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PhD in Business and Management - A sociocultural approach to understanding the role of humor in consumer research


Cardiff Business School

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Dr R Scott No more applications being accepted Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Cardiff Business School invites applications from exceptional candidates with a first class or strong upper second class honours degree, and/or appropriate Master’s degree. The University values diversity and equality at all levels and we encourage applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. 

The successful candidate will be enrolled on the PhD in Business and Management at Cardiff Business School.

Please visit here for further information about the PhD Programme at Cardiff Business School.

Applicant Profile:

The ideal candidate for this project has a specialist Master’s Degree in Business, Management or related subjects from an internationally renowned University. Applicants with a strong first degree will also be considered. To apply online, please visit: Business Studies - Study - Cardiff University

This research study is in collaboration with 3LA, a consulting company specializing in marketing, strategy and innovation. 3LA explore the intersection of technology and marketing. This research will have an embedded focus on the JoyTech Project founded by 3LA.

Project Description:

To develop a socio-cultural understanding of humor in consumer research. We know little about the role of humour in creating memorable extraordinary consumer experiences.

Research shows that when we refuse to take ourselves so seriously we relieve ourselves of the stress standing in the way of serious work, create more meaningful connections with people and open our minds to more innovative solutions. Studies show that humor can increase creativity, health and relationships. We believe there is untapped potential in understanding how humour can be used as a marketing tool.

In todays business world we are facing a crisis of lack of trust. This manifests in more than half of employees citing their lack of trust in leadership as the biggest issue impacting their work performance. But how can brands leverage humour to gain trust and loyalty from their followers? Todays consumers are looking for authentic brands, aspirational yes, but also flawed. Humor humanizes people, brands and organizations, breaks down barriers and balances authority with approachability.

Below we suggest research questions that could be used as a starting point to guide this study:

(1) How can the tech industry use humour as a brand building tool?

(2) How can marketers use humour to innovate brand experience?

(3) What is the embodied experience of consuming humour in consumption experiences?

(4) How can humour be used craft brand identity?

(5) How can humour be used to leverage consumer-brand relationships

(6) How can humour be used by consumers as a form of escape?

(7) What is the relationship between pain & humour?

This project may potentially offer the student an opportunity to work as a co-editor and potentially a co-contributor for a book commissioned by JoyTech. Each chapter will be written by a business leader. There is also potential for the PhD student to use the insights generated in their thesis to be an author of a book chapter. This exposure in publishing will stand the student in good stead for the academic job market.

Applicants should take careful consideration of the working title and description of the project, and may wish to contact the named member of staff for a discussion prior to applying.

·      The Lead supervisor on this project is Dr Rebecca Scott,

The project collaborator is Rod Banner, Business Architect, Brand Marketer and Technologist, CEO of 3LA and JoyTech: https://www.3la.com/rodbanner


Funding Notes

This project is open for Self-Funded students only. For information on Cardiff University Scholarship opportunities, please visit: View Website

References

(1) Aaker, Jennifer and Naomi Bagdonas (2021), Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (and How Anyone Can Harness It. Even You.): Currency.
(2) Chiew, Tung Moi, Christine Mathies, and Paul Patterson (2019), "The Effect of Humour Usage on Customer’s Service Experiences," Australian Journal of Management, 44 (1), 109-27.
(3) Eisend, Martin (2009), "A Meta-Analysis of Humor in Advertising," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 37 (2), 191-203.
(4) Eisend, Martin (2018), "Explaining the Use and Effects of Humour in Advertising: An Evolutionary Perspective," International Journal of Advertising, 37 (4), 526-47.
(5) Ge, Jing and Ulrike Gretzel (2017), "The Role of Humour in Driving Customer Engagement," in Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2017: Springer, 461-74
(6) Ge, Jing (2019), "Social Media-Based Visual Humour Use in Tourism Marketing: A Semiotic Perspective," The European Journal of Humour Research, 7 (3), 6-25.
(7) Weisenberg, Matisyohu, Inbal Tepper, and Joseph Schwarzwald (1995), "Humor as a Cognitive Technique for Increasing Pain Tolerance," Pain, 63 (2), 207-12.
(8) Weinberger, Marc G and Charles S Gulas (2019), "The Emergence of a Half-Century of Research on Humour in Advertising: What Have We Learned? What Do We Still Need to Learn?," International Journal of Advertising, 38 (7), 911-56.
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