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Research staff profile: introducing...Jaywant Singh

Tell us about yourself

Jaywant SinghI am associate professor of marketing at the Department of Strategy, Marketing and Innovation at Kingston Business School. I have studied and worked in India, Australia, Singapore, Denmark and the UK. I have nearly one-and-a-half decades of teaching and research experience and have taught students from more than 60 countries. At Kingston, I teach consumer behaviour – a core subject for the specialist marketing and communications courses. In my teaching and research, I explore how people react to marketing intervention, and its impact on business decision-making. I travel frequently and enjoy observing how people consume goods and services across the globe.

What is your current research focused on?

The fundamental questions that I examine in my research are why and how people buy goods and services. I look at these issues through the lenses of brand management, ethical consumption and service management. My research is underpinned by theories from behavioural economics and social psychology.

One of the interesting questions I am currently examining is how people react to brands espousing social causes, and its impact on wider business practice. Another question I am probing is how envy drives consumption amongst competing groups, and what is its invidious societal impact. I am also involved in an exciting experimental examination on how people react to service failures when service providers do not act in the way they are expected to, and how people's perceptions of fairness and justice change accordingly. This research informs service managers on effective complaints management policies, and policy makers on setting standards of compensation.

Within a network of international researchers, I attempt to unravel the complexities of changing consumer behaviour and tackle grand research challenges. My focus is on generating cutting edge insights for businesses and researchers. I am motivated by the evolution of my research in informing business practice, policy, and towards fuelling multidisciplinary academic research.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about research that profitably impacts business decision-making, advances our knowledge, influences public policy and helps all round development. I am enthused about how varied sets of consumers and their consuming practices shape societal attitudes and behaviour. I enjoy being part of the diverse, vibrant and cosmopolitan academic environment at Kingston. I am often inspired by the process of knowledge creation in my interactions with students.

How does your research affect people's everyday lives?

I get excited about how my research guides business practice, and at the same time helps consumers become savvy about their product choices. For example, my recent research on brand alliances shows that consumers prefer brand collaborations based on socially responsible activities. On the other hand, my research on Chinese, Indian and Indonesian consumers reveals how culturally diverse consumers derive value differentially while consuming the same luxury products. The findings contravene the widely-held managerial belief about the homogeneity of the Asian consumers. In sum, my research informs consumer-centric management practices.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?

I envision a world where the power of diversity is harnessed through collaborative consumption experiences, and where businesses act in a transparent and responsible manner towards their consumers. My view is that businesses, both large and small, ought to act responsibly towards the creation of a just society and must, therefore, embed social responsibility in their ethos. Businesses will then be conducted ethically and embrace diversity, and will work in collaboration with consumers towards greater social cohesion and long-term societal stability.

What is the best thing about carrying out research at Kingston University?

Supporting a research-informed academic environment is the cornerstone of Kingston University's strategic orientation. The focus at Kingston is on embedding research in all levels of academic activity. The University encourages a collaborative and outward-looking research culture, where researchers thrive and develop their ideas in a diverse and vibrant atmosphere. The Business School is dedicated towards pursuing world-class research, and hence the researchers get sustained support towards expanding their research frontiers. I find this an ideal setting for conducting novel research.

Find out more about Jaywant Singh on his staff profile page.

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