Projects per year
I am a Reader in the Department of Marketing where I have been based since 2009. My research interests are focused around the opportunities and challenges associated with an increasingly knowledgeable and proactive customer base. A key focus is research on engagement, a concept which captures the blurring of boundaries between firms and customers, and aggregates the multiple ways customer behaviours beyond transactions influence firms and shape markets. My research is award winning and includes one of the most cited papers in Marketing in recent years. I have published widely in a range of Marketing, Service and Tourism journals including Journal of Service Research, Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Management, European Journal of Marketing and Journal of Service Management.
My research has a strong practical focus, exemplified in projects with ScotRail and in recent years, work on Ancestral Tourism in Scotland. Research with colleagues in Marketing in this area revealed an exciting new business opportunity and he is currently working on a potential spin-out company which was the first from SBS to receive endorsement funding from the University.
I currently act as Associate Dean Postgraduate Research leading and enhancing postgraduate research programmes within Strathclyde Business School, building upon our reputation as an international centre of excellence for postgraduate research, while also supporting significant expansion of postgraduate provision across the School.
In my spare time I am an Elder within the Church of Scotland, enjoy singing and spending time with my family.
I have been nominated seven time by students as part of Strathclyde's Teaching Excellence awards across all categories (best overall, most passionate, most innovative, most supportive). I teach classes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Current classes centre around relationship marketing (Managing Customer Relationships) and I also contribute to the faculties award winning ‘Breaking Barriers’ programme. At postgraduate level I am the course leader for the MRes in Research Methodology in Business and Management where I teach Research Methods and run the Doctoral Colloquium.
I have considerable overseas teaching experience having delivered classes for the Business School in both Hong Kong and Iran. I have been a visiting academic at Turku School of Economics in Finland, University of Paderborn in Germany, Aston Business School and Heriot-Watt University in the UK. I have external examiner experience at Heriot-Watt University and Nottingham Trent.
Expertise & Capabilities
- Service Research (in particular Service-Dominant Logic; Customer Participation; Customer Journeys; Transformative Service Research; Co-Production; Relationships)
Engagement Research (in particular customer engagement behaviors/actor engagement and engagement in service ecosystems).
Community Based Tourism
My research focuses around the opportunities and challenges associated with an increasingly knowledgeable and proactive customer base. A key focus is research on engagement, a concept which captures the blurring of boundaries between firms and customers, and aggregates the multiple ways customer behaviours beyond transactions influence firms and shape markets. Signifancy successes include:
- A best paper nomination (2014) in the Journal of Service Research for the paper: Jaakkola, E., & Alexander, M. (2014). The Role of Customer Engagement Behavior in Value Co-Creation: A Service System Perspective. Journal of Service Research, 17(3), 247-261.
- An Emerald ‘Citation of Excellence’ Award (2017)
- Principal Investigator on an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award worth (£57,597). The project “Cultural Heritage and Ancestral Tourism: reclaiming Scottish identity from "Highlandisation" is a collaboration with Glasgow Life.
Current active projects include: investigating the relationship between engagement and customer journeys; the transformative potential of mundane service settings; engagement management; ‘from margin to mainstream’ using engagement to change entrenched consumption practices.
I have published widely in a range of Marketing, Service and Tourism journals including Journal of Service Research, Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Management, European Journal of Marketing and Journal of Service Management.
I serve on the editorial review board for: Journal of Service Research; The Journal of Business Research; Journal of Service Management; Journal of Service Theory and Practice.
Knowledge exchange activity is a key aspect of my own research philosophy embedding the University’s ‘place of useful learning’ alongside the SBS goal to engage and collaborate and engage ‘with a broad range of stakeholders in business, government and civil society on issues that matter and are of benefit to all’ furthering the University’s reputation in the wider community. As co-class coordinator on the departments ‘Marketing Works’ programme I am involved with a wide range of companies that work on projects with students on our MSc programmes, this role includes communication with clients and the organisation and operation of presentations and a grand finale.
This ongoing project has identified gaps in service provision between national tourism bodies promoting ancestral tourism and where it is consumed, largely small local museums and archive centres. Our research has attracted the interest and involvement of a range of stakeholders and the project emobodies the the University's collaborative value. Knowledge exchange activities include:
- Contributions to the annual meeting of the Scottish Ancestral Tourism Group (SATG) (Oct 2014)
- Discussions with representatives of the Scottish Ancestral Tourism Group, ‘scotlandspeople’ and the National Records of Scotland (Nov 2014)
- Briefing session for representatives of the Scottish government and VisitScotland (Jan 2015)
- Two events which ran as part of the 2015 ‘Engage with Strathclyde’ season. Event 1 was held outside of engage week (Feb 2015) and delivered at the Highland Archive Centre in Inverness. Event 2 was held in May 2015 in collaboration with colleagues from the ‘Centre of Lifelong Learning’ who teach and research genealogical studies.
- Successful application for £5000 innovation voucher for consultancy project with Highlife Highland to explore potential for ancestral tourism membership scheme.
Adopt a Station
This research project with Dr Kathy Hamilton on First ScotRail’s Adopt a Station Scheme had a number of outputs which demonstrate the Industrial Relevance of my research:
- Invited speaker at Annual Lunch for Adopters
- Presenter at Association of Community Rail Partnerships annual conference in 2014
- ESRC Festival of Social Science Exhibition in November 2013
- Strathclyde ‘Engage Week’ Exhibition
A project report summarising the various facets of our research has also been produced. The report has been widely circulated and discussed in the community rail world and has received very positive feedback. The External Relations Manager for ScotRail (John Yellowlees) had the following to say about our research project.
“ [the research has inspired] me to expand my own presentations into an analysis of what motivates people to adopt their station. Through Matthew and Kathy this University has applied academic rigour to what might otherwise have seemed a rambling theme. But much more than this, by wrapping station adoption in the wider agenda of place-making their studies have brought a feel-good factor which enhances adopters' pride in their own achievement and thereby makes the whole programme that much more worthwhile.”
Andy Savage, Director of the Railway Heritage Trust stated that “Matthew and Kathy’s work and report has clearly shown the benefits in a range of ways from involving the community in railway stations. From the point of view of the Trust it is a good way of encouraging new bodies to either adopt stations, or to take over rooms within stations. This is obviously helpful for ScotRail, which is setting the pace for station adoption, but the report also helps to show other train operators and potential adopters over the rest of Network Rail just what can be done with heritage buildings on railway stations.”
Academic / Professional qualifications
- “Value Cocreation: Exploring the Effects of Collaborating with a Proactive Generation of Customers”; Department of Marketing, University of Strathclyde (Passed no corrections, Oct 2008 - Feb 2012)
- “An Evaluation of Operations Education in Hospitality Management Higher Education Programmes”; Master of Philosophy – Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, (Passed no corrections, 2005 – 2007)
- Postgraduate Diploma – Advanced Academic Studies, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, 2004 – 2006
- Postgraduate Certificate – Research Methodology in Business and Management, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, 2005– 2007
- Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (Achieved 2007)
- Member of the Institute of Hospitality (Member since 2006)
Doctor of Philosophy, UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE
Award Date: 1 Jan 2012
Master of Philosophy, UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE
Award Date: 1 Jan 2007
Bachelor of Arts, UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE
Award Date: 1 Jan 1997
Investigating the use of marketing automation on customer relationships within the Scottish financial industry
1/10/18 → 1/10/21
Project: Research - Studentship
An investigation into the role of 'Time-Of-Day' Marketing in enhancing experiential value in service customer journeys
1/10/18 → 1/10/21
Project: Internally funded project
Nayer, D., Nazifi, A., Alexander, M. & Seyfi, S., 11 Jan 2021, (Accepted/In press) In: Annals of Tourism Research. 6 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
Alexander, M., 22 May 2020, In: Journal of Services Marketing. 34, 7, p. 967-981 15 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile2 Citations (Scopus)10 Downloads (Pure)