Professor Carley Foster

Professor Carley Foster

Position: Professor of Services Marketing, Head of the Centre for Business Improvement

College: College of Business, Law and Social Sciences

Department: Derby Business School, Derby Management School

Subject area: Business and Management

Show All


I am Professor of Services Marketing and Head of the Centre for Business Improvement. My research, teaching and consultancy focuses on services marketing, particularly in terms of how organisations and customers engage with one another in a 'responsible' way. As Head of the Centre for Business Improvement, I am responsible for leading applied research in the College which relates to three research strands - Enterprise Evaluation and Applied Economics, Sustainable Business and the Green Economy and Responsible Customer Engagement. 

Teaching responsibilities

I have successfully supervised and continue to supervise doctoral research students (PhDs and Professional Doctorates) in the areas of marketing and retail. I am a Director of Studies for doctoral students at Grenoble School of Management and Nottingham Trent University. I have been an external examiner for Manchester Metropolitan University and I am currently an external examiner for the University of Surrey. 

Professional interests

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 Leader for the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at Nottingham Trent University.

Research interests

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

In addition I am currently involved in a project looking at pop-ups/ temporary retail space and the role this has in regenerating local communities and high streets.

As an experienced doctoral supervisor, I am also conducting teaching related research concerned with the management of professional doctorates.

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 an Academic Panel Member for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (Midlands).  I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and have been a member of the Institute of Directors and the Association of Business Schools DBA steering group.


PhD, BA (Hons) Business Studies, HEA Associate Fellow

Recent publications

My research can be found in a range of journals including the International Journal of Retail and Distribution ManagementJournal of Marketing Management, Services Industries Journal, Journal of Product and Brand Management and HRMJ. A full list of my publications can be found here.

Recent conferences

My research has been presented at a number of conferences including the British Academy of Management (a co-authored paper won the Best Development Paper in the Knowledge and Learning track 2016), the Academy of Marketing, EIRASS, ISBE, EAERCD and Gender Work and Organization. My conference papers can be found here.

Experience in industry

I have worked with a number of large and small organisations in a research and consultancy capacity. This includes B&Q, WH Smith, Tesco, Boots, Virgin Trains as well as independent retailers, shopping centres and SME marketing service providers.

International experience

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 I have supervised international doctoral students from, for example, Libya, Oman, Ireland, Japan and Zimbabwe.

Find out how to update your staff profile

Edit your staff profile