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Marketing and Retail

Research in Marketing and Retail

The Marketing and Retail Division contributed significantly to Stirling Management School’s exceptional performance in REF 2014, which placed the school among the UK’s top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of 101 business schools, and in the top five schools in Scotland. Professor Leigh Spark’s research on Retail Planning and Town Centres was the subject of one of the five impact case studies which were submitted to REF by Stirling Management School.

Our research focuses on the theory and practice of marketing and consumption issues, from the societal level through to individual and group consumer behaviour issues. This is set against research interests in organisations of all sizes which practice marketing in its many forms, in the private and public sectors, and in profit and non-profit contexts. Current research interests include marketing in the small and medium sized enterprise, e-marketing, music marketing, sports marketing, international marketing and applied marketing. Much of our research activities fall under the remit of critical marketing where we seek to challenge existing assumptions and derive new approaches, based on our determination to narrow the theory versus practice gap.

Our research activities can be aligned to a number of over-arching themes, although the list is not exhaustive and is subject to change and development.

Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) - the focus on the inter-relationships between consumer actions, the marketplace, and cultural meanings - has led to research on celebrity, performativity, music and film as well as alternative sites and spaces of consumption, ritual, authenticity and globalisation of youth culture. Transition, including ritual events and adolescence issues, consumer research on social groups, misbehaviour and vulnerable consumers, advertising literacy and effectiveness.

Brands and Branding - this research relates both to brands and their identity, products and services, brand communities and also explores the concept of managerial identity in the marketing led organisation.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is examined from both consumer and industry perspectives with an emphasis on sustainability in applied contexts (e.g. food) and notions of responsible business practice (including consumers’ understanding of advertising and marketing strategy). Green Marketing, consumer response to CSR, socially irresponsible behaviour and how firms chose to communicate about their CSR engagement, CSR in sports.

Marketing in the Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) - marketing is practiced differently in the SME when compared to the larger firm. Our research here examines how owner/managers construct a situation specific form of marketing which reflects the needs of the smaller organisation which very often does not have the same resources as its larger counterpart. SME marketing research is carried out in a range of contexts, from examining the practice of marketing in high technology businesses, through to evaluating its practice in the creative industries, including the arts and crafts.

The Institute for Retail Studies conducts research projects on behalf of retail and distributive companies, local and national governments, public sector bodies and research councils. The projects themselves vary enormously and range from three year research fellowships to short term consulting projects. Examples of current research activities also relate to retail internationalisation, retail branding and retail failure, sport retailing.

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