MarketingDigital marketing, tourism & customer research

The Digital marketing, Tourism and Customer Research research cluster contributes to scientific knowledge on value creation through various specialisms broadly grouped in the service research domain. Key foci include research on engagement and the multiple ways customer behaviours beyond transactions influence firms and shape markets. Our cluster is actively exploring the role of new technology and its implications for digital marketing specifically how technology influences services. We have interests in general services marketing topics but particularly are working on service failure and recovery and service termination and the impact of new technologies such as Blockchain on customer loyalty and well-being. In the tourism domain we are exploring destination branding within communities, visitor behaviour, as well as sustainability and conservation.

Our activities encompass a broad range of service sectors including tourism, transportation, hospitality, public services, health, energy and financial/professional services.  In addition, many manufacturing companies are differentiating their offerings and creating value through their service support, so we also get involved in research within that area.

We adopt a variety of research methodologies including quantitative surveys, qualitative individual and group interviewing techniques, observation studies, document analysis, ethnography and netnography. 

Through our research, we collaborate with a range of organisations operating in the services and tourism sectors as well as with academics worldwide. In addition to our output in journal articles and books, our research and PhD team also regularly present at many international conferences on services and tourism.

Our key themes

We are researching a wide range of topics within the services discipline including:

  • Service Quality & Customer Satisfaction
  • Service Dominant Logic
  • Value Co-Creation
  • Service Ecosystems
  • Customer Engagement
  • Customer Experience Management
  • Customer Experience with Technology

We also have expertise within the tourism sector where projects cover:

  • Ancestral Tourism
  • Community Based Tourism
  • Marketing of Hospitality
  • Social Media/review sites

Recent publications


Azer, J., & Alexander, M. (2020). Direct and indirect negatively valenced engagement behavior. Journal of Services Marketing, 34(7), 967-981.

Azer, J., & Alexander, M. (2020). Negative customer engagement behaviour: the interplay of intensity and valence in online networks. Journal of Marketing Management, 36(3-4), 361-383.

Barhorst, J., McLean, G., Shah, E., and Mack, R. (2020) Blending the real world and the virtual world: exploring the role of flow in augmented reality experiences, Journal of Business Research, Vol.122, pp.423-436.

Barhorst, J., Wilson, A., and McLean, G. (2020) Service encounter microblog word of mouth and its impact on firm reputation, Journal of Service Marketing 

Blasco-Arcas, L., Alexander, M., Sörhammar, D., Jonas, J. M., Raithel, S., & Chen, T. (2020). Organizing actor engagement: a platform perspective. Journal of Business Research, 118, 74-85.

Fehrer, J. A., Conduit, J., Plewa, C., Li, L. P., Jaakkola, E., & Alexander, M. (2020). Market shaping dynamics: interplay of actor engagement and institutional work. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing.

Karampela, M., Lacka, E., McLean, G (In Press) ‘Just Be There’: Social media presence, interactivity and responsiveness and their impact on B2B relationships, European Journal of Marketing.

McLean, G., Osei-Frimpong, K., Al-Nabhani, K., Marriot, H. (2020) Examining Customers Attitudes towards retailers’ m-commerce applications – An initial adoption vs. continuous use perspective, Journal of Business Research, Vol 106, pp. 139-157 

McLean, G., Osei-Frimpong, K., and Barhorst, J. (forthcoming) Alexa, do voice assistants influence consumer brand engagement – Examining the role of AI powered voice assistants in influencing consumer brand engagement, Journal of Business Research.

McLean, G., Osei-Frimpong, K., Wilson, A., Pitardi, V. (2020) How live chat assistants drive travel consumers’ attitudes, trust and purchase intentions: the role of human touch, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol 32, pp. 1795-1812 

Nazifi, A., D. El-Manstrly, A. Tregear, and K. Auxtova (2020) “Customers’ Attitudinal, Emotional and Behavioural Responses to Firm-Initiated Service Termination”, Journal of Service Theory & Practice

Nazifi, A., K. Gelbrich, Y. Grégoire, S. Koch, D. El-Manstrly, and J. Wirtz (2020) “Proactive Handling of Flight Overbooking: How to Reduce Negative eWOM and the Costs of Bumping Customers,” Journal of Service Research, 

Nazifi, A., S. Murdy, B. Marder, J. Gäthke, and B. Shabani (2020) “A Bit(coin) of Happiness After a Failure: An Empirical Examination of the Effectiveness of Cryptocurrencies as an Innovative Recovery Tool,” Journal of Business Research

Osei-Frimpong, K., McLean, G., Wilson, A., Lemke, F. (2020) Customer co-production in healthcare service delivery: examining the influencing effects of the social context, Journal of Business Research, Vol 120, pp. 82-93. 

Story, V.M., J. Zolkiewski, K. Verleye, A. Nazifi, C. Hannibal, A. Grimes, and L. Abboud (2020) “ Stepping out of the shadows: Supporting actors’ strategies for managing end-user experiences in service ecosystems,” Journal of Business Research, 116 (August), 401-411.


Nazifi, A., D. El-Manstrly, and K. Gelbrich (2019) “How to Compensate Customers after a Firm-Initiated Service Termination,” European Journal of Marketing, 54 (1), 26-48.

Johnstone, J.H., Bryce, D. and Alexander, M.J. (2019), "Using mobile methods to understand multifaceted heritage organisations", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 1675-1691.

Take a look at more of our publications.

Editorial review board

Journal of Service Research; Journal of Business Research; Journal of Service Management; Journal of Service Theory and Practice; Iranian Journal of Management Studies (Associate Editor for Marketing)

Evidence of esteem


Accordingly, I was awarded significant industry funding from Arnold Clark to fund 3 PhDs.

Visiting Professor at King Faisal University from August 2020

August 2019 , Delivered 3-day workshop at King Faisal University on publishing in high impact journals and teaching in a business school to early career academics - awarded a University medal from King Faisal University for contribution to faculty enrichment.

Delivery of follow up workshop to early career faculty at King Faisal University in 2020 on publishing research in academic journals

Seminar at the College of Charleston on research that I had recently published in The Journal of Business Research.

Member of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) future leaders’ network.

Best paper award at the 5th Annual AR/VR conference in Munich



Conference Chair 2022 AMA Servsig Conference


Turku School of Economics - Visiting researcher


University of Adelaide - Visiting researcher, Delivery of Seminar

University of Auckland Business School - Visiting researcher, participation in workshop

Australia and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (ANZMAC), Adelaide, Track Chair, Doctoral Colloquium Mentor

Best Paper in Track (Customer Engagement)

Elina Jaakkola (Recipient) & Alexander, Matthew (Recipient)

European Marketing Academy Conference 2018, Member of organising committee

Nominated for Researcher Development Programme Supervisor of 2017/18

Best Paper Award, Winter American Marketing Association Conference (AMA), Heiner Evanschitzky (Recipient), Katharina Kils (Recipient), Alexander, Matthew (Recipient) & Martin Eisend (Recipient)

Commercial Development Fund - awarded £30,000

Alexander, Matthew (Recipient) & Murdy, Samantha (Recipient), 2018


Emerald Citation of Excellence Award

Alexander, Matthew (Recipient) & Elina Jaakkola (Recipient)