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Firms’ (Non)responses to Obvious, Apparently Important, but Uncontrollable Environmental Forces

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  • Full or part time
    Dr F Kohlbacher
    Prof D Elliot
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Project Description

The marketing and strategic management literature generally recommends that organizations be responsive to external environmental forces for their survival and prosperity. Notwithstanding this advice, many companies seem non-responsive to obvious, apparently important, and even threatening external events and phenomena, such as demographic change, climate change or natural disasters. This is not only a curious academic issue but also a very practical one, with significant business and social implications.

In this study, we try to reveal the reasons why so many organizations seem to be insufficiently attentive and responsive to the events and forces in the external environment. We aim to analyse the antecedents and consequences of the process of discovering and evaluating external changes as marketing opportunities and threats and the decision to respond to them. The objective is to reveal the underlying mechanism of this cognitive and managerial process and its influencing factors in the context of the emerging market of PR China.

The candidate should have a first class or upper second class honours degree, and a master’s degree (MRes or equivalent qualification), in management, strategic management, innovation management or marketing. Evidence of good spoken and written English is essential. The candidate should have an IELTS score of 6.5 or above, or an equivalent qualification, if the first language is not English. Admission, however, is at the discretion of the PhD Programme Director. This position is open to all qualified candidates irrespective of nationality.

Degree: The student will be awarded a PhD degree from the University of Liverpool (UK) upon successful completion of the program.

For more information about doctoral scholarship and PhD programme at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU): Please visit:

How to Apply
Interested applicants are advised to email the following documents to [email protected] (please put the project title and primary supervisor’s name in the subject line).
- CV
- Two reference letters
- Personal statement outlining your interest in the position
- Proof of English language proficiency (an IELTS score of above 6.5 or equivalent is required
- Verified school transcripts in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)
- Verified certificates of education qualifications in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Florian Kohlbacher ([email protected]), whose personal profile is linked below:

Funding Notes

The PhD studentship is available for three years subject to satisfactory progress by the student. The award covers tuition fees for three years (currently equivalent to RMB 80,000 per annum) and provides a monthly stipend of 3500 RMB as a contribution to living expenses. It also provides up to RMB 16,500 to allow participation at international conferences during the period of the award. It is a condition of the award that holders of XJTLU PhD scholarships carry out 300-500 hours of teaching assistance work per year.

The scholarship holder is expected to carry out the major part of his or her research at XJTLU in Suzhou, China. However, he or she is eligible for a research study visit to the University of Liverpool of up to three months, if this is required by the project.

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