. She holds a PhD in Marketing from Aarhus University, Denmark. In her PhD, she researched how to improve effectiveness of food health communication through package design visuals. Previously, she earned a master degree in Marketing from Aarhus University and a master degree in Consumer Affairs from Technical University Munich. Her main research interests are in consumer behaviour and marketing, with a focus on visual communication. She presented her work at the main marketing and consumer research conferences (i.e., EMAC, ACR) and she published her work in marketing and consumer journals (i.e., International Journal of Consumer Studies, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Journal of Consumer Marketing).

Autumn term 2018
15 October
How do Corporate Venturing Units Work? Three New Types of CVUs and Their Characteristic Practices paper with Sabrina Korreck
Piet Hausberg (Universität Osnabrück)


Long since, firms use Corporate Venturing Units (CVUs) to become more competitive. They use CVUs either to hatch internal innovations or to support external startups, but the relevant literature focused mostly on Corporate Venture Capital units. Now, a new wave of CVUs is emerging. These new CVUs emulate the practices of incubators and accelerators. They can be part of external as well as internal corporate venturing efforts. So-called company builders develop internal ideas into fast-growing ventures. Corporate incubators and accelerators hatch external ventures. Yet, all are characterized by a stronger external and strategic orientation. These CVUs have gained considerable traction in practice, but less so in research. We gather in-depth understanding based on a series of case studies. Thus, we contribute in three ways to corporate entrepreneurship research. First, we identify distinct processes taking place in different types of CVUs. Second, we show important differences in the processes of these three CVU types. Third, we discuss how the CVUs operate in an exploitative, explorative, or ambidextrous mode.


Dr. Piet Hausberg is Assistant Professor holding the chair of Technology and Innovation Management at the University of Osnabruck. Previously, he was a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the chair of Management and Digital Markets at the University of Hamburg. He holds a PhD in Management from LUISS University, Rome. The topic of his dissertation was “Intra-Firm Knowledge Integration and Innovation Performance: the Role of Departmental Absorptive Capacities and Firm Environment”. He studied at the Saarland University Saarbrucken, University of Wuppertal, and the Ecole Supérieure de Gestion (ESG-PGSM) in Paris. His current research interests are Absorptive Capacity and Open Innovation as well as Corporate Entrepreneurship.

15 November
Circular business models and entrepreneurial growth
Antonella Zucchella (University of Pavia)


The seminar presents a paper, accepted for publication in Business Strategy and the Environment, on business models in the circular economy. The topic is gaining increasing interest in academia, in policy making and in management practice. The seminar discusses how to frame this relevant issue in entrepreneurship studies and also in the perspective f international entrepreneurship. Business models and particularly their scalability and transferability, are key to entrepreneurial growth, both in domestic and international markets.


Full Professor of Marketing and of International Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Economics, University of Pavia since 2001. Senior Research Scholar, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK

Visiting Professor in International Marketing, Universitè Robert Schuman in Strasbourg, School of Management.

Author of more than 100 articles and essays and several books, mostly on international entrepreneurship and international business. Three best paper awards at conferences (once EIBA and twice AIB-UKI) and Emerald literati award 2018.

Keynote speaker in several international conferences, like the International Business conference in Vaasa University, the Clustering conference in Valencia 2017, the Entrepreneurship in Cadiz 2016, the McGill Conference on International Entrepreneurship 2017.

29 November
The Marketing Lives of Micro-entrepreneurs: Why Do Some Differentiate More and Perform better than Others?
Dr Magda Hassan (University of Manchester)


This paper studies the performance and differentiation behavior of businesses run by micro-entrepreneurs: those that employ five or fewer people. Such businesses are the most common type in the world, especially in the developing world, where they make up a large part of the economy. We examine how informal property rights (i.e., possession versus leasing of a grocery store) affects the extent of differentiation and performance of the business. We argue and show that those who possess are substantially less likely to differentiate than those who lease their stores. We collect detailed data of differentiation behavior on product, price, promotion, and place in 460 stores in a large slum – Ezbet Khairallah - in Cairo Egypt. Furthermore, exploiting changes in property rights regimes we use the birthplace of micro-entrepreneurs’ parents as an instrument for informal property rights, to address empirical challenges to the estimation of the effects of interest. Once informal property rights are controlled for, other factors such as age, gender, and education no longer significantly affect the extent of differentiation and performance.


Spring term 2018
15 February
Getting real about the customer experience – Online service augmentation and shared decision-making with augmented reality (AR)
Tim Hilken (Maastricht University)


A variety of firms increasingly leverage AR to enhance their customers’ online experiences. With AR, customers can better visualize offerings, for example by virtually placing IKEA furniture in their homes or trying on the latest style of Ray Ban sunglasses, GAP fashion, or L’Oreal makeup in a virtual mirror. In our first project, we draw on situated cognition theory to show that AR enhances customer value perceptions and decision-making by virtually embedding offerings into the physical environment and simulating a sense of physical control. In our second project, we turn to emerging social applications of AR; we explore how these improve shared decision-making by enabling customers to communicate in a highly visual, context-sensitive manner.


Tim Hilken is a PhD candidate in Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Maastricht University, School of Business and Economics. His research focuses on how emerging technologies, particularly Augmented Reality (AR), enhance the customer/user experience in B2C and B2B markets. He has published in leading academic journals such as the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. As part of the Augmented Research initiative, he works together with business and research partners to study the value potential of AR with the latest applications and devices. Tim teaches a range of marketing and supply chain courses at the Bachelor- and Master-level.

22 March
Elite competition drives the evolution of fashion-style cycles: Quantitative evidence from experiments and music-style data
Robert Kreuzbauer (University of Surrey)


Human symbol systems such as art and fashion styles emerge from complex social processes that govern the continuous re-organization of modern societies. Efforts to understand the dynamics of art and fashion cycles have so far been dominated by status-signaling theories, where elite members signal their superior status by introducing new stylistic elements (e.g. fashion-styles) which at first are hard to adopt by low status groups. However, once these stylistic elements have been adopted by low-status groups, elite members would replace them with new ones so their superior status can again be signalled. We propose an alternative explanation based on counter-dominance signaling. There, elite members want others to imitate their symbols; changes only occur when outsider groups successfully challenge the elite by introducing signals that contrast those endorsed by the elite. We use experimental data as well as data containing almost 8 million musical albums released between 1956 and 2015 to provide clear evidence that style-cycles are based on our proposed mechanism of counter-dominance signaling.


Robert Kreuzbauer is Associate Professor (Reader) in Marketing at Surrey Business School, University of Surrey. He obtained his PhD in Marketing from the University of Innsbruck in Austria. Before joining Surrey Business School he worked at Nanyang Business School, Singapore and at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Before working in academia he worked as a brand consultant and consumer researcher for one of the largest European industrial design firms. He published his research in leading academic journals such as the Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General; Current Directions in Psychological Science. His main research focuses on perception of strategic signaling to explain phenomena such as fashion-cycles, luxury consumption or how product procedures (e.g. machine- vs. hand-made, digital vs. analog) affect consumer product valuation.

10 May
Regret - Not Choice of a Vice - Characterizes Self-Control Failures
Irene Scopelliti (Cass Business School)


In the consumer behavior literature, self-control conflicts are often operationalized as choices between vice and virtue foods. Vices—for example chocolate—are hedonic foods whose consumption is tempting and immediately gratifying but bad for one’s well-being in the long run. Virtues—for example fruit—are utilitarian foods whose consumption is little appealing in the moment but good for one’s health in the long run. Choosing the vice from a vice-virtue choice set is interpreted as a breakdown in self-control. We argue that this definition mischaracterizes self-control conflicts and severely limits the applicability of self-control theories, because it assumes a tradeoff between tastiness and healthiness, associates hedonic consumption with breakdowns in self-control, and does not allow for measuring the severity of self-control failures on the individual level. We suggest to abandon the a-priori categorization of foods into vices and virtues, and to define self-control failures by the anticipated regret of violating one’s long-term goals. We show that this definition accurately characterizes self-control conflicts irrespective of the conflicting short- and long-term goals involved (e.g., whether a consumer believes tastiness and healthiness to be negatively correlated or not). We discuss theoretical and methodological implications for researchers, and advise consumers on how to enhance self-control.


Irene Scopelliti is a Reader in Marketing at Cass Business School. Her research interests are in the domain of consumer psychology, judgment, and decision making.

Irene holds a Ph.D. in Management from Bocconi University, and before joining Cass she was a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, where she worked on the analysis of individual differences in susceptibility to decision making biases and of strategies to mitigate the incidence of these biases in judgment.

Her research has been published in Management Science, Psychological Science, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Psychology & Marketing, and has been featured by major news organizations including Forbes, Time Magazine, BBC News, the New York Times, the Independent, and the Huffington Post.

17 May
Organisational Design and Integration of Successful Service Infusion
Nima Heirati (Queen Mary, University of London)


Service infusion is a global trend in manufacturing, where manufacturers increasingly move from an emphasis on products to an emphasis on services and solutions for customers. Although the recent literature emphasised the importance of service infusion, understanding the drivers of successful service infusion is a complex process. Using interview with 20 managers, we show that manufacturers organise service infusion delivery through one or combination of distinct design choices: product business unit responsibility, specialised service business unit, or an external service provider. Using an empirical research from 161 firms and the configuration perspective, we also show there are different constellations of drivers for successful service infusion across distinct organisational design choices. In particular, we employed fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to investigate how service infusion type, service provider integration, and product complexity interplay in affecting service infusion delivery success and failure. Our findings reveal equifinal configurations to succeed with service infusion across different organisational design choices. For managers, our study highlights the importance of assessing the complexity of services infusion and products to deciding on how to infuse services.


Dr Nima Heirati is a lecturer in Marketing and Innovation Strategy at the Queen Mary University of London, School of Business and Management. His research relates predominantly to the field of Innovation Strategy, Service Marketing, and Business Relationships with the special focus on Innovation Networks and the Dark-side of Collaboration with Suppliers and Customers. Nima has published in many journals such as Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Strategic Marketing, Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, among others. He is currently engaged in different research projects on Service Infusion in Business Networks in collaboration with BERG at the Queen Mary University of London and IfM at the University of Cambridge.

Autumn term 2017
12 October
Eye Buy: Visual Exploration Affects Product Choice
Zachary Estes (Bocconi University)


Shoppers prefer centrally-located products, but this can constrain shoppers’ choices and retailers’ sales. So, how can shoppers’ fixation on central products be overcome, and what are the consequences for product choice? We show that attentional priming influences visual exploration of a product display, thereby restricting or broadening product consideration and choice. In a series of studies, priming attention to the periphery (vs. center) affected eye movements toward, mouse clicks on, choice of, and memory of peripherally-located products, and this effect of visual exploration on peripheral product choice was accentuated among impulsive buyers. These results complement and constrain prior theorizing on location-based product choice: Central product choice may be the default, but it is easily and strongly counter-acted by priming broad attention, which impulsive shoppers tend to exhibit naturally.


Zachary Estes (PhD in Psychology, Princeton University) is Associate Professor of Marketing at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. He has served as Associate Editor of the Journal Cognitive Science, and has served on the editorial boards of other journals and on the program committees of academic organizations in both psychology and marketing. His theoretical and applied research on cognition, emotion, and consumer behavior has been awarded funding by international granting agencies, and has been published in psychology and marketing journals including Cognitive Psychology, Emotion, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, and Psychological Science. He is also the proud winner of teaching awards at the University of Warwick (UK) and Bocconi University (Italy).