Our research

Our Research

Marketing & Reputation is one of six academic areas within Henley Business School at the University of Reading and the research interests of our faculty are wide-ranging. In the marketing field they include customer management and the allied topics of customer experience and customer effort; services marketing and the role of internal climate and people management; digital marketing and the impact of social media upon customer and organisational behaviour; online shopping behaviour and the nature of customer experience from websites, brand management; nation and destination branding; not-for-profit marketing and health services marketing.

Within the reputation field our research interests include brand and corporate reputation management; corporate responsibility and well-being in/around organisations; individual and organisational resilience; decision-making within a stakeholder environment; positive psychology; the reputation and relationships of charities; emotional and cognitive influences on leadership behaviour; the impact of the reputation of leaders and leadership teams on organisations; bias and prejudice in leadership decision making; unintended consequences and decision making as well as the ground breaking collaboration with our Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics, to study the neuroscience behind leadership decision making and reputation.

Linked to Marketing & Reputation is effective governance. Through the Directors’ Forum, our research interests include: enhancing the performance of general managers and top teams; better understanding of board dynamics and capabilities and improving the role and contribution of board directors. Particular attention is paid to enabling stewardship, improving organisational design and leading through strategic change. Our focus is both on institutions and governments. Our research base is international and broad ranging, covering many thousands of organisations, including three governments across 42 countries.

Faculty are regularly interviewed in the media and consult for international bodies and governments as well as large and small firms. Three applied research centres form part of Marketing and Reputation, enabling us to work with corporate members and share our latest thinking in these areas.

The Henley Centre for Customer Management

The Henley Centre for Customer Management, under the direction of Professor Moira Clark, provides a continuous programme of highly focused research projects and workshops that explore the management of customers today. A focus on managing customer relationships and a desire to provide a memorable customer experience are two factors that distinguish organisations that lead in the provision of excellent customer service. As a result customer management has become a tool of great strategic importance. The Centre brings together business practitioners, industry thought-leaders, experts and academics to help organisations tackle the challenges of customer management. Current members of the Centre include: Capita, Microsoft, Oracle, SAS, Glaxo Smith Kline, Arise, Capital One, Environment Agency, ING Bank, Janssen-Cilag, Kelly Services, Mercedes Benz Financial Services, NHS Blood and Transplant.

The John Madejski Centre for Reputation

The John Madejski Centre for Reputation, under the direction of Professor Kevin Money, is a dedicated research centre that works with leading organisations to improve corporate reputation amongst their many stakeholders including customers, suppliers and employees. It explores topics such as corporate responsibility, sustainability and how to improve corporate governance by measuring and reporting on intangible assets. These may be as diverse as the management of stakeholder relationships, the impact of HR management within the organisation, marketing practice or the organisation's involvement in the community. The Centre is sponsored by Sir John Madejski OBE DL,DLitt who is also the Chancellor of the University of Reading. Current members of the Centre include: British Airways, BSkyB, Clydesdale Bank, South West London and St Georges Mental Health Trust, Shell, and UKBA.

The Directors’ Forum; Governance, Board and Director Performance

Under the direction of Professor Andrew Kakabadse, the Directors’ Forum is a global research and advisory centre focusing on enhancing the performance of top teams, boards, directors and ministers of state, private, public, third sectors and government. The Directors’ Forum has attracted critical research funding from a number of bodies. The ground breaking research, supported by the Institute for Company Secretaries (ICSA) on ‘The Role and Contribution of the Company Secretary’ and ‘How to Address Conflict in the Boardroom’ have made a substantial impact. Further study on behalf of Alvarez & Marsal highlights the pathways boards need to consider to effectively navigate through disruption, paradox and discontinuity.

On the invitation of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, (PACAC) and the Cabinet Office, UK, investigation into the functioning of the British Government led to the submission of the ‘Is Government Fit for Purpose? The Kakabadse Report’. This overarching investigation is viewed as the broadest inquiry into the UK government since 1854. In similar vein, the study of the role and contribution of the Independent Director in social organisations is currently underway, covering health, sports, charities and further education. These and other penetrating investigations, provide the basis for the activities of the Directors’ Forum, which include:

  • analysis of board and director dynamics
  • counselling, mentoring and support for general managers, top teams and board directors
  • evidence determined, interventions for particular enterprises, leading to tailored development for senior managers, directors, civil servants and government ministers
  • psychometric assessment
  • advisory service on organisational redesign, leading through strategic change, how to realise greater value through enhanced alignment of systems and thinking and improved engagement with critical stakeholders
  • governance of the 4.0 economy

With these areas in mind, we wish to invite interest from potential doctorate candidates.

The Directors Forum Faculty also run the two day Board Directors' Programme and also their recent innovation of the Master of Arts, Board Practice and Directorship (MABPD). This first global practice faced Masters degree focuses on improving the performance and contribution of current and aspiring directors. With many clients across the world, ranging from the UK, Europe, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Malaysia, China and Australia, our research informs our practice.

Enquiry Contact Details

Angie Clark
Department Administrator
Email: angie.clark@henley.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)118 378 5834

Daniel Bateman
PGR Administrator
Client Relationship Executive
- The Henley Centre for Customer Management
Email: d.bateman@henley.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)7970 929880

Vickie Findlater
Client Relationship Executive
- The Directors Forum
- The John Madejski Centre for Reputation
Email: victoria.findlater@henley.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1491 418776

Related links

Follow us