Posts By / sashraf

Most read article (Early Career Researcher)

The first article published by FOM academic Samreen Ashraf has become the ‘Most Read’ article on Research Gate compared to those published by other authors in her department.

The paper focuses on consumer trust in Islamic banks. The authors differentiate between the definitions of trust and confidence in the paper. Specifically, it addressed the questions: to what extent are trust and confidence active influencers in the decision-making process, are they differentiated or are they one of the same? Also how does the Pakistani collective cultural context further complicate the application of these concepts? These questions were addressed by using qualitative methods.
This study provided further insight into consumer behaviour within financial services and specifically Islamic banking and has contributed to the theoretical understanding of the concepts of trust and confidence.

For those interested in reading the paper the full reference is: Ashraf, S., Robson, J. and Sekhon, Y., 2015. Consumer trust and confidence in the compliance of Islamic banks. Journal of Financial Services Marketing, 20(2), pp.133-144.

Alternatively, the paper can be accessed via Research Gate!

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An update on Academy of Marketing funded research

The findings from current research conducted by Dr Julie Robson and Samreen Ashraf from the Faculty of Management were presented at the Academy of Marketing conference, Northumbria University recently.

The research, funded by the Academy of Marketing, uses concepts from behavioural economics to help understand how people perceive their pension and how they are likely to use their pension money in retirement. The study focuses on people originally from South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc.) but who are now living and working in the UK. A key question therefore is the role that culture has on the perception and use of pensions.

Given the pension reforms last year this research is timely as UK pension-holders aged 55 and over now have the freedom to use their pensions as they wish. Not surprisingly there has been much media speculation on how this money will be used – will it be blown on luxury goods (e.g. an expensive holiday or sports car?), used to pay off existing debt, given to children to help them get onto the property ladder or invested for later life?

As many retirees are known to have insufficient money for their retirement this research will be of interest to policymakers as many first generation South Asians living in the UK are now coming up to retirement age.

This research project runs to September 2016 when a final report will be issued to the Academy of Marketing.

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Two pieces of good news from the Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Consortium and Conference

AMS is one of the key conferences for international marketers. Following a competitive selection process, Ms. Samreen Ashraf (PhD student from the Business School) was selected to attend the doctoral consortium organised by the Academy of Marketing Science. The consortium aimed to bring renowned scholars together in the field of marketing to discuss emerging areas, along with the art of producing publishable research. Some of these areas were marketing scholarship and new frontiers in services research. However the main focus was to identify the ways which can assist early career researchers to increase the impact of their research. 

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Ms. Samreen Ashraf also presented a research paper at the main conference which was co-authored with Dr. Julie Robson and Dr. Najat Abdullrahim titled: Faith, trust and pixie dust: a comparative study of consumer trust in Islamic banks’. This paper explored how and in what form trust, in an Islamic bank compliance with Sharia law, occurs in two distinctly different contexts, namely England and Pakistan; and how this in turn influences banking behaviour. Trust was investigated from cognitive, affective and behavioral dimensions. 

The AMS consortium and conference took place in Orlando, Florida. 

ESRC Seminar on Financial Services and Consumers

An ESRC Seminar on Financial Services and Consumers was held at the University of Edinburgh Business School earlier in October, 2015. This seminar was specifically designed for early career researchers (ECRs) whose work focuses on financial services marketing. One of the keynote presentations was given by Dr Julie Robson from the Faculty of Management. Julie outlined how ECR’s can make the most of academic conferences to promote their work and to develop their research careers. Hint and tips were provided on identifying the right conference, preparing to deliver the paper and the need for a well-rehearsed ‘elevator pitch’ to communicate your research in a clear, succinct and interesting way.

Being on the editorial board of Journal of Financial Services Marketing and the International Journal of Bank Marketing, Julie also took part in the meet the editor session and highlighted the importance of working with the financial services sector and building a network with practitioners. This provides a sounding board for research ideas, helps to provide insight into the managerial implications of their work and can ultimately contribute to impact cases.

Ms. Samreen Ashraf, also from the Faculty of Management, presented her current work from her PhD research at the event. This examines the role of identity in bank choice. Further, Samreen along with other presenters have also been invited to submit their manuscript in the Journal of Financial Services Marketing.

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