In the current virtual world where we are trying to get used to of this ‘new normal’ life, it was encouraging to attend the virtual ‘Service Excellence Conference’ with award-winning public speaker, Nigel Risner, thanks to Susanne Clarke and Camila Devis-Rozentel for organising this. The conference was well attended and it was great to see colleagues from across the University on this platform. Apart from understanding your team members via a zoo analogy, it was interesting to hear Nigel’s take on ‘becoming a champion’ (if you are not one already). I can see its relevance to my role as an educator and a Programme Leader to make a positive impact. Following is my brief take away from the day which you may also find useful:
Character: Knowing who you are and what do you stand for, ultimately will help to be authentic.
Heart is the key. It is utmost important to be a good listener in order to help/advice/support others.
Attitude: Positive attitude goes a long way.
Mission: We are phenomenal people, teaching phenomenal people to produce phenomenal results.
Perseverance: Consistency is the key.
Integrity: Honesty is the best policy.
Organisation skills: Team work is the dream work.
Nerve: I will try again tomorrow.
Have a good weekend 🙂
The SURE (Showcasing Undergraduate Research Excellence) conference is returning for its 5th year, taking place on the 18th March 2020.
You can encourage your dissertation students and/or students whose work you have marked already to submit a 250 words abstract to the SURE conference with the deadline of 20th January. Work can be from individuals or groups (including alumni students) but must be undergraduate. Further information can be found here .
This also provides a great opportunity for the students to be considered for the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) which enables the students to showcase their research inside parliament at annual Posters in Parliament event. Further details can be found here .
Samreen Ashraf has presented her research paper titled’ Between a Banker and a Barbie: The illusions of social media’ at the ‘Academy of Marketing Science Conference’ which took place in Vancouver in May 2019. Samreen has won the best research paper (PhD) at the conference and is awarded with the prestigious Jane K. Fenyo Award. Samreen’s paper explores the gap between students’ digital identities and their potential professional identities.
Samreen Ashraf- AMS
Following a competitive bidding process, Emma Keene and Julia Karol (BSc Marketing, final year students) have been successfully awarded this year ‘staff student co-creation award’. Emma is awarded for the project’ The contour generation’ which looks into the negative impact of social media on millennial’s mental health. Emma is mentored by Samreen Ashraf.
Whereas Julia’s project, “The snob effect” looks into the impact of Instagram influencers on the consumption of luxury fashion”. Julia has worked under the supervision of Dr. Elvira Bolat.
Congratulations to both the winners!
Our relationship with money is complex and is inextricably linked to who we are – or more importantly how we want to be seen by others. We worry about money, dream about money; we spend it, save it and sometimes even give it away. Understanding how we feel about money and why we have those feelings can help improve our relationship with money. In short, it can help us to better manage the money we have.
The Love of Money was the theme of a recent talk given by the Faculty of Management’s Dr Julie Robson and Samreen Ashraf. The talk explored the link between our identity and our relationship with money and how this influences our behaviour with money. The talk drew on work conducted by Dr Julie Robson on young girls and their relationship with money; and by Samreen Ashraf on identity, money and bank choice.
The talk was delivered in Swanage, Dorset to PROBUS, a club for retired or semi-retired professional and business people group. The audience took part in an interactive section to identify what money means to them. In addition, they shared their attitudes to money and reflected back on events that had helped to shape their relationship with money over their lifetime. Thanks go to RKEO for co-ordinating the event and to PROBUS for the warm welcome we received.
Dr. Julie Robson and Samreen Ashraf from the Department of Marketing in FoM were invited to present their research on ‘The love of Money’ to the ‘PROBUS’ club in Swanage.
Ms. Samreen Ashraf from the Faculty of Management was recently invited to deliver a talk at the prestigious Institute of Directors (IOD) event in Bournemouth. The talk was primarily an inspirational talk on the topic of ‘Success in a digital world: A destination or a journey. Samreen reflected from her own experience and highlighted the importance of persistence and consistency. This event was held on 13th December at Executive Business Centre (Lansdowne campus). The event was well attended by the general public along with the members of IOD.
Congratulations to academics from the Faculty of Management Dr Julie Robson, Prof. Juliet Memery, Dr Caroline Jackson, Dr Jason Sir, Dr Elvira Bolat and Samreen Ashraf for securing QR funding for their research into trust repair in the service sector.
Following a series of recent scandals and misdeeds there has been widespread erosion of trust in individual and indeed whole business sectors. This project examines trust repair in three very different high profile contexts: mis-selling in financial services (e.g. PPI); HR issues in the retail sector (Sports Direct) and safety issues within the leisure sector (Alton Towers).
With trust damage to firms occurring on an almost weekly basis, this research is not only topical but also responds to a very real business need in terms of providing firms with a framework to help them repair trust with their consumers.
This project kicked off this month. The research will be concluded by July 2017 with a dissemination event for academics and practitioners planned soon after.
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!
‘Talk and draw’ is a relatively new qualitative data collection method in management research. Dr Julie Robson and Samreen Ashraf from the Business School (FOM) have used this method in four separate studies, most recently in their project ‘Perceptions and use of pension savings: the case of South Asian consumers living in the UK’ funded by the Academy of Marketing.
Using this technique, interviewees were asked to draw a picture in advance of an interview. The picture was to represent what comes to mind when the interviewee thinks about their pension and retirement. Interviewees were asked to talk about their picture and what the images meant to them during the interview. While this method was advantageous for this research, helping interviewees to think more broadly about the topic and surface thoughts that may not have initially come to mind in an interview, it also brought some challenges which we thought we would share to help other researchers thinking about using this technique.
- The need to produce a masterpiece
Initially prospective interviewees expressed concern that they were not very good at drawing. Some were reluctant to take part thinking that the quality of the drawing was important. It was therefore necessary to reassure interviewees up-front that we were interested in the content of the drawing and what the images represent rather than the production of a masterpiece.
- Producing the drawing before the interview
For most people drawing is an enjoyable activity, but it does take time. Some interviewees wanted to delay the production of the drawing to the interview itself. It was important to contact interviewees prior to the interview to remind them of the need to produce their drawing in advance rather than use the time allocated for the interview.
- A final check for any additions or changes to the diagram
During the interview, interviewees reflected on their drawing and the meaning of the images they have produced. During this discussion new thoughts emerged and it therefore became evident that there was a need to check at the end of the interview if the respondent wanted to add or change anything in their diagram and ask why?
If you have used the talk and draw method or are thinking about doing so we would be very interested to hear about your experience or plans. Please contact Julie Robson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Samreen Ashraf (email@example.com)
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.
What image comes to mind when you think about your pension and retirement? Our session at the Festival of Learning, painting a picture of retirement, sought to answer this very question.
The session builds on current research funded by the Academy of Marketing into how people from South Asian view their pension savings as a money source; what informed their perceptions; and how they intend to use this money. This research used a ‘talk and draw’ approach whereby interviewees were asked to draw a picture to represent their pension/retirement and then to talk through what the images represent to them.
At the Festival of learning event attendees were also asked to draw their own picture of their pension and retirement. As a group we discussed the images that emerged and then compared and contrasted them to the images collected and themes that emerged from our earlier research.
The findings from our research will be presented at the Academy of Marketing Conference at Newcastle Business School next week. In the meantime we would like to thank all those who attended our session and shared their personal images of their pension and retirement on the day.
If you would like to know more about this research please contact Julie Robson or Samreen Ashraf.
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.
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.
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.