Hello and welcome to my website.
Currently, I am Professor of Consumer Research in the School of Management at the University of Bath and Visiting Professor at Stockholm University Business School. I joined Bath in 2006 as Senior Lecturer and was promoted to full Professor in 2012. Prior to joining Bath, I worked at the University of Exeter, where I also gained my PhD in consumer research Here is my university homepage.
The School of Management at the University of Bath is one of the oldest management schools in the UK. Here you can find more about us and the undergraduate and postgraduate opportunities available.
If you’re a fellow academic or student looking for my research papers skip directly to my publications page.
Academia is my second career. After undergraduate studies in psychology at the University of Bristol, I worked for two ITV companies – Tyne Tees Television and Scottish Television. Here my clients were the media planners and buyers at leading advertising agencies and this sparked my interest in advertising and how it works.
When it came to choosing a topic for my PhD, I intended to study the use of popular music in advertising. However, my advisor Professor Richard Elliott was more interested in another idea based on BBC Radio 4’s iconic Desert Island Discs. I examined people’s record collections, with their help, to explore issues of identity – of who we are, were or want to be. Identity remains an important theme in my research.
Most people assume that as I work in a School of Management and study consumption then I must study why consumers buy stuff and how we can get them to buy more stuff. Lots of my colleagues do this type of research but I don’t.
I’m more interested in what people do with stuff and what stuff does to people. How do people use stuff, what does this stuff mean to them, how is this stuff integrated into their everyday lives and what does this stuff do to or for them? And by stuff, I’m not limited to just studying the material or tangible things you can buy in shops, but also leisure activities, like dance or surf culture, or anything that provides us with an experience – pleasant or unpleasant.
For example, a paper I worked on with Dr Robin Canniford explored how we consume nature and the experiences we get by doing so. At first you might think ‘what’s nature got to do with business or management?’ But if you think about it a bit more, nature is “managed” and “sold” to us in a variety of forms from an African adventure safari to a scuba-diving holiday or a family beach holiday in Cornwall. And of course in order to experience these natures, we have to buy a load of stuff!
Consumers Tribes and Tribal Marketing: Click here for an example.
Identity and Consumption: Click here for an example.
Social media and On-Line Consumer Behaviour: Click here for an example.
Consumer-Cultural Studies: Click here for an example.
Excess in Consumer Culture: Click here for an example.
These are academic papers and academics often speak in incomprehensible jargon. Please contact me if you’d like anything explained!
Research is a collaborative process and I’ve been very lucky to have worked with some great colleagues. Thank you all.
I live in the beautiful Cotswolds and the wonderful city of Bristol. I’m married to a GP. I have two sons and two step-daughters.
And no I’m not related to The Beatles’ guru.
I also have a dog called Mutley.