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 other programmes. I teach on modules such as Social Marketing and Society and Convergent Media.

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 social marketing - using marketing tools and techniques in behaviour change programmes and for social good. Finally, I'm also interested in how students (especially PhD students) feel about their experience of learning and how it can be improved.

Research interests

My main research interests are in consumers' emotional response and attachment to products and services, particularly those related to the publishing industry, and in the use of social marketing for behaviour change and social good. 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

Veasey, C., Lawson, A. and Rogers, B. (2021) Managing strategic accounts with empowerment and management support for co-creation of value, British Academy of Management Conference, 31 August–3 September 2021.

Miller, L., Hancock, C. and Lawson, A. (2021) Is it just a low-price tag? Using ZMET to explore consumer purchase experiences from low margin fashion retailers, Academy of Marketing Conference, 5–7 July 2021.  

Kaweesa, K., Lawson, A. and Baranova, P. (2021) The power of emotional intelligence: exploring the effects of emotional value on consumer choice behaviour, Academy of Marketing Conference, 5–7 July 2021.   

Veasey, C., Lawson, A. and Hancock, C. (2021) An empathetic approach: using appreciative inquiry to gain balanced insights, Academy of Marketing Conference, 5–7 July 2021. 

Lawson, A. and Akbar, B. (2021) Seeing people for who they are: the Alzheimer’s Society, Academy of Marketing Conference, 5–7 July 2021. 

Lawson, A. and Akbar, B. (2021) UOKM8 social marketing case study: men’s mental health, Academy of Marketing Conference, 5–7 July 2021. 

Lawson, A. and Akbar, B. (2021) Extending Lauterborn’s 4Cs as a social marketing planning model, Academy of Marketing Conference, 5–7 July 2021

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:

In the media

My blog, Musings on Methodology, includes posts on:

Musings on sampling, 2 August 2021,

Musings on appreciative inquiry, 5 October 2020,

Musings on curiosity, 21 June 2020,

Other blog posts include:

Top tips to help you buy the perfect Easter egg - and how brands lure us into it, 17 March 2017,

Harry Potter: the legacy of J.K. Rowling's wizardry novels prove that books are not dead, 6 October 2016,

Recent publications

Akbar, M. B., Foote, L., Lawson, A., French, J., Deshpande, S., & Lee, N. (2021). The social marketing paradox: Challenges and opportunities for the discipline. International Review on Public and Non-profit Marketing.

Akbar, M. Bilal, Ndupu, L., French, J. & Lawson, A. (2021), Social Marketing: Advancing New Framework to Guide Programmes, RAUSP Management Journal RAUSP-08-2020-0186/full/html

Akbar, M. Bilal, French, J. & Lawson, A. (2020). Use of social marketing in sexual health: An exploratory review. Social Business

Akbar, M. Bilal, French, J. & Lawson, A. (2019). Critical review on social marketing planning approaches. Social Business

Lawson, A. (2019) ‘The UK’s reading culture and consumers’ emotional response to books’. In Bradford, R. (ed.) Routledge Companion to Publishing and Literature, Oxford: Routledge. 

Longbottom, D. and Lawson, A. (2018) 'Alternative research methods: introducing market sensing - a qualitative and interpretive perspective on research'. In Hackett, P. (ed.) Quantitative Research Methods in Consumer Psychology: Contemporary and Data Driven Approaches, Oxford: Routledge.

Longbottom, D. and Lawson, A. (eds) (2016) Alternative Marketing Research Methods: Market Sensing. Oxford: Routledge.

A copy of the Highway Code with driving licence and car key

Dr Alison Lawson, Head of Discipline of Marketing and Operations at Derby Business School, looks at the challenges facing the UK government in communicating this year's changes to the Highway Code.

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.