Matthew Alexander, PhD, MPhil, BA(hons), Pg(Dip), Pg(Cert), FHEA

Dr

  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Personal Statement

I am a Reader in the Department of Marketing where I have been based since 2009. My research interests are focused on opportunities and challenges associated with an increasingly knowledgeable and proactive customer base. A principal focus is research on engagement, a concept capturing the blurring of boundaries between firms, customers, and other external actors and where the aggregation of behaviours beyond transactions influence organisations, change institutions 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 on Ancestral Tourism in Scotland. Current projects recognise the key role marketing researchers have in finding ways for societal actors to become more responsive to environmental challenges. Engaging individuals and communities around sustainability initiatives to support wider climate change goals is vital. Projects focussed on food waste, textiles and rewilding seek to understand how marketing can impact on sustainable behaviors and make marginal activities more mainstream.


In my spare time I am an Elder within the Church of Scotland, enjoy singing, running, walking the dog and spending time with my family.

Teaching Interests

I have been nominated seven times 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 taught level with current classes including ‘Managing Customer Relationships’ (4th year) and ‘International Services Marketing’ (MSc). At postgraduate research level I teach on the core ‘Research Methods’ module for the MRes in Research Methodology in Business and Management.

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 externally examined PhD students at Nottingham University, Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia), Cranfield University, Heriot-Watt University and Nottingham Trent University. I am currently also external examiner for the MSc in International Marketing at University of Glasgow.

Expertise & Capabilities

    • Service Research (in particular Service-Dominant Logic; Customer Experience; Customer Participation; Customer Journeys; Transformative Service Research; Co-Production; Relationship Marketing)
    • Engagement Research (in particular customer engagement (behaviors)/actor engagement and engagement in service ecosystems).
    • Ancestral Tourism
    • Community Based Tourism

Research Interests

My research interests are focused on opportunities and challenges associated with an increasingly knowledgeable and proactive customer base. A principal focus is research on engagement, a concept capturing the blurring of boundaries between firms, customers, and other external actors and where the aggregation of behaviours beyond transactions influence organisations, change institutions and shape markets. Significant 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.

Best paper in track awards at ANZMAC and Winter AMA conferences.

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;  actor 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; and Journal of Service Theory and Practice.

Industrial Relevance

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.

Food Waste (current)

content creation in process

Ancestral Tourism (2013 – 2018)

This project 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 (2011 – 2015)

This research project 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

PhD

  • 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)

MPhil

  • 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/Certificate

  • 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

 

Professional memberships:

  • Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (Achieved 2007)
  • Member of the Institute of Hospitality (Member since 2006)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Value Cocreation: Exploring the Effects of Collaborating with a Proactive Generation of Customers, UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE

Award Date: 1 Jan 2012

Master of Philosophy, An Evaluation of Operations Education in Hospitality Management Higher Education Programmes, UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE

Award Date: 1 Jan 2007

Bachelor of Arts, UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE

Award Date: 1 Jan 1997

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  • AMA SERVSIG 2023

    Matthew Alexander (Chair)

    5 Jun 20248 Jun 2024

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

  • AMA SERVSIG 2023

    Matthew Alexander (Member of programme committee)

    5 Jun 20248 Jun 2024

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference