Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now

  Harnessing the power of digital influencers for socially responsible business


This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr Vicky O'Rourke, Dr Sarah Diffley, Dr Gabriela Gilga  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Postgraduate Research Programme in Innovation, Digitalisation, Enterprise and Society (IDEAS) offers 12 PhD research scholarships to commence in 2024. Each project will include an enterprise placement of minimum 12 weeks duration.

Project (IDEAS 8): Harnessing the power of digital influencers for socially responsible business

Marketing is firmly in the era of influencer marketing. If done correctly, influencer marketing has valuable implications for a company. Research has illustrated the positive association between influencer posts and brand awareness and credibility. Thus, influencers do ‘influence’ consumer perceptions of brands (De Jans et al., 2020). The parasocial interactions between an influencer and their audience have the potential to enhance customer loyalty among the influencers audience and enhance the effect of sponsored content (Ledbetter and Meisner, 2021). Despite the rise of influencer marketing, research is in early stages, with a scarcity of studies assessing the impact of influencers on consumer behaviour, particularly in terms of sustainable consumer behaviour (De Vierman and Hudders, 2020; Pick, 2021). Within one year, the global fast fashion market is predicted to grow by approximately 15% (Prnewswire. com, 2023). 7% of the total amount of waste in global landfill space is constituted by clothing and textiles. In terms of circularity, 20% of discarded textiles are collected, and 1% of clothes are recycled into new garments (, 2023). There is a need to better understand the mechanisms of this influence so that sustainable consumption choices and a circular economy can be better promoted.

Research aim: To investigate the impact of the recommendations made by influencer on sustainable consumer behaviour.

Research objectives:

• To conduct a systematic literature review to identify the determinants of trust in influencer marketing.

• To assess the impact of influencer expertise on perceptions of influencer and brand credibility

• To explore the effectiveness of various influencer appeals in shaping consumer preferences for sustainable consumption behaviour

• To assess the implications of influencer advice on the perception of brands endorsed.

• To contribute to the literature in this area, offering insights for socially responsible marketing practices.


A minimum of 2.1 honours degree (Level 8) in a relevant discipline.

Project Duration:

48 months (PhD)

Preferred Location:

ATU Donegal, Letterkenny Campus


Application Form / Terms of Conditions can be obtained on the website:

The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm, (GMT) Monday 29th April, 2024.

Only selected applicants will be called for an online interview (shortlisting may apply).

Business & Management (5) Communication & Media Studies (7)

Funding Notes

TU RISE is co-financed by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the ERDF Southern, Eastern & Midland Regional Programme 2021- 27 and the Northern & Western Regional Programme 2021-27.
Funding for this Project includes:
• A student stipend (usually tax-exempt) valued at €22,000 per annum
• Annual waivers of postgraduate tuition fee
• Extensive research training programme
• Support for travel, consumables and dissemination expenses
Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.