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Consumer Research for Well-being cluster

Developing welfare solutions to consumer problems is of outmost importance in today’s reality.

Consumption patterns have created a substantial impact in our society and the quality of life across the world. Whether relating to overconsumption and its relationship with obesity, pollution and non-sustainable practices or to addiction, poverty or risky consumption, it is evident that there is a need for consumer research that closely focuses on well-being.

Who we are and what we do

The Consumer Research for Individual and Collective Well-being (CRW) cluster group brings together academics from a range of backgrounds, research philosophies and methodologies that are interested in studying consumption and its impact in various life’s subdomains.

Our mission is to produce and disseminate research that supports consumers and societies well-being.

Further, we believe that to address all these consumer problems and to support consumer welfare we need the input of a broad academic community and other stakeholdersTo achieve this, we strive to work collaboratively on research projects with societal impact.

We also host a range of events showcasing the application of rigorous research to emerging societal challenges.

  • Featured research

    • Dance, Well-being & Productivity

      Staff: Michela Vecchi, Patrick Elf, Akiko Ueno, Athina Dilmperi, Charles Dennis, Luke Devereux

      Funded by Middlesex University Business School, this interdisciplinary project draws from the economic, psychology and marketing literature to analyse the relationship between dance, well-being and productivity in the workplace, during a period of severe restrictions to individuals’ freedom and low levels of well-being.

      Using new survey data from three countries, Brazil, Italy and the UK, and accounting for respondents’ perceptions of their country’s normative environment, the study shows that dancers are more productive than non-dancers due to their higher intrinsic motivation and well-being.  Dancing also has an additional direct effect on productivity via improvements of workers’ cognition.

      The team is working towards extending this project to analyse the impact of dance on the ageing of the workforce and the related decline in cognitive and physical abilities. The focus will mainly be on women as they experience challenges due to the menopausal transition, which may result in reduced working time, reduced concentration, and lower productivity.

      Explore more on the official website

  • Past events

    • Dance and Well-being

      Date: Wednesday 12 May 2021

      Dr Michela Vecchi discussed her research on Dance and Wellbeing.

      Abstract: Mental health issues are becoming more prevalent in western societies, emphasising the imperative to research antecedents and consequences of well-being. Within companies, higher levels of well-being can promote productivity performance; therefore, an important question is how to increase employees’ well-being. Drawing on research documenting the positive relationship between dance and mental health, we expect that workers who practice dance as a form of physical exercise are endowed with higher cognitive skills and higher levels of well-being, compared to those who do not engage in dance-related activities.

      Therefore, we hypothesize that dancers are more productive in the workplace. Using survey data from three countries:

      • Brazil (dancers=127, control=356)
      • Italy (dancers=72, control=325)
      • UK (dancers=238, control=275)

      Accounting for respondents’ perceptions of their country’s normative environment, we find that dancers experience higher levels of wellbeing and are more productive than non-dancers. Dancing also has an additional direct effect on productivity, not mediated by wellbeing.

    • Female Empowerment and Women's Erotic Consumption

      Date: Friday 16 April 2021

      Dr Athanasia Daskalopoulou shared the findings of her research on women who consume pornography.

      Biography: Dr Athanasia Daskalopoulou is Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Liverpool Management School. Athanasia’s interpretive research programme focuses on market dynamics, consumer culture, gender and arts marketing. Athanasia is also conducting sociological research on work focusing on technology use and its relationship with work practices and identity. Athanasia’s work has been published at international peer-reviewed journals such as Sociology, European Journal of Marketing, New Technology, Work and Employment, Journal of Services Marketing, Advances in Consumer Research. Athanasia is currently co-editing a special issue at Marketing Theory with Dr Chloe Preece, Royal Holloway, and Professor Hope Schau, Eller College of Management, University of Arizona. The issue is called "Troubled Times Demand Heroes: Heroic Marketing and Marketing Heroes".

    • Let’s Get Together Online. Children’s Group Activities, Customer Experience and Well-being During the COVID-19 Pandemic

      Date: Monday February 22 2021

      Dr Helen L. Bruce (Lancaster University Management School), Dr Ewa Krolikowska (University of Greenwich) and Dr Tara Rooney (Technological University Dublin) presented their work on customer experience and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Abstract: Parents of young children frequently encourage their children to participate in group activities, such as sports, music and drama. Parents often facilitate participation, for example by providing transport, meeting the costs of membership and equipment, and accompanying the very young as they take part. The benefits of such activities include skill development, socialisation and enhanced well-being among children, outcomes which represent common parenting goals.

      As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these group activities have been forced to move from face-to-face to online modes of delivery for extended periods of time, thus changing the experience for both children and their parents. The providers of such activities (typically small or microbusinesses) subsequently face new challenges around keeping their offering relevant and maintaining relationships with customers.

      In this study, we explore how a sudden move to online provision impacts parents’ and children’s experiences of group activities, and the resultant impact on participant well-being. We investigate the success of various technological platforms in providing alternative solutions to face-to-face collective experiences. In addition, we examine how customer-firm relationships are affected when interactions migrate to exclusively online.

    • Front-of-Pack Labelling: the problem of satisficing

      Date: Monday 25 January 2021

      Professor Isabella Szmigin from University of Birmingham delivered a presentation on Front-of-Pack Labelling: the problem of satisficing.

      Abstract: In 2013, the UK Government introduced a voluntary Front-of-Pack (FoP) label. The provision of information on the label and guidance on its use contributes to individuals’ food literacy. The need for this type of information is well known. The 2017 OECD reporting stated that 19.5% of the adult population across its 35 member countries were obese.

      For individuals the costs of obesity is a reduction in prospects for employment and wages (Devaux and Sassi, 2015) and a reduced life expectancy as it is associated with a wide range of illnesses including Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and various cancers (Baker, 2017).

      Professor Szmigin and Dr Sheena Leek undertook research to examine how people used FOP labelling. The research included an experiment and interviews embedded with a think aloud technique to investigate the elements of the FoP label and the product evaluation process. They are currently analysing and writing up the data but an interesting outcome appears to be the role of satisficing (Simon, 1972) food choices through the traffic light system used in UK FoP labels. They examine the implications of this approach and what it might mean for developing FoP further.

    • Institutionalising diversity and inclusion engaged marketing (DIEM) for multicultural marketplace well-being

      Date: Friday 27 November 2020

      Dr Eva Kipnis from University of Sheffield delivered a presentation on Institutionalising diversity and inclusion engaged marketing (DIEM) for multicultural marketplace well-being.

      Abstract: Inclusivity reached top ten global consumer demand trends in 2020 (Euromonitor International, 2020), signalling its importance for consumer well-being in today’s multicultural marketplaces. Consequently, engaging with principles of diversity and inclusivity is a topic high on today’s agendas of marketing researchers, educators and practitioners.

      While several initiatives have been introduced by individual organisations and marketing professional associations, the globally-impactful public crises of 2020, including COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and expansion of the Black Lives Matter protests, have spotlighted the pervasiveness of exclusionary and discriminatory practices in public and commercial products, services and communications provision. Against this backdrop, Dr Kipnis presents findings of a research project tackling the following question: how can efforts to embed diversity and inclusivity in marketing discipline be more impactful?

      The project is part of a collaborative program involving Multicultural Marketplaces research network, as well as organisational, civil society and policy practitioners with a focal interest in advancing inclusivity of organisations’ consumer-facing activities. A multi-method programme of studies across three countries examines the experiences and activities by individual marketers and organisations in advancing diversity and inclusion agenda in in the three interconnected fields of the marketing discipline: research, education, and practice. Findings identify ten barriers that inhibit effective implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives.

    • Music Consumption and Well-being

      Date: Friday 30 October 2020

      Dr Gary Sinclair from Dublin City University delivered a presentation on Music consumption and Well-being.

      Abstract: Following a transformative consumer research (TCR) perspective, the authors partnered with age friendly and arts community organisations in a study that explores how older adults (60-81) and adolescent teenagers (15-17) use music as a resource in which to manage physical, mental, intellectual and social well-being.

      The study explores music consumption experiences of both age-groups in Ireland over seven months through participant observation of intergenerational music workshops, interviews and participant music diaries. Implications for TCR researchers and public policy are discussed.

Get in touch

If you are interested in the work of the Consumer Research for Individual and Collective Well-being (CRW) or attending one of our regular meetings, or events please find us on Twitter @WellbeingRMDX or email Dr Athina Dilmperi.

We encourage participation and input from a wide range of stakeholders within academia and beyond.

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