The Responsible and Critical Marketing Research Group

The Responsible and Critical Marketing Research Group at Birmingham Business School aims to lead the academic development of knowledge of the subject, to contribute to the learning curriculum and reach out to those interested in improving marketing practices and standards. 

The topic is very broad and covers many different subjects and methods of research. Research by members of our team covers areas of employee attitudes to responsibility, managerial and B2B ethics, responsible marketing and technology, consumer responsibility, marketing sustainability, base of the pyramid (BoP) marketing, market access and diversity, corporate social responsibility (CSR), marketing’s contribution to social and environmental elements of the ‘triple bottom line’ and responsible marketing education.

We have close connections with many research organizations including Lloyd’s Centre for Responsible Business, UK Academy of Marketing, Chartered Institute of Marketing, American Marketing Association and European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management. Members of the group have been awarded major research grants from the British Academy, ESRC, EPSRC, EU Socrates and Marie-Curie programmes. Members of the group have organized or contributed to seminars and conferences on responsible marketing topics and engage with business and governments organizations. Others are active in print, broadcast and social media giving expert opinions on current issues. 

Current research projects by members of the group examine stakeholder theory and stakeholder value, ethical consumerism and sustainable consumption, strategic drivers of corporate social responsibility, deception in marketing, marketing ethics, food marketing and healthy eating, consumer confusion, social marketing and behaviour change interventions, consumers’ knowledge of CSR policies and actions, unethical practices in advertising. Collective activities by the group include organising research workshops, public seminars, grant applications, and writing an edited book which defines and scopes the field of responsible marketing. 

If you are interested in finding out more, please get in touch with one of the Group Coordinators, Prof Michael Saren ( and Prof Rohit Varman ( If you are considering studying for a PhD in these research areas or related topics please contact our PhD Pathway Director, Dr Finola Kerrigan (


Responsible Consumer Behaviour 

Szmigin, I. and Gee, Veronica (2017) ‘Mystification and Obfuscation in portion sizes in UK food products’ Journal of Business Research. (available online 

Leek, S., Szmigin I. and Baker E., (2015) Consumer Confusion and Front Of Pack (FOP) Nutritional Labels. Journal of Customer Behaviour, 14, 1, 49-61.

Smith, C N, Goldstein D G and Johnson EJ (2013) “Choice Without Awareness: Ethical and Policy Implications of Defaults” Journal of Public Policy & Marketing 32 (2), 2013, 159-172.

He, Hongwei and Harris LC (2014), “Moral Disengagement of Consumer Revenge to Service Failure: Moral Identity, Moral Awareness, and Anger”, Annals of Tourism Research, 45, pp. 132-151.

Forbes, S., Robertson, K., & Lawson, R. (2013). Source Gender of health information: Does it matter? European Advances in Consumer Research. 10, 104-110.

Harris, L C. and Daunt, K (2013), “Managing Customer Misbehavior: Challenges and Strategies”, Journal of Services Marketing, 27, 4, pp. 281-293.

Szmigin, I and O’Loughlin, D. (2010) Students and the Consumer Credit Market: Towards a Social Policy Agenda, Social Policy and Administration, 44, 5, 598-619. 

Marketing Access and Diversity

Harris L C. and Ogbonna E, “Ethnic Gatekeeping on the Shopfloor: A Study of Bases, Motives and Approaches”, Work, Employment and Society (forthcoming).

Harris L C. and OgbonnaE (2013), “Employee Negative Word-of-Mouth: A Study of Front-Line Workers”, Employee Relations, 35, 1, pp. 39-60

Medlin C and Saren M.  (2013) ‘Interaction Asymmetry Implications for Relationship Marketing’ 21st International Colloquium on Relationship Marketing, Grand Ecole Rennes, France September 2013

Saren M and Goulding C (2013) ‘Tribal Marketing: Controlling or Controlled by Consumers?’ 8th Interpretative Consumer Research Workshop, Brussels, March 2013

Szmigin, I., Carrigan, M. and O’Loughlin, D. (2007) Integrating Ethical Brands into our Consumption Lives, Journal of Brand Management ,14, (5) 396-409

Responsible Business Education

Smith, C N and Ronnegard D (2014) “Shareholder Primacy, Corporate Social Responsibility and the Role of Business Schools” Journal of Business Ethics(online first: DOI: 10.1007/s10551-014-2427-x

Saren M (2010) Business schools and economic crisis: we are all critical now: but critique of what, for whom? International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 4 (1): 28-34

Smith, C N and Lenssen G (2009) Mainstreaming Corporate Responsibility Chichester: Wiley

Marketing Responsibility and Technology

Manika, D., Gregory-Smith, D. & Antonetti, P. (2017) – “Pride in health-related technological interventions: A double-edged sword”, Psychology & Marketing, 34, 410–427, special issue “Technological Impacts on Market Attitudes and Behaviors”. DOI: 10.1002/mar.20997

Saren M (2016) ‘Deus ex Machina: Exploring the Ethics of New Technology in Marketing’ paper presentation at the41st Macromarketing Conference, 12-15 July 2016 Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Saren M (2011) Marketing Empowerment and Exclusion in the Information Age. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 29 (1)1: 39-48

Marketing Sustainability and the Environment

Smith, C N and Lenssen G Managing the Sustainable Enterprise  Springer (forthcoming).

Gregory-Smith, D., Manika, D., & Liu, P. (2017). “Green intentions under the blue flag: Exploring differences in EU consumers’ willingness to pay more for green products”, Business Ethics: A European Review. DOI: 10.1111/beer.12151

Gregory-Smith, D., Manika, D., Wells, V. & Veitch, T. (2017) – “Examining the effect of an environmental social marketing intervention among university employees”. Journal: Studies in Higher Education. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2017.1309647

Gregory-Smith, D., Wells, V., Manika, D. & Mcleroy, D. (2017) – “An environmental social marketing intervention in cultural heritage tourism: A realist evaluation”, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 25(7), 1042-1059, special issue “Marketing Issues in Sustainable Tourism”. 

Carrigan, M., Lazell, J., Bosangit, C., & Magrizos, S. (2017). Burgers for tourists who give a damn! Driving disruptive social change upstream and downstream in the tourist food supply chain. Journal of Sustainable Tourism.

Members of the Responsible and Critical Marketing Research Group

Dr Alessandro Gerosa 

Lecturer in Marketing

Alessandro Gerosa is a Lecturer in Marketing at the Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham. He received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Milan (2020). In 2019 he was a visiting researcher at the Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies (CAMEo) at the University of Leicester.

Alessandro Gerosa

Dr Louise Hassan 

Associate Professor in Marketing

Louise (蕭永真) is a consumer psychologist particularly interested in responsible consumption including understanding risky consumption choices and consumer decision-making regarding ethics and sustainable choices. A further interest lies in information processing and persuasion including how best to utilise tools such as product warnings to inform consumers.  She has undertaken projects evaluating policy interventions such as evaluating the introduction of smoke-free legislation in Scotland and evaluating the European Union’s HELP – for a life without tobacco campaign.  She is currently undertaking an interdisciplinary funded project (over £450k) examining sustainability issues regarding consumers’ mask wearing choices. Louise’s research most often adopts quantitative methodologies given her statistics background, but she also incorporates qualitative methodologies within her research work.

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Dr. Achilleas Boukis

Senior Lecturer in Marketing


Achilleas Boukis is an Associate Professor in Marketing at the University of Birmingham. Achilleas received his PhD from Strathclyde University (2014). His interests include branding, technology and employee-customer interactions in service industries like hospitality and sharing economy. Achilleas has published ‎his research in academic journals such as Journal of Business Research, Tourism Management, Psychology & Marketing and European Journal of Marketing. 

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Achilleas Boukis

Professor Finola Kerrigan 

Professor in Marketing and Consumption


Finola Kerrigan is Professor of Marketing in the Department of Marketing at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham where she teaches and researches marketing and consumption.

She has published her research in a range of international journals, edited collections and is the author of Film Marketing (2010/2017). Drawing on a range of qualitative and creative research methods, Finola has researched subjects on branding, digital identity, ethics and the incorporation of new technologies into marketing practice and how this impacts consumers.  With a specific focus on researching the cultural and creative industries, Finola centres the arts both in terms of arts based methods and as a context for her research.

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Kerrigan Finola

Dr Sheena Leek

Senior Lecturer in Marketing

Telephone: +44 (0)121 414 6226

Sheena joined the Birmingham Business School from the University of Cardiff in September 2004. In the area of business to business marketing she is interested in the role of information technology on communication within business relationships, the role of social capital in initiating relationships and branding. Within consumer behaviour her research interests include consumer confusion in high tech areas such as the mobile phone industry and convenience and healthy eating.

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Sheena Leek

Dr Solon Magrizos 

Lecturer in Marketing

Telephone: +44 (0)121 414 8329

Dr Solon Magrizos is a Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Birmingham. Prior to this post, he was a post-doctorate researcher in the Centre for Business in Society of Coventry University and he also holds a PhD from Athens University of Economics and Business.

His main research interests surround issues related to ethical companies and ethical consumers. Specifically, he is interested in broader issues around Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) implementation and its link to the firms’ business benefits, with a focus on SMEs and Social Enterprises. He also researches the perceptions and reactions of consumers to firms’ CSR initiatives.

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Solon Magrizos

Dr Miriam McGowan 

Lecturer in Marketing


Miriam McGowan is a Lecturer in Marketing at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham. Miriam’s research draws on a consumer psychology perspective to understand how social and situation factors impact consumer behaviour.

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Miriam McGowan

Professor Michael Sarum

Professor of Marketing 

Michael Saren is a Professor of Marketing in Birmingham Business School where he is involved in the responsible and critical marketing research group in the department of marketing.

His research interests are in the development of marketing theory, particularly regarding marketing knowledge, technology, and sustainability. He was a founding editor in 1999 of the journal Marketing Theory (Sage Publications) and is an honorary fellow and lifetime member of the UK Academy of Marketing.

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Professor Craig Smith 

Visiting Professor


Craig is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Marketing. He is the INSEAD Chair in Ethics and Social Responsibility at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. Previously he was on the faculties of the London Business School, Georgetown University and Harvard Business School.

His current research projects examine stakeholder theory and stakeholder value, ethical consumerism and sustainable consumption, strategic drivers of corporate social responsibility, deception in marketing, marketing ethics.

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Craig N Smith

Dr Emma Surman

Senior Lecturer in Marketing


Dr Emma Surman's research falls broadly within the areas of consumer culture, critical marketing, sociology of consumption and ethics and sustainability in relation to consumer practices. Recent projects have explored the links between the production and consumption of food including food swapping, communal eating, school gardens and community responses to food poverty. Emma has held grants from organisations including the EPRSC, ESRC and AHRC.

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Emma Surman

Professor Rohit Varman

Professor of Marketing and Consumption and Head of Department of Marketing


Rohit Varman is Professor of Marketing and Consumption at BBS. He uses interpretive methodologies and his current inter-disciplinary research focuses on corporate violence, exploitation, modern slavery, and resistance to corporatization and marketization.

He has published in leading journals that include Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Retailing, Organization Science, Human Relations, Journal of Service Research, and Marketing Theory. Rohit’s research was awarded Emerald Citation of Excellence in 2015. He is also former President of the International Society of Markets & Development.

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Rohit Varman

Dr Rohan Venkatraman

Lecturer in Marketing


Rohan is a consumer culture researcher, who primarily examines how consumer identities challenge and are challenged by marketplaces. His primary stream of research examines the interplay between bodies, emotions, and practices that constitute consumer performances of identity. He is also interested in how marketplaces structure inclusion and exclusion of consumers through power hierarchies such as stigma, as well as aesthetic and taste hierarchies.

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Rohan Venkatraman

Dr Weiyue Wang

Lecturer in Marketing


Dr Weiyue Wang joined the Department of Marketing, Birmingham Business School as a Lecturer in Marketing in early October 2017. Prior to this, he was lecturing at CoventryUniversity and University of Salford. Weiyue received his PhD in Marketing from Bradford University School of Management. His research interests include the employee customer orientation and service performance, employment relationships, leadership, and behavioural ethics.

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Weiyue Wang

If you require any further information on the group or would like to find out more about our research interests please email the group lead, Professor Michael Saren.

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