Netherlands, Nijmegen

Innovative Methods for Understanding Consumers and Political Orientation

when 8 July 2019 - 12 July 2019
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 ECTS
fee EUR 600

The way we learn about consumers is evolving. This course examines the importance of consumer behavior, how we research consumers in both academic and applied contexts, and explores political orientation as one construct shaping consumer research. We will examine the innovative new methodologies on the consumer research horizon, and how these can be blended with conventional methodologies to develop strong empirical research and actionable marketing insights.

Fundamental and Applied Knowledge
This course begins by immersing students in an innovative marketing simulation where students experience first-hand how consumer preferences, needs and behaviors affect business outcomes. We then examine consumer behavior: what it is, why it matters, and why political orientation is critically important to the future of marketing across industries. More stable than most situational factors, and more observable than most personality factors, political orientation is ever more central to consumers’ identity in an increasingly polarized world. We then dig deeper into political orientation as a developing research area with timely and interesting implications. We will explore this important shift through integrating innovative learning approaches and recent scientific knowledge from consumer and behavioural sciences with research practice and personal growth of the participants.

Practical and Research Skills
Following the marketing simulation and small group lectures on each of the themes there is ample room for discussion. Students will work on several learning challenges throughout the week, practising skills needed to be an all-round consumer researcher, including reflection, creative problem solving, critical thinking, and empirical research tools. The course will be team taught by a team of three experienced and enthusiastic lecturers who publish in the top journals in the field, who will guide student learning about recent scientific findings, explore the practice of consumer research, and visit with a marketing research firm in Nijmegen to gain an applied perspective.

A Global Perspective, including The Netherlands and Nijmegen
This course introduces consumption and political orientation from a global perspective, including discussion on how these constructs will differ across global consumers. We highly value having a diverse group of students so that we can discuss contextual differences and similarities, as students explore a new region of the world in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and Europe.

Course Format and Preparation
As soon as students arrive, they should be prepared to take on the challenge of effectively managing a brand in an engaging marketing simulation, before diving in to lectures, workshops, a site visit, discussions and surprises throughout the week. The module is accompanied by a study guide which students are expected to download, print out and prepare.

Course leader

Bonnie Simpson
Assistant Professor Consumer Behaviour
Department of Management and Organization
Western University
Ontario, Canada

Rhiannon MacDonnell Mesler
Assistant Professor Marketing
Dhillon School of Business
University of Lethbridge

Target group

Master, PhD, post-doc and professional. Suitable for graduate students studying business, consumption, marketing, media studies, political science, or sociology, or those who have relevant work experience who feel they would benefit from gaining an understanding of relevant psychological principles as they apply to consumption and how consumer research is conducted.

Course aim

After this course you are able to:
•Demonstrate an understanding of basic fundamental psychological principles applied to consumer behaviour,
•Summarize the existing state of research on political orientation as it relates to consumer behaviour, think critically about the methods employed in the research of consumption behaviour and the challenges involved in researching implicit processes,
•Develop ideas and insights into future research opportunities in this domain.

Fee info

EUR 600: Normal fee


€ 540 early bird discount – deadline 1 March 2019 (10%)
€ 510 partner + RU discount (15%)
€ 450 early bird + RU and partner discount (25%)

Register for this course
on course website