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Marketing Interactions & Consumer Behaviour Group (MICB)

The Marketing Interactions and Consumer Behaviour Group (MICB) examines marketing phenomena in both business-to-consumer and business-to-business contexts, building on an interdisciplinary approach that draws on knowledge from different fields, such as business management, psychology, communications, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and economics. The scholarly work is characterised by the use of both quantitative research approaches (e.g. surveys, experiments, and analysis of archival data) and qualitative approaches (e.g. cultural analysis, rhetorical analysis, discourse analysis, and ethnographic studies). MICB academics benefit from research collaborations within the School and the College, as well as from collaborations with other universities, external companies, charities, governmental bodies and the public.

For further information, please contact Dr Alexander Leischnig ( 



Dr Stephan Dickert

Stephan’s research focuses on judgment and decision making in social and economic contexts. This includes research on the affective and cognitive mechanisms underlying prosocial behaviour (e.g., charitable giving), ownership, risk perception, and environmental decision making. His research projects often use an experimental approach to address societal challenges that are of interest to various disciplines (including marketing, psychology, economics, and public policy).
Stephan’s research has been published in academic journals such as the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Judgment and Decision Making, Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Psychological Science. Prior to joining Queen Mary University of London, he held positions at the WU Vienna University of Economics and Business (Austria), at Linköping University (Sweden), and at the Max-Planck-Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn (Germany).


Dr Amy Rungpaka Hackley

Amy is interested in accessing and theorising consumer experience with particular regard to how consumption (of brands, experiences, media) inflects consumers' senses of identity and meaning. She is very interested in taking a multi-disciplinary approach. She finds interpretive data gathering methods most fruitful in this, and she frames her interpretations of these data with relevant socio-cultural theories. Her approach to consumer research falls broadly within the area that has become known as Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) research. Her research interests cut across issues of integrated marketing communications (IMC), advertising, product placement, experiential consumption, brand symbolism, consumer identity, promotional regulation and ethics, critical marketing, consumer research, consumer culture theory (CCT), death consumption and death rituals. Her most recent book is the third edition of her text book Advertising and promotion with Sage (2015). Her research has been published in well-refereed journals including Journal of Marketing Management; Journal of Business Research; Marketing Theory; Consumption, Markets and Culture; Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal;International Journal of Advertising; Business Ethics: A European Review; Journal of Marketing Communications; and Association for Consumer Research. She has conducted commissioned consultancy for international marketing research agencies. Her PhD research at Royal Holloway was the foundation for an impact case study submitted to REF 2014 entitled ‘Informing regulation and public debate about television product placement’. Her work was the only UK research cited by ITV during the public consultation and therefore contributed to the eventual change in Ofcom regulations.


Dr Nima Heirati

Dr Nima Heirati is a lecturer in Marketing and Innovation Strategy at the School of Business and Management. Previously, he held an academic appointment at Newcastle University Business School and was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Tasmania. Before joining academia, Dr Heirati held senior positions as a marketing and business development manager at several Middle-Eastern manufacturing firms. His research relates predominantly to the field of Product/Service Innovation, Strategic Marketing, Service Marketing, Business Relationships and Networks, Customer Engagement, and International Marketing Strategy.


Professor Stephan Henneberg

Stephan is Chair Professor of Marketing and Strategy, and Director of the Business Ecosystems Research Group. He has undergraduate and postgradute degrees in philosophy, economics, and management studies, and received his PhD in Marketing from the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Before coming back to academia, Stephan worked in senior positions as a strategy consultant with A.T. Kearney and McKinsey and Company. His research interests are mainly in business marketing, strategy, and supply chain, in particular relationship management and network theories. However, he also works in the area of political marketing and consumer behaviour, and researches issues around the topic of sustainability. Stephan has had visiting professorships at Lugano University, University of Mainz, University of St. Gallen, and Kedge Business School, Bordeaux. He is currently a visiting professor at the University of Bamberg, and will spend his sabbatical during the second half of 2016 at the University of Alabama, Culverhouse College of Commerce, Tuscaloosa. Stephan is part of the editorial board or member of the senior advisory board of several international journals such as Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Business Research, or Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice. He has published more than 100 articles in leading journals, e.g. Long Range Planning, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Business Research, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Journal of International Marketing, Psychology & Marketing, Marketing Theory, and International Marketing Review. His latest book (Theory and Concepts in Political Marketing, 2013, Sage) was co-authored together with Robert Ormrod and Nick O’Shaughnessy.


Dr Yasmin Ibrahim

Yasmin has a wide array of research interests which tend to be multi-disciplinary in approach. She has published extensively in the field of media and communications. Her research on new media technologies explores the cultural dimensions and social and ethical implications in the diffusion of ICTs in different contexts. Beyond new media and digital technologies she writes on political communication, political mobilisation and empowerment from cultural perspectives. Her other research interests include media literacy, visual economies and risks that have emerged in digital environments with the convergence of technologies. She also writes on the construction of Islam in postmodernity and the need to build theories from postcolonial perspectives in the field of media and communications.


Alexander Leischnig

Dr Alexander Leischnig

Alexander Leischnig is a Reader in Marketing at the School of Business and Management. He is also Director of the Marketing Interactions & Consumer Behaviour (MICB) Research Group and Director of the Marketing MSc Programme. He joined Queen Mary University of London in September 2017. Previously, he had academic positions at University of Bamberg and Freiberg University of Technology in Germany. Alexander’s research interests are in the areas of alliance management, relationship management and business digitisation and cover topics of both business-to-business marketing and business-to-consumer marketing. Currently he is Visiting Professor at universities in Germany and Switzerland. Alexander is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science. In addition, he collaborates with business partners from different industries, such as manufacturing, online, retail, and service industries, on a number of marketing and management topics.


Dr Danae Manika

Danae Manika is a Visiting Professor in the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary University of London. She is also a Professor of Marketing at Newcastle University Business School, Newcastle University. She obtained a Ph.D and a M.A. in Advertising from The University of Texas at Austin in the United States and a B.A. Honours in Marketing from University of Stirling in the United Kingdom. Using an interdisciplinary approach, blending the lines between marketing, psychology, and advertising, Prof. Manika’s research focuses on behaviour change and takes an information processing approach, which identifies, classifies and examines cognitive and affective factors that influence individuals’/consumers’/employees’ decisions and choices after exposure to campaigns/messages/interventions; and translate knowledge acquisition to behaviour change/formation. She often uses health, environmental and service-related contexts for her research. Prof. Manika is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Marketing Management, serving on the Editorial Advisory Board of Technological Forecasting and Social Change, and as a special issue guest editor for the Journal of Business Research. She is involved in various consultancies with the aim of linking academia and practice and often engages in research projects that benefit from collaborations with academics in other disciplines such as medicine, engineering, and geography, as evident by external grants secured (£120K+ with experience as PI from CRUK and as a Co-I from EPSRC/Innovate UK) and reviewing activities for funding bodies such as CRUK based on her behavioural insights expertise (Member of the review committee of CRUK’s Pioneer Award & Catalyst Award). Prof. Manika’s research has been published in journals, such as Psychology & Marketing, Journal of Business Ethics, Computers in Human Behavior, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Information Technology & People, Tourism Management, Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Health Communication, International Journal of Advertising, and Journal of Marketing Communications, amongst others.


Professor Nicholas O'Shaughnessy

Currently Nicholas is Professor of Communication at Queen Mary University of London; a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Strategic Communication at King's College London (Department of War Studies); and a Quondam Fellow of Hughes Hall Cambridge University. Over the last ten years, his work has broadened within and beyond its initial focus on political marketing to graduate into related territories of polemic and propaganda, with emotion and symbolisation as the underlying constructs; and with a particular focus on such themes as the ethics of negative advertising and the rise of symbolic government. Ultimately the concern is with the ‘engineering of consent’- the troubling matter of how public opinion can be manufactured, and governments elected, via sophisticated methodologies of persuasion developed in the consumer economy. A co-authored book Theory and Concepts in Political Marketing, was published April 2013 with Sage. ‘Selling Hitler: Propaganda and the Nazi Brand’, has been published by Hurst and distributed in the USA by Oxford University Press. ‘The Packaging of the Third Reich’, is out next year. ‘Key Readings In Propaganda’ (with Paul Baines); four volumes, Sage London November 2012. An interest in more mainstream debates in marketing theory has been a consistent theme, and is currently represented by two controversial contributions that critique a hitherto uninterrogated new paradigm, Vargo and Lusch’s ‘Service-Dominant Perspective’.


Dr Zahra Sharifonnasabi

Zahra’s research falls into the field of consumer behaviour and she takes an interpretivist, qualitative approach in her studies. Her research tends to be multi-disciplinary in nature and she uses qualitative interviews, ethnography, observations, and projective techniques in her studies. Zahra’s research interests are in two areas:1) The impact of globalization on different aspects of consumers’ lives. In her studies, Zahra particularly examines globalizations’ impact on three domains: consumption of global brands, consumer mobility (e.g., migration, nomadism, transnationalism), and consumer empowerment. Zahra is particularly interested in implications of globalization on everyday consumers’ lives including consumers’ relation with places and consumer markets, consumer identity, and consumption taste.2) Consumption in digital and social media spaces. This research investigates the empowering (and disempowering) impact of social media and digital spaces on consumers’ everyday lives. This work unpacks the ways that digital platforms influence consumers’ access to other consumers and consumer markets and offer new ways that consumers form their identities and express control over their decisions.


Dr Graham Spickett-Jones

Dr. Spickett-Jones's main research interests focus on aspects of communication and strategic marketing practice, especially related to promotional campaigns and the development of popular cultural icons and brand equity. This includes consumer media habits and information processing related to communication activity and promotional marketing messages. Graham has researched the working practices of agencies and the network characteristics of agency partnerships involved in integrated communication campaigns. From his background in media studies, he has developed an interest in how neuroscience can inform a better understanding of the consumer responses to mediated flows of information, especially when related to the modes of response that marketing campaign activity may elicit. This includes cognitive and affective responses and message prompts that many involve forms of subconscious priming and emotional triggers. Graham sees this as offering potential insights into the way marketing communication messages may have influence over decision making repertoires for consumers, and that a better grasp of this area may challenge and enhance current campaign planning models. Graham has worked with and carried out consultancy work with SMEs, which has seen him develop an interest in the strategic resources and network relationships that can help support the competitive and strategic positions of SMEs. He has carried out research both with academic colleagues, and with peers based in industry. Drawing on his industry background, Dr Spickett-Jones has tried to keep a hybrid character to his academic career and stay in touch with commercial practice. He has sought to balance his main university roles with consultancy and industry-based research, and has acted as lead academic supervisor for industry partnership on Knowledge Transfer Programmes. He has won EU funding to work with SMEs and has had commercial sponsorship for research with marketing communication agencies in the professional creative services industry. Graham has also assisted large media organisations and carried out research into the campaign practices employed by a number of global organisations.   


PhD researchers

Katja Breiter

Rachel Millard

Muhammad Riaz

Lei Yang


Research Focus

MICB academics aim to generate and disseminate novel insights that advance the understanding about different stakeholder groups, especially consumers, and marketing interactions in increasingly dynamic and global business environments. MICB research focuses on three major research areas and their intersections:

Marketing in a dynamic world – exemplary topics include customer engagement, marketing communications, relationship dynamics, sales and services management

Consumers in a global world – exemplary topics include consumer mobility, consumer ethics, consumer identity, and judgment and decision making

Interactions in digital world – exemplary topics include digital business strategies, IT-enabled capabilities, new media diffusion, media literacy and consumption of digital content


Research Approach

MICB research is multi-disciplinary and draws on knowledge from different fields to better understand marketing phenomena and their implications for individuals, organisations and society in large. In addition, collaboration of MICB academics with leaders in private, public and voluntary organisations on a wide range of topics helps bring cutting-edge knowledge into the market, while bringing the latest marketplace thinking to our research.

MICB research is international, focuses on marketing phenomena in different countries and cultures and includes cross-national and cross-cultural studies. In addition, MICB academics have established relationships with many international universities and institutions and collaborate with researchers from these organisations in different projects.

MICB research bridges methodological boundaries to capture the often complex and multi-facetted nature of marketing phenomena and to contribute to theory development and testing. MICB research is methodologically rigorous, covers theoretical as well as empirical contributions, and builds on qualitative as well as quantitative approaches to produce new knowledge.


Research Output

MICB research has been published in leading journals of the field, such as Annals of Tourism Research, European Journal of Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Service Research, Psychology and Marketing and Tourism Research among others. In addition, MICB research has been published in books, book chapters, conference proceedings and other media. Jointly, MICB academics have published 90+ scholarly outputs in the past few years, with journal articles constituting the vast majority of these outputs.


PhD Research

PhD students are an important part of our research group and we are always looking for outstanding prospective PhD students who are interested in pursuing research in the above-mentioned research areas. For an informal discussion, please send your CV together with a brief research proposal (max 2000 words, outlining the research problem and its relevance, research questions and objectives, theoretical background, intended methods, and possible data sources) to


The group organises regularly research workshops on relevant and topical themes at Queen Mary University of London. The workshops bring together researchers interested in related research initiatives to share research findings and identify directions for future research. The events provide the opportunity for researchers and practitioners to network with colleagues in the field and showcase their work; and link academia and practice by providing a networking opportunity and an exchange of ideas between academics and practitioners. The events are organised with external partners (e.g., the British Academy of Management, the British Academy) and are attended by national and international scholars, researchers, PhD students and practitioners.

Past and future research workshops and conferences:

  • UK Social Marketing Conference (September 2017)
  • Making people feel bad: What is the role of negative appeals in marketing? (April 2017)
  • Technology and Consumer Behaviour (May 2016)
  • Social Marketing and Behaviour Change (April 2015). 
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