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From marketing to communication: investigating co-creation in the context of charitable foundations

Project Description

The philanthropic ambitions of large corporations can take the form of monetary donations to charitable organisations and other sporadic interventions related to the benefit of their employees or wider society. This is particularly prominent in the context of luxury and fashion brands with notable examples such as The Fondation d’Entreprise Hermes, La Fondation Louis Vuitton and La Maison LVMH. However, the largest foundations span a wide range of industries and include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Wellcome Trust and the Ford Foundation. The characteristics of these foundations are that they are privately owned, do not depend on public funding and are established to aid charitable or social concerns related to education, research, art or culture. In this environment, consumer power has gained recognition as a driving force behind the success or failure of brands and companies.

Driven by consumer pressure, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gained recognition in corporate strategy and charitable foundations are a manageable way of engaging with socially responsible activities whilst retaining a locus of control. However, these foundations also have to take into account the zeitgeist for the focus of concerns and decide in which areas to direct their contributions. Co-creation is a possible approach for achieving this.

The focus of this project is to investigate co-creation in the context of charitable foundations to analyse relevant co-creation experiences, trying to identify the most significant characteristics of citizen participation. The project is also linked to two current funded projects, one related to co-creation in public media television (funded by the Spanish Government) and the other about the co-creation of videogames related with climate change (funded by the Carasso Foundation). In addition to having an international supervisory team, this will afford the student the possibility to benefit from the expertise of researchers involved in these other projects.
Supervisory Team Name:

Director of Studies: Dr. Lindsey Drylie Carey
GCU Research Online URL:

Second Supervisor: Estaban Galan Cublio

Third Supervisor: Irene Garcia Medina
GCU Research Online URL:

How to apply

The project is available as a 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time PhD study programme with an expected start date of the 1st October 2020.

Candidates are encouraged to contact the research supervisor for the project before applying.

To apply for this project, use the following link to access the online application form, as well as further information on how to apply:

Please send any other enquiries regarding your application to

Funding Notes

Funding notes

Applicants are expected to find external funding sources to cover the tuition fees and living expenses.Alumni and International students new to GCU who are self-funding are eligible for fee discounts. See more of fees and funding. View Website

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