Staff profile

Dr Alison Lawson

Head of Discipline of Marketing and Operations

Alison Lawson




College of Business, Law and Social Sciences


Derby Business School


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am the Head of the Discipline of Marketing and Operations in Derby Business School. The discipline covers marketing, logistics, supply chain, purchasing and information technology management for business. This varied remit presents exciting opportunities for students in this area, with many opportunities for real-world learning from a range of professionals and experts. I'm keen to see all our students succeed and to enable them to have a challenging and fulfilling time with us in the Business School.

Teaching responsibilities

I contribute to teaching on various modules across several programmes, mostly in Marketing but occasionally on the Information Technology Management for Business (ITMB) programme and the MA Publishing programme.

Professional interests

Having worked in the publishing industry for 20 years, I'm interested in marketing in the publishing industry, how media is used in marketing and in how consumers relate to published products. I'm also interested in how students (especially PhD students) feel about their experience of learning.

Research interests

My main research interest is in consumers' emotional response and attachment to products and services, particularly those related to the publishing industry. I'm also interested in students' experiences of higher education and how these may be analysed and improved through use of services marketing ideas. I have my own blog - Musings on methodology - featuring my personal thoughts, ideas and opinions on research methods. Please do feel free to comment on the blog posts or email me with questions or ideas for future content.

Membership of professional bodies


Undergraduate qualifications

Postgraduate qualifications

Research qualifications

Recent conferences

My most recent conference papers have been based on two research projects currently under way.

The first is about the experience of PhD students, especially those studying part time, and how services marketing theory can be used to illuminate gaps in how supervisors and universities manage the supervision process with the aim of finding ways to narrow (and preferably close) those gaps. I presented a paper about the early stages of this research at the British Academy of Management conference at Coventry University in 2017. Previous research about learner identities in undergraduates had led me to consider the position of PhD students, about which there is little research.

The second is about how consumers respond to books and whether their emotional responses to these products can be interpreted using the theory of self-concept. Having worked in book publishing (and being a self-confessed bookaholic) I am interested to learn about the deeper attachments that people have to their books and what use this knowledge will be to those working in book marketing. I presented a paper about this project at the Academy of Marketing conference at Limerick University in 2015 and the research is ongoing.

Experience in industry

Deputy Head of Communications, Marketing and Information Services
National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)

Senior Lecturer in Publishing
West Herts College, Watford

Prior to the lectureship at West Herts College I worked in the publishing industry from 1992 to 2000 for the following publishers:


Recent publications

Easter eggs in a nest

With Easter just around the corner, Alison Lawson, Head of the Division of Marketing and Operations, discusses the tactics brands use to lure us into buying Easter eggs, as well as five top tips to consider when choosing the perfect egg.

An open book with sparkling gold letters rising from it on a black background

Alison Lawson, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, writes about the legacy of Harry Potter and why the famous fictional series proves that books are not dead.