Research

Product Labelling and Consuming for Sustainability

Carbon labels, eco-labels, fair-trade labels, environmental labels and food mile labels all fall under the umbrella of green labelling. These labelling systems help consumers make informed choices in regards to sustainable consumption as they document key environmental and social factors related to an items production.

Research projects undertaken in this area seek to explore consumer perceptions and comprehension of green labelling. Researchers will also compile demographic profiles of consumers influenced by green labelling and investigate the business/economic implications linked to this labelling system.

Social Entrepreneurs: Drivers of Social Value Creation

Entrepreneurs are innovative, enterprising and highly driven. When these characteristics are merged with the motivation to solve social problems a social entrepreneur is born. A social entrepreneur is therefore defined as someone who recognises a social problem and uses entrepreneurial practices to bring about social change.

Projects undertaken in this area will look specifically at how social entrepreneurship can provide better outcomes for disadvantaged groups in the community. This research project is seeking collaboration with external partners such as businesses and institutions to establish networks. These networks will then be analysed in terms of their efficacy to promote and create instances of social entrepreneurship.

Dynamic Communication in the Web Environment

This research project involves determining the consumer perceptions of the addition of video content to an existing web site. With the speed of technological development, web construction practices often become ubiquitous before any empirical research has been carried into them and as yet, very little has been written about the effects of the addition of video to a website. In this case an alliance with an industry partner will allow research into corporate web sites using versions with and without video content.

Fair Trade and Consumer Preference

Fair Trade provides aims to provide justice for workers and communities in the Developing World through the provision of fairer working conditions and fairer pay. It has meaningfully and tangibly improved the lives of more than seven million people in more than 50 countries in the developing world. Projects undertaken by SSMART involve how businesses can use Fair Trade as a platform to increase market share whilst serving the community and following corporate social responsible measures.

Marketing Managers and Ethically-Minded Consumers: Co-creating the Ethical Consumption Intention-Behaviour Gap

Research has shown that, perhaps surprisingly, ethically-minded consumers rarely purchase and consume ethically. This ethical consumption paradox - the disparities between the ethical rhetoric and actual consumption patterns of ethically-minded consumers - has been widely documented and research into this phenomenon is emerging. This emergent research however, has generally focused on consumer behaviour factors such as willingness to pay, social desirability bias, and rationalisation strategies. To date, scant attention has been paid towards the role of marketers in the co-creation of the ethical consumption intention-behaviour gap. This study shifts the research focus to capture the voices and perspectives of marketing managers, with the aim of gaining a broadened and holistic understanding of the consumption contradictions of ethically-minded consumers.

Drinking and Driving: Innovative Approaches to Mass Communication Strategies for High Risk Groups

Despite recent advances in road safety strategy, drinking and driving persists with often fatal consequences. Recently, neuro-marketing approaches (which map how the brain interprets consumer-related information) have been applied here to analyse the different forms of advertising directed to drivers. In this project, tracked responses to advertising using neuro-marketing tools are compared to the usual self-report measures to enhance strategies for behaviour change.

Immunisation and Public Health Impact

The practice of immunisation is designed to protect individuals and communities against illnesses that pose significant health threats. Marketing these programs requires detailed research and complex system-wide implementation strategies to make sure the general public understands the importance of immunisation, and opts to have themselves and their children immunised. The effective marketing of immunisation programs lies predominantly in the hands of a number of key stakeholders including government bodies, health promotion organisations, health professionals, and vaccine developers and manufacturers.

Projects undertaken in this area will look at how marketers can better understand people’s decision-making processes in regards to immunisation. Research in this area will draw on the framework of the Health Belief Model (HBM) and other models to identify and develop social marketing strategies that can be applicable to health promotion programs. Research will also determine the causal relationship between the uptake of a specific vaccine and the marketing of that vaccine, which will have implications for a range of different stakeholders.

Environmental Sustainability: An Emerging Corporate Paradigm

The project investigates to what extent corporations establish and follow corporate environmental measures. It does so by evaluating environmental issues of different types and the responsiveness of various industries to them.

The aim of this project is to identify the antecedents for industrial sustainability in Australia and the extent to which environmental sustainable issues and responses differ between publicly listed companies with non-publicly listed companies. Research will also measure the amount and quality of stakeholder communication on environmental sustainability issues.

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) Advertising Appeals

Recently in the UK and Australia FOMO appeals have been evident in advertising especially in relation to discretionary purchases such as holidays. In Australia it has also been evident amongst people looking to enter the housing market during the recent period of strong real estate demand. However, the basis and effectiveness of such advertising appeals - which are typically regarded as targeting Generation X and Y - is open to question. By using focus groups comprised of Generation X and Y subjects, this project will measure the subject’s attitude to such appeals and its likelihood of inducing a purchase response. The question will also be asked as to what extent FOMO truly is a new marketing phenomenon.

The Effect of the ‘Kiasu’ or ‘Fear of Losing’ Mentality on the Learning Behaviour of Tertiary Students

The ‘fear of losing’ (or ‘Kiasu’) mentality was first observed as a social phenomenon in Singapore during the 1990s. It was assumed to be a uniquely Singaporean competitive behaviour of marginal social acceptability. It was so widespread that a government-sanctioned social marketing campaign was designed and a popular cartoon character (Mr Kiasu) devised to highlight its negative aspects in a light-hearted way. Subsequently, both social and educational Kiasu-type behaviours have been observed in Malaysia and Hong Kong. As a result, it was assumed to be an Asian culture-specific phenomenon. However, later research showed similar in-class and study behaviours among Australian, New Zealand and North American students of all ethnic backgrounds. This focus group based research investigates the phenomenon in the Australian tertiary education environment and develops both a taxonomy of Kiasu behaviours and methods of measurement.

Foreign Entry Modes

Foreign entry modes (FEM) are processes used by companies to deliver products, technology, human skills, management, or other resources into foreign markets. Types of FEMs include exporting, joint ventures and franchising. The focus of this project is on four specific influences on FEM selection: transaction costs, resource strategy, strategic behaviour and location advantages. In addition to evaluating the different aspects of these influences, this research project will measure strategic behaviour using the concept of Porter’s cost and strategic drivers. The project will also empirically assess two comparatively new conceptualised influences on FEM selection: trust; and bargaining power, which are non-equity forms of control.

Patient-Centric Approach to Enhance Performance in Australian Healthcare Systems

Healthcare systems are facing a number of significant challenges worldwide. Medical experts predict that many healthcare systems in the world will become unsustainable by 2015. This thesis studies the existing Australian healthcare systems from a doctor-centric approach to a patient-centric approach and the need for patient-centric design and development of the current Australian Healthcare system. It has identified that rapid ageing and growing population are not the only issues that are driving healthcare costs out of control.

Instead, the key challenges facing the healthcare system are hospital overcrowding and the threat to patient safety and quality of care. Concerns about health system viability, efficiency and effectiveness are a significant problem and the challenges and pressures that healthcare systems have in their current form are finding it difficult to address. The adoption of the patient-centric approach was motivated by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report in 1999 and further supported by the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) recent report in 2009 on patient safety, which promoted the approach to improve patient care safety and overall health performance.

The main focus of the thesis is to investigate, examine and identify the current healthcare challenges and discover and test effective strategies that contribute to the preventive care of a growing population. This focus also includes the need to establish a patient-centric approach as a basis for the design and development of health service delivery systems. Performance indicators such as quality of care (e.g. patient-safety) are included. There are two broad strategies considered: one is for managing the healthcare system by reducing hospital demand and the other is optimizing healthcare management processes to support a patient-centric approach. A health prevention strategy (such as the Web Health Portal) is used to reduce hospital demand and to improve patients’ management with a growing and ageing population that includes people with chronic illnesses. The research has identified the use of Information Technology (IT) and an emerging technology (RFID – Radio Frequency Identification) to automate and streamline the healthcare management processes such as accurate patient details, equipment availability and their location identification. An online patient survey was conducted to identify gaps between patients’ expectations and outcomes of current health delivery services. The findings of the survey justified an acute need to redesign and simplify Australian healthcare systems to become patient-centric. An efficient patient-centric healthcare model is proposed and tested to describe patient safety and quality of care.

Thus in support of the proposed patient-centric healthcare system, the design and development of a Web Health Portal and RFID-enabled Hospital Emergency Information Systems application is outlined to improve overall health performance and reduce health cost.