Dr Aliakbar Jafari



Personal statement

I am Director of Knowledge Exchange in the Department of Marketing. I joined the University of Strathclyde in September 2008 after completing my PhD under the supervision of Professor Christina Goulding and Professor Pauline Maclaran who have generously and significantly contributed to my professional development since then. During my academic journey, I have been very privileged to have benefited from the invaluable insights and experiences of professors A. Fuat Fırat, Pervaiz K. Ahmed, Alladi Venkatesh, Craig Thompson, Heiner Evanschitzky, Fred Lemke, and Lisa Peñaloza.    

Before joining academia, I held international marketing positions in the Iranian automotive industry. At the momemnt, I am a Research Fellow at Vlerick Business School in Belgium and Visiting Professor at UCLAN School of Business and Management in Cyprus. I am also Chief Visiting Examiner at SOAS University of London for postgraduate degrees awarded by the departments of Finance and Management, Economics, Development Studies, Law, Politics and International Studies, and Academic Summer School. I am also External Examiner for MSc Management Programmes at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland. 

Thanks to the generous invitation of journal editors, I have the pleasure of contributing to the peer-review services of a number of academic outlets as I sit on the Editorial Review Board of Consumption, Markets & Culture, Senior Editorial Advisory Board of Journal of Islamic Marketing, Editorial Advisory Board of Journal of Halal Service Research, and the Editorial Board of Marketing TheoryIranian Journal of Management StudiesTourism Planning and DevelopmentInternational Journal of Islamic Marketing and Branding.

I have been fortunate enough to serve Marketing Theory as guest co-editor of two special issues: "Non-western contexts: The invisible half " (2012) and "Islamic Encounters in Consumption and Marketing" (2013) and also as guest co-editor of a special commentary section on "Ethnicity and Wellbeing in Marketing and Consumer Research" (2015). As invited (keynote) speaker I have delivered talks in different academic and industry events in the UAE, UK, Malaysia, Romania, Cyprus, Turkey, and Iran. I have co-edited 'Islam, Marketing and Consumption: Critical Perspectives on the Intersections' (Routledge, 2016) and the four-volume set of 'New Directions in Consumer Research' (Sage, 2015).

Thanks to the attention of scholarly committees, I have received Consumer Culture Theory Conference's 2016 Best Special Session AwardEmerald's 2015 Citations of Excellence Award for "Islamic Marketing: insights from a critical perspective" and Consumption, Markets & Culture's 2014 Honourable Mention Award for "Globalization, Reflexivity and the Project of the Self: A Virtual Intercultural Learning Process". I have also received two research fellowships from The British Academy (2018) and The Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey (2016).



Has expertise in:

    • Executive Education
    • Marketing strategy
    • Branding
    • Market formation and transformation
    • Consumption cultures
    • Intersections of markets and religions/spiritualities
    • Interpretive research methods

Prizes and awards

Nominee for Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award 2019
Nominee for Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award 2018
Nominee for Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award
Best Special Session Award (2016) for co-chairing ‘Religion, Markets and Consumption: Critical Inquiries at the Intersections’ at Consumer Culture Theory Conference, Lille, France.
Visiting Associate Professor Research Fellowship - The Scientific & Technological Research Council Of Turkey (TUBITAK)
Emerald Citations of Excellence Award for Journal Article

More prizes and awards


An analytical review of market system dynamics in consumer culture theory research : insights from the sociology of markets
Jafari Aliakbar, Aly Marwa, Doherty Anne Marie
Journal of Business Research, pp. 1-32 (2021)
The performativity and institutionality of 'Islamicness' in 'Islamic tourism' : defining a field and proposing a research agenda
Jafari Aliakbar
Journal of Islamic Tourism Vol 1, pp. 5-21 (2021)
The role of mundane and subtle institutional work in market dynamics : a case of fashion clothing market
Ghaffari Mahsa, Jafari Aliakbar, Sandikci Ozlem
Journal of Business Research Vol 105, pp. 434-442 (2019)
International market entry mode : a systematic literature review
Schellenberg Michael, Harker Michael, Jafari Aliakbar
Journal of Strategic Marketing Vol 26, pp. 601-627 (2018)
Religious critiques of the market
Jafari Aliakbar
The Routledge Companion to Critical Marketing (2018) (2018)
Islam and the reputational landscape
Jafari Aliakbar
Islamic Marketing and Branding Theory and Practice (2018) (2018)

More publications


During the past consecutive 10 years, my students have generously nominated me for the University of Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award in all categories of Overall Best Teacher, Passion for Subject, Most Innovative Teacher, and Most Supportive Teacher. I teach at postgraduate levels (Masters and Executive MBA) and my key areas of teaching include Strategic Marketing Management, Marketing Management, and Cross-cultural Buyer Behaviour. I  employ a wide range of learning material such as academic literature, industry reports, secondary data from media, policy, and marketing agencies, short case studies, documentaries, and video clips to engage students in hilghly interactive discussions. Translation of theory into practice and development of theory from practice are central to my teaching approach.   

Research interests


I study markets primarily as socioculturally embedded contexts in which multiple formal and informal institutions and their actors interact, values and systems of meanings are (re)created, and diverse practices, processes, and offerings (i.e., products and services) are (re)shaped. From this perspective, my research interests include a variety of topics all of which rotate around the concept of market dynamism. These topics include branding practices and strategies, organisational change in response to internal and external triggers, conflicts and resolutions in multicultural marketplaces, marketplace resistance and opposition, politics and policies of consumption; consumer networks and movements, postcolonial approaches to the study of market phenomena (e.g., production, distribution, promotion, consumption, and disposal of products and services), and the intersections of the market, religions and spiritualities. In my  research, I employ various qualitative approaches such as ethnography, grounded theory, phenomenology, historical analysis, case study, and action research, using depth interviews, focus groups, observations, archival data, and visual analysis. I have  served different international conferences (e.g., Transformative Consumer Research, Macromarketing, and International Society for Markets and Development) as Track Chair and as, an invited speaker, has delivered talks to various high profile industry and policy audiences across Europe and Asia.

Professional activities

Academy of Marketing Science Annual Conference 2021
R&D Management Conference 2020 (Event)
Journal of Halal Service Research (Journal)
Advisory Board Member
Chief Visiting Examiner at SOAS University of London for postgraduate degrees awarded by the departments of Finance and Management, Economics, Development Studies, Law, Politics and International Studies, and Academic Summer School.
External Examiner for MSc Management Programmes at Queen's University Belfast
Vlerick Business School
Visiting researcher

More professional activities


The institutional role of imagination in the formation of a market: an investigation of the emergence of a global halal market (Newton Fund)
Jafari, Aliakbar (Principal Investigator)
Over the past decade, the so-called halal economy has received increasing attention both in the media and academia. Given the rapid growth of the Muslim population, which is estimated to reach 2.2 billion by 2030, the halal market is seen as representing a substantial potential for companies operating not only in the food category but also in cosmetics, fashion, media, hospitality and many other industries. Our research reveals that different actors, including consumers, companies, media, politicians, and NGOs actively contribute to the production and communication of information about the halal economy.
13-Jan-2017 - 09-Jan-2018
Employee Family Work Balance and Company Performance: Irreconcilable or Complementary
Karampela, Maria (Co-investigator) Gounaris, Spiros (Principal Investigator) Jafari, Aliakbar (Co-investigator)
Funding application to ESRC
01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2019

More projects