PhD Opportunities

PhD Opportunities

Marketing & Reputation

Henley Business School holds triple-accredited status and enjoys a reputation for high quality academic and applied research. It is part of the University of Reading, consistently rated among the UK’s most research-intensive institutions.

Henley provides a unique opportunity to undertake original research in Marketing & Reputation that will make a contribution to theory and impact upon practice. As an important member of the academic community you will develop your critical thinking, intellectual capacity and creativity, and work with your academic supervisors to engage with industry and publish your ideas.

Our postgraduate research students are drawn from all over the world and benefit from a dynamic research environment, supervision from an internationally renowned faculty, a programme of personal development modules and workshops, dedicated administrative support, and outstanding facilities.

We recognise that PhD students enrich the ideas within their academic discipline and in practice; PhD students are therefore invited to play an active role in the department and are invited to research seminars, conferences and guest talks. Students are also encouraged to make external links with practitioners and academics in their field through presentation of their work at international conferences, and there is financial support for this activity.

Due to the taught elements of this programme we will only consider applications for full-time, campus-based students; for part-time or distance options, please instead consider the Henley Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programme. For this reason we also do not currently offer an option for January entry.

Final Deadlines for Applications:

Self/externally funded candidates (those not applying for a Henley Studentship): 30th June 2019
Candidates applying for a Henley Studentship: 30th April 2019

Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.

Research Areas

Henley Business School’s research in Marketing and Reputation is driven through leading centres, including the Henley Centre for Customer Management, the John Madejski Centre for Reputation, and the Governance & Leadership group.

We welcome applications from candidates seeking to conduct full-time postgraduate research in all areas of Marketing and Reputation, and in quantitative, qualitative and mixed methodologies. The faculty has extensive experience in survey methods, experimental design, depth interviewing, case studies, content analysis and ethnography (including netnography).

The faculty are particularly interested in the following topics:

In Marketing:

  • Aspects of customer experience, especially relating to the use of new technologies;
  • Relational dynamics in markets, including aspects of service recovery, service innovation and the management of customer relationships;
  • Emerging consumer cultures, particularly non-Western contexts and practices involving new technologies;
  • Organisational culture and climate and its impact on customer satisfaction, retention and sales;
  • Marketing planning, strategy and competitive advantage especially involving new technologies.

In Reputation:

  • Corporate responsibility and wellbeing in/around organisations including individual and organisational resilience;
  • Decision-making within a stakeholder environment, particularly bias and prejudice in leadership decision making, or the unintended consequences and decision making;
  • The impact of the reputation of leaders and leadership teams on organisations;
  • Nature of and working through ethical dilemmas;
  • Governance and reputation enhancement especially leading for a sustainable and reputable organisation.

In Governance & Leadership:

We are seeking potential PhD students for the following group projects:

Further areas of interest include:

  • Board performance and value delivery, including boardroom diversity and the dynamics and functioning of boards;
  • Responsibility and accountability of the board, board sustainability and resilience, including the strengths and weaknesses of governance frameworks, governance risk and reputation;
  • Top-Team dynamics and the CEO role and contribution, including the reality of strategy generation and execution;
  • The functioning of government, especially the relationship between minister and civil servant, and between government and critical bodies such as Central Bank, Financial Authorities and Regulators;
  • Relationship of the firm to government, and relationship of the concentration of capital to policy development and execution

Just as important as matching your interests with that of the department, however, is presenting a proposal that you care about and that provides the potential to contribute to theory and transform practice. Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty early in the process to discuss their ideas and develop their proposals.

Please note that although only formal applications through the online system can be considered, if you would like your proposal to be considered by a specific member of faculty then you should contact them directly before you apply.

Continuing Your Career

A PhD in the area of Marketing & Reputation from the Henley Business School can open doors to a highly successful career in academia, large multinationals, leading consulting firms, and governmental and non-governmental organisations worldwide. Your supervisors will work with you to create a personal development plan which will support your future career, and you can apply for funding from the department for external workshops and conferences which complement your progression.

If you are seeking an academic career then you will be able to undertake training that prepares you for the lecturing role, and may be able to lead classes, deliver lectures and undertake assessment within the department. All PhD students will gain experience presenting their ideas through regular PhD conferences, meetings with the programme director, and attendance at department and faculty research events.

Throughout the programme you will also be encouraged to make links with practitioners and relevant industry associations, and you will be strongly encouraged to publish your work in leading journals during your PhD and following completion.

PhD Funding

We can offer a limited number of PhD scholarships, worth up to £15,000 plus University fees, for outstanding applicants wanting to conduct full-time postgraduate research in the area of Marketing & Reputation. This award is offered on an annual basis and is renewable at the end of each year subject to satisfactory performance, for up to 3 years.

The Supervision Experience

The Marketing & Reputation department has considerable experience of supervision and will work to ensure that you quickly develop a constructive and productive relationship with your supervisors. All PhD students will be supported by a supervisory team that will include at least one experienced supervisor who has previously supervised students to completion, and a second supervisor with subject, context or methodological expertise. We will ensure that a suitable supervisory team is identified and available before you are accepted on the programme.

You will have regular meetings with your supervisors, normally at least every 2 weeks. You will also meet regularly with the Director of Postgraduate Research who will also support you with all academic issues. In addition, all PhD students have access to workshops run by both the University of Reading and by Henley Business School, and will be invited to attend department research seminars and research events. As a PhD student you will be provided with a budget to attend further external training if required, and to present your work at international conferences.

See below for first supervisors in Marketing and Reputation:

Professor Moira Clark

Moira leads the Henley Centre for Customer Management and has 18 Years experience of supervision. She is looking to supervise projects that look at customer experience and customer management, including complaint management and resolution, both online and offline. She is also interested in research on organisational climate and culture and how it impacts on business performance.

She is passionate about qualitative research that can reveal complexity with a ring of truth about it and has a strong impact on the reader. Students under Moira’s supervision may therefore also explore the notion of truth within the realist philosophy as part of their studies. By working with Moira you may recognise that it is possible to prove or disprove theories and eventually come to a true description of a phenomenon.

Dr Georgiana Grigore

Georgiana has supervised PhD’s to successful completion and is interested in taking on new students who wish to explore aspects of corporate responsibility and business ethics, especially where they relate to the use of new technologies from the perspective of either practitioners or consumers. She has worked on applying social theory to understand marketing issues, and would welcome students who wish to use ideas and theories form outside marketing as part of their enquiries. She has experience of both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and can work with mixed-method approaches.

Her approach to supervision is to ensure that the candidate develops the critical and intellectual skills required to be an autonomous researcher, and this means publishing as part of the PhD process.

Professor Andrew Kakabadse

Andrew is an experienced supervisor and is interested in mature doctoral candidates who have working experience, and are thus credible with senior managers, public servants and politicians.

He pursues qualitative exploratory studies with the twin aim of meeting doctoral academic criteria, as well as offering practical outcomes for the study participants and their organisations. He draws on quantitative approaches where necessary, but this is not central to his research approach. He encourages all PhD candidates to publish whilst completing their doctoral research and to fully exploit their doctoral work in terms of articles, books and other outputs.

Professor Nada Kakabadse

Nada has 40 years of supervising experience with over 30 completions. She manages the Governance & Leadership group, a leading international research group with an outstanding reputation for excellence in research and teaching programmes at all levels. The Governance group maintains a deep commitment to knowledge development and policy engagement, and has a long-standing connection with business, public, and third sector organisations as well as with governments and regional and global bodies.

Nada encourages critical problem solving that addresses real life concerns, and welcomes candidates who have experience and are credible with research respondents and top-level executives/directors.

Dr Cristiana Lages

Christiana has been supervising for over 11 years and is interested in new PhD students who want to work on customer or employee emotions in a service recovery context, including the ‘dark side’ of online customer engagement and service recovery in a social media context.

Cristiana’s interest in PhD supervision includes developing students into future academics by encouraging them to publish during their PhD, and by getting them involved in international academic networks through conferences and workshops. Her supervision style includes working on personal development and on student well-being so that they have the foundations necessary to progress quickly in their postgraduate studies.

Dr Mike Molesworth

Mike has 9 years of supervisory experience and is interested in projects that explore emerging consumer practices related to new technologies and/or in non-Western contexts, including work on the student as a consumer. He is also interested in critical and ethical aspects of marketing. He has experience of a range of qualitative approaches including phenomenology and netnography, and has worked with practice theory, Actor Network Theory, and psychoanalytic approaches in recent work.

Mike’s approach to supervision is to ensure students work to add to knowledge in original and non-traditional ways, including through journal publication and conference participation. He would also hope that his PhD students engage with relevant academic communities, including other students.

Professor Adrian Palmer

Adrian’s research and supervision of students has evolved around consumer behaviour, and specifically the factors that lead customers to remain loyal to a seller. He has been active in researching Relationship Marketing which from the 1990’s became a “big idea”, eventually leading to more emphasis on customer experience, and most recently customer engagement. Adrian has supervised doctoral students throughout each of these developments, recognising their building blocks in service quality, consumers’ attitudes and perceptual processes, all of which he has researched.

Adrian has supervised 12 doctoral students to completion and welcomes new students who wish to push the boundaries of knowledge within his areas of specialised research interest. He has a particular interest in the services sector, and more specifically the travel and tourism sectors.

Other experienced first supervisors include: