I am a Professor of Services Marketing, Head of the Centre for Business Improvement and the University's REF lead for Business and Management Studies. My research, teaching and consultancy focuses on services marketing, particularly in terms of how organisations and customers engage with one another in a retail setting.
As Head of the Centre for Business Improvement, I am responsible for leading applied research in the College which relates to four research strands - Experiential & Services Marketing, Organisational Behaviour, HRM and Leadership, Accounting, Accountability and Ethics and Sustainable Business and Clean Growth.
I am a committee member for the British Academy of Management Marketing and Retail Special Interest Group and a Board Member of the Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District in Derby, Visit Peak District and Derbyshire and Chesterfield's High Streets Task Force.
I have successfully supervised and continue to supervise doctoral research students (PhDs and Professional Doctorates) in the areas of marketing and retail. I have 16 doctoral completions and I am a Director of Studies for doctoral students at the University of Derby and Nottingham Trent University and previously, Grenoble School of Management.
I have also chaired Vivas and examined internal and external doctorates. Prior to my role at Derby, I was the Programme Director for the DBA at Nottingham Trent University, one of the longest-running DBA courses in the UK. I lead and deliver the Designing Research Projects module for the DBA in Derby Business School and run training sessions, such as how to publish, for all Derby PhD students.
I have been an external examiner for Manchester Metropolitan University, Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Surrey and the University of Lincoln. I am currently an external examiner for Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Prior to my academic career, I was an assistant buyer at Boots. I gained my PhD in 2003 which explored staff and customer diversity issues in retailing. I have then had a number of academic roles, including ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Senior Lecturer, Reader in Retail Management and Programme Director for the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at Nottingham Trent University.
My work has a number of research strands:
Service encounters - This relates to how the visible diversity (age, gender, ethnicity etc) of customers and staff impacts the service encounter
Employer branding - This explores how organisations position themselves as an employer and how customer facing staff might have a role in this
Service industry careers - This includes an exploration of women's experiences of working in retail and marketing
The evolution of the high street and town centres post-Covid
As an experienced doctoral supervisor and course leader, I am also conducting teaching related research concerned with the management of professional doctorates and PGR student experiences, particularly in relation to the DBA.
I review for various journals and conferences, these include: Journal of Marketing Management, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, European Journal of Marketing, Qualitative Market Research, EURAM, BAM, EAERCD. I am the Guest Editor for the International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management Special Issue - Post-Covid Retail Recovery.
Membership of professional bodies
I am a committee member (Secretary) for the Marketing and Retail Special Interest Group at the British Academy of Management and have been an Academic Panel Member for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (Midlands). I am a committee member for CERR (Colloquium on European Research in Retailing) and a Board Member of the Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District in Derby, Visit Peak District and Derbyshire and Chesterfield's High Streets Task Force.
PhD - ‘Understanding and implementing managing diversity in organisations: A study in the retail sector’, Nottingham Trent University, 2003
BA (Hons) Business Studies, Nottingham Trent University, 1997
HEA (Higher Education Academy) Associate Fellow
My research has been presented at a number of conferences including the British Academy of Management, the Academy of Marketing, EIRASS, ISBE, EAERCD and Gender, Work and Organization. A full list of my conference papers can be found on UDORA.
Selected papers include:
Brindley, C., Foster, C., Oxborrow, L. and Armannsdottir, G. 'Co-creating value in independent retail: are pop-ups the solution to post-Covid retail recovery?', BAM conference, online, 2021. Winner of Best Developmental Paper
Collins, C., Foster, C., Kirk, S., Parry, E and Dinauer, L. ‘Improving lives by creating impact through Professional Management Doctoral research’, Professional Development Workshop, Academy of Management, Chicago, August 2018
Kirk, S., Foster, C., Kougiannou, K., Collins, C., Hiller, L., Parry, E., and Pilbeam, C., ‘Identity construction in the DBA doctoral journey’, 5th International Conference on Professional Doctorates, London, March 2018
Foster, C., Brindley, C., Armansdottir, G. and Ghosh, B. Value co-creation in temporary, independent retailing: a study of customer value perceptions of pop-up stores, Academy of Marketing Conference (AM2017), Hull University Business School, 3-6 July 2017
Foster, C., Brindley, C., Oxborrow, L. and Armansdottir, G. The role of value co-creation in SME pop-up retail space: a supply-side relational stakeholder perspective, 19th European Association for Education and Research in Commercial Distribution, Dublin, Ireland, 4-6th July 2017
Foster, C. & Kirk, S. Professional Doctorate Curriculum Design: a resource-dependency analysis of DBA stakeholders. British Academy of Management, University of Newcastle, September 2016. This paper won Best Developmental paper in the Knowledge & Learning Track
Spry, L., Parker-Jenkins, M., Peart, S. and Foster, C. The Role of External Stakeholders in the Development of a Corporate Brand in Higher Education, AERA, Washington, USA, April 2016
Foster, C., Kirk, S., Shipton, H., Zhang, M. and Kougiannou, K. An exploration of impact and engaged scholarship among DBA students, International Conference of Professional Doctorates, Belfast, March 2016
Experience in industry
I have worked and continue to work with a number of large and small organisations in a research and consultancy capacity. This includes B&Q, WHSmith, Tesco, Boots, Virgin Trains as well as independent retailers, shopping centres and SME marketing service providers.
I have also worked on funded research with PKF Cooper Parry, Rolls Royce and the CIPD. I have advised Derby City Council on their successful Future High Streets bid and given talks to practitioner audiences on the future of the high street at, for example, the Peak District Partnership, Destination Chesterfield and the Festival of Business.
I was also the Academic Lead for a management KTP (2020-2022) with the Devonshire Group (Chatsworth House), part-funded by the ESRC, which examined the economic impact of their activities on the region.
I have taught on a Certificate in Business Administration for the retailer ECCO in Boston, USA and delivered marketing ethics workshops to postgraduate students at EDHEC, France. I have presented at a number of international conferences and supervised international doctoral students from, for example, China, Canada, Libya, Oman, Ireland, Japan and Zimbabwe.
Additional interests and activities
My externally funded projects include:
NICRE - Exploring identity, place & worker attraction & retention in rural businesses £14.5k - 2023
Innovate UK KTP (part-funded by the ESRC) with Chatsworth House Trust - Economic evaluation of the Devonshire Group's activities - £140k - 2020 -2022
The Society for the Advancement of Management Studies - Using visual methods in qualitative research - £3,800 - 2019
Innovate UK KTP with PKF Cooper Parry - Developing new markets using digital technologies - £30k - 2017/18
Academy of Marketing - Co-creation in temporary, independent retailing - £5k - 2016/17
Santander - Internationalising the DBA curriculum - £5k - 2016
The Society for the Advancement of Management Studies - The realities of researching under-represented groups (2nd workshop) - £3.3k - 2013
The Society for the Advancement of Management Studies - The realities of researching under-represented groups (1st workshop) - £3k - 2011
Academy of Marketing - Women in marketing: an exploration - £2k - 2010
In the media
Here my views on pop-up retail recorded with Linney as part of their consumer insight series Pop-up Podcast
My research can be found in a range of journals including the International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, Journal of Marketing Management, Services Industries Journal, Journal of Product and Brand Management and HRMJ. A full list of my publications can be found on UDORA.
Selected publications include:
Spry, L., Foster, C., Pich, C. and Peart, S. (2020) ‘Managing higher education brands with an emerging brand architecture: the role of shared values and competing brand identities’. Journal of Strategic Marketing, Vol. 28, No.4, pp.336-349
Cowling, M., Nadeem, S., Foster, C. and Baranova, P. (2020). 'Can local finance add value to local small business? Evidence from a UK local loan and grant fund'. International Review of Entrepreneurship, Vol.18, No. 1, pp. 1-27
Hancock, C. and Foster, C. (2019) ‘Exploring the ZMET methodology in services marketing’, Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 48-58
Foster, C. and Brindley, C. (2018) ‘Female entrepreneurial networking in the marketing services sector’. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, Vol. 21, No.2, pp.182-201
Topimin, S., Brindley, C. and Foster, C. (2018) Women’s business survival and the institutionalization of entrepreneurial support in Malaysian handicraft industry. In: Shumaila Yousafzai, S., Lindgreen, A., Saeed, S., Henry, C. and Fayolle, A., eds., Contextual Embeddedness of Women's Entrepreneurship: Going Beyond a Gender Neutral Approach. Oxon, Routledge, ch.15 , pp. 206-219
Armannsdottir, G., Brindley, C., Foster, C., Wheatley, D. and Pich, C. (2016). An exploration of Icelandic marketing women entrepreneurs. In: Diaz C., Brush C., Gatewood E. & Welter F., eds., Women's Entrepreneurship in global and local contexts. Edward Elgar
Abdelhadi, A, Foster, C. and Whysall, P. (2014) ‘An exploratory investigation of aberrant consumer behaviour in Libya: a sociocultural approach’. Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 30, No. 9-10, pp.857-873. This article was selected for the Editor’s Choice 2016 Collection
Brindley, C., Foster, C. and Wheatley, D. (2014). Career transitions in marketing: from corporate life to self-employment. In: L. Kelly, ed., Entrepreneurial women: new management and leadership models. Vol. 1. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger, 2014, ch. 5, pp. 121-138
Lewis, J., Whysall, P. and Foster, C. (2014) ‘Drivers and technology-related obstacles in moving to multichannel retailing’. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp.43-68
Resnick, S, Foster, C. and Woodall, T. (2014) ‘Exploring the UK high street retail experience: is the service encounter still valued?’ International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 42, No. 9, pp.839-859
Tansley, C, Huang, J & Foster, C. (2013) ‘Identity ambiguity and the promises of hybrid e-HRM project teams’. Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp.208-224
Brindley, C., Foster, C. and Wheatley, D. (2013). Marketing women: a sector experience. In: D. Kariv, ed., Female entrepreneurship and the new venture creation: an international overview. Abingdon: Routledge, 2013, pp. 93-98
Foster, C. and Resnick, S. (2013) ‘Service worker appearance and the retail service encounter: the influence of gender and age’. The Service Industries Journal,Vol. 33, No.1-2, pp.236-247
Resnick, S., Cheng, R., Brindley, C. and Foster, C. (2011) ‘Aligning teaching and practice: a study of SME marketing’. Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp.37-46
Foster, C. (2010) ‘Using scenarios to explore employee attitudes in retailing’, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 39 No.3, pp.218-228
Foster, C, Punjaisri, K and Cheng, R. (2010) ‘Exploring the Relationship between corporate, internal and employer branding’, Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 19 No.6, pp.401-409
Carley Foster, Professor of Services Marketing at the University of Derby, considers how our high street stores have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, and what the retail offer of our town centres could be in a socially-distanced future.