Our PhD community

What is market sensing?

The Market Sensing research cluster is seeking PhD candidates who want to use creative and deep methods to find customer and business insights.

We have an active community of PhD students engaged in work across a range of areas of marketing theory and practice.

PhD students are encouraged to present at conferences and to publish their work as they go along while building networks and contacts in the subject area. PhD students also contribute to teaching on our undergraduate and postgraduate marketing programmes.

Dr Amir Modjahedi gained his PhD in 2013. He conducted a survey of the financial services sector to discover whether use of emotional scaling would improve the changes of service improvement outcomes. His hypothesis was proved - this kind of deeper understanding of customers would improve service quality - but with some limitations, as the work is only a pilot study and is cross-sectional rather than longitudinal.

Lesley Crane completed her PhD in 2015. Lesley examined how organisations retain and develop knowledge. Her use of discourse analysis revealed exciting deeper insights into the way people behave in organisations. The work has clear applications for social media marketing and customer relationship management.

Dr Lakhbir Singh was awarded his PhD in 2017. His research examined consumers’ trust in banking and the role of the media in building and destroying trust. Using the cultural perspectives of hegemony and posthegemony in his analysis, his creative approach brought deeper insights than traditional methods.

Christian Veasey is nearing the end of his PhD examining key account management and the importance of relationships in business to business marketing and commerce, especially in small companies. Using appreciative inquiry as an approach to depth interviewing will give a greater understanding of people’s behaviour and will help to build a picture of good practice. The work will help businesses to understand how to improve their own operations, particularly with regard to customer relations.

Karen Jones is in the final stages of her PhD, researching consumer complaining on social media and how retailer are dealing with this phenomenon. Her work will give businesses important information on the motivations and characteristics of social media complainers and about best practice for resolving complaints via this new channel.

Bilal Akbar’s PhD concerns the use of social marketing in promotion of taboo products, such as contraceptives. Due to complete his research in 2019, Bilal is using qualitative methods including a version of Zaltman’s metaphorical analysis designed to work in focus groups. Bilal’s work will lead to a new model of social marketing that has practical applications as well as contributing to the research literature in the area.

Ken Kaweesa’s PhD research concerns sustainable marketing, aiming to identify and evaluate the critical success factors in building sustainable marketing strategies in order to determine key priorities and devise a new framework for marketing decision makers. Ken’s research will use a survey and depth interviews to measure the gap between consumers’ intentions and behaviours.

Sonia Ahmed has just embarked on her PhD journey and is planning to research business models for the academic publishing industry given the ever-evolving use of information technology.

Malcolm Ash's PhD research revolves around the divide between marketing education and marketing practitioners. Using a survey and factor analysis, he hopes to examine the potential gaps.

To enquire about PhD study at Derby Business School, please email marketing@derby.ac.uk