Dr Matthew Higgins

Associate Professor in Marketing and ConsumptionMatthew Higgins

Contact details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5644
  • Email: mh64@le.ac.uk
  • Office: Room 326, Level 3, Ken Edwards Building
  • Office hours: By appointment (please email)

Personal details


I am an Associate Professor of Marketing & Consumption here at the University of Leicester School of Business. I joined the university in December 1998 as a Research Associate, completing my PhD in Marketing and Existential Philosophy from Keele University in 2001.

I am a member of the School of Business Senior Management Team and an Associate Dean for Enterprise and External Relations. At College and University levels I have responsibility for the extensive distance learning provision.

My research interests and publications are in supply chains, marketing education, ethics, and the role of marketing in SMEs, social enterprises and not for profit organisations.

Prior to joining the University of Leicester I have worked in a number of fields, including exhibition management, finance and retail. I offer applied research and consultancy in the areas of consumer research, service and product evaluation, channel management development, market intelligence and branding.

I am a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Administrative responsibilities

Associate Dean of Enterprise and External Relations

University of Leicester Co-Chair Flexible and Distance Learning Group

College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Distance Learning Manager

Programme Leader MSc Management (Distance Learning)

Alumni Academic Lead (Semester Two)

Business Engagement and Enterprise

I have been involved with a number of collaborate and contract research projects, some through the various European Regional Development Fund schemes. Please find below a small selection of case studies to show the type of support provided to local SMEs and social enterprises.

Contract research

For over 5 years I’ve undertaken contract research and consultancy for Giving World, a charity that promotes and enables the redistribution of corporate surplus stock through charities and social causes. To support this work, Giving World has developed a social enterprise, Personal Care Packs. Personal Care Packs (PCP) are designed for, and provided to, patients who are admitted to hospitals. As a social enterprise and arm of the Giving World charity, PCP provides NHS Trusts with standard and bespoke comfort packs (containing ear plugs, eye masks, anti-slip socks, combs, shampoo, shower gel/soap and ‘chewable’ toothbrushes) which they in turn distribute to vulnerable patients so as to provide a comfortable care experience during their stay. The contract research projects have included domestic and international market evaluation of care packs, evaluation of the volunteering projects linked to the assembly of care packs and evaluation of the packs in NHS Trusts.

Training and consultancy

Eartheat are a SME supplying bespoke heat pump solutions to the trade and public. This was a particularly interesting project because it combined training and consultancy, enabling the company to utilise its own staff to look closely at its marketing and supply chain strategy.


Supported internships

Danaher & Walsh are a family owned civil engineering and plant hire firm based in Leicestershire. Established in 1969, the company was looking to pursue an aggressive expansion programme with ambitious growth targets. To meet these targets Danaher & Walsh approached the University of Leicester to undertake a research project to review the current offering and potential market opportunities. The project was delivered through a combination of an internship with a MSc Marketing student and consultancy provided by Professor Mike Saren and myself.

A further example of supported internships can be found here.


MN3101: BA (Hons) Dissertation, Supervision

MN4505: Professional Diploma in Management, Marketing Management

MN4507: Professional Diploma in Management, Professional Management Project

MN7599/MN7507/MN7508: MBA and MSc, Dissertation and Research Methods (Marketing)

MN7563: MSc Management, Principles and Practices of Marketing Distance Learning Personal Tutor

BA (Hons) Management, Personal Tutor


I have both a theoretical and applied interest in the field of marketing. My research interests and approach build from my training in sociology. I am interested in the conceptualisation and application of marketing in non-traditional organisational forms, specifically this has involved research with the NHS, public sector, charities, social causes, SMEs, NFP network hubs and social enterprises. More broadly my research explores ideas of marketing and consumption, with work looking at ideas of ethics, identity, invisibility, waste and performance.
I am presently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Marketing Management, I am also part of the editing team on The Routledge Companion to Critical Marketing (due for publication in 2018).


Orhie Akponah - rubbish and the political economy of slums.

Tiantian Zheng - trust and supply chains in Chinese agricultural industries.

Lubica Mueller - the role of social enterprise in value chains in the Philipines.

I am interested in supervising theses in the following areas:

Marketing ethics; consumption; consumer identity development; waste/rubbish; exhibitions management; distance learning education management.



Tadajewski, M. Higgins, M. Denegri-Knott, J. and Varman, R. (eds) (forthcoming) The Routledge Companion to Critical Marketing, London: Routledge.

Ellis, N, Fitchett, J, Higgins, M, Jack, G, Lim, M, Saren, M & Tadajewski, M (2010), Marketing: A Critical Textbook, London: Sage.

Parker. M, Higgins. M, Lightfoot. G and Smith. W (eds.) (2001) Science Fiction & Organization, London: Routledge.

Chapters in Edited Collections

Lai, A. Lim, M and Higgins, M (2017) ‘The abject single: exploring the gendered experience of singleness in Britain’, in Arsel, Z. Eräranta, K. and Moisander, J. (eds) Gendering Theory in Marketing and Consumer Research, Routledge. London.

Higgins. M. and Ellis, N. (2015). Ethics and the Supply Chain in Pullen, A and Rhodes. C. THE ROUTLEDGE COMPANION TO ETHICS, POLITICS AND ORGANIZATION, Routledge. London

Higgins. M (2007, 2009, 2015) 'Branding & Organisational Identity' in Ritzer.G Encyclopedia of Sociology, London: Blackwell Publishers.

Higgins. M (2001) ʻMore Amazing Talesʼ in Parker. M, Higgins. M, Lightfoot. G and Smith. W (eds) Science Fiction & Organization, London: Routledge.

Smith. W & Higgins.M (2001) ʻTrust No-One: Science Fiction and Marketingʼs Future Presentʼ in Brown. S & Patterson. A (ed) ʻImagining Marketingʼ Routledge, London.

Articles in Journals

Lai, Ai-Ling, Lim, M. and Higgins, M (2015) The ‘Abject’ Single: Exploring the Gendered Experience of Singleness in Britain. Journal of Marketing Management. Volume 31, Issue 15-16, October 2015, pages 1559-1582

Warren Smith, Matthew Higgins, George Kokkinidis & Martin Parker (2015) Becoming invisible: The ethics and politics of imperceptibility. Culture and Organisation. November. DOI:10.1080/14759551.2015.1110584

Gray, K and Higgins, M. (2012) Legacy, trust, and turbulence in the NHS healthcare commissioning process: An exploratory study. International Journal of Healthcare Management, Volume 5, Number 1, April 2012 , pp. 40-47

Higgins, Matthew, Gray, Keith, Bailey, Mark Francis (2011) Exploring the development of relationship marketing in the National Health Service: An empirical analysis of supplier‐purchaser relationships in a quasi-market environment. Journal of Management & Marketing in Healthcare, Volume 4, Number 3, August 2011 , pp. 196-204

Brennan, R, Eagle, L, Ellis, N & Higgins, M (2010), ʻOf a Complex Sensitivity in Marketing Ethics Educationʼ, Journal of Marketing Management, 26 (13-14): 1165 – 1180

Ellis, N & Higgins, M (2006), ʻRechatechizing Codes of Practice in Supply Chain Relationships: Discourse, Identity and Othernessʼ, Journal of Strategic Marketing, 14: 327-350.

Ellis, N, Higgins, M & Jack, G (2005), "(De)constructing the Market for Animal Feeds: A Discursive Study", Journal of Marketing Management, 21: 117-146.
Smith. W and Higgins. M (2003) ʻPostmodernism and Popularisation: The Cultural Life of Chaos Theoryʼ Culture & Organization Issue 9(2): 93-104

Higgins. M and Smith. W (2002) ʻBabies cost less at Tescosʼ Journal of Marketing Management 18 (9-10): 833-856

Higgins. M and Smith. W (2002) ʻEngaging the Commodified Face: The Use of Marketing in the Child Adoption Processʼ Business Ethics: A European Review 11 (2): 179-191

Higgins. M and Tadajewski (2002) ʻAnti-Corporate Protest as Consumer Spectacleʼ Journal of Management Decision 40 (4): 363-371

Smith. W and Higgins. M (2000) ʻReconsidering the Relationship Analogyʼ Journal of Marketing Management 16 (1): 81-94

Smith. W and Higgins. M (2000) ʻCause Related Marketing: Ethics and the Ecstaticʼ Business and Society 39 (3): 304-322

Parker. M, Higgins. M, Lightfoot. G and Smith. W (1999) ʻAmazing Stories: Organization Studies as Science Fictionʼ, Organisation 6 (4): 579-590

Smith. W and Higgins. M (1998) ʻRepresenting Postmodernism?: Control, Creation and Cyborg Mythologyʼ University of Leicester: Discussion Papers In Management & Organization Studies 98 (1): 1-19

Referred Conference Papers and Proceedings

Lai, Ai-Ling, Lim, M and Higgins, M. (2013) Spinsters and Bachelors: Negotiating the ‘Single’ Identity in a Couple-Orientated Marketplace, European Conference of the Association for Consumer Research (EACR) at IESE Campus in Barcelona, 4-7 July, 2013.

Lee, M. Davies, A and Higgins, M. (2013) ‘Lone no more: The Sociable Ethical Consumer’, European Conference of the Association for Consumer Research (EACR) at IESE Campus in Barcelona, 4-7 July, 2013.

Lee, M. Davies, A and Higgins, M (2013) 'The Politics of Meaning-making / Meaning-breaking' The 8th Annual Liverpool Symposium on Current Developments in Ethnographic Research in the Social and Management Sciences at VU University Amsterdam, 28th – 30th August 2013.

Brennan, R, Eagle, L, Ellis, N & Higgins, M (2010), ʻAlterity & Sensitivity: Contours of the Tutor in Marketing Ethics Education' Academy of Marketing Conference, Coventry. June 2010. Best Paper Prize (2010) sponsored by Chartered Institute of Marketing Charitable Trust.

Higgins, M and Ellis, N (2009) Ethics and industrial networks: a Levinasian approach towards the study of justice in the supply chain, IMP Conference, Marseille, France September 2009

Anand,C. Folkard, G. Fieldhouse, E & Higgins, M (2008) Enhancing Environmental Management System in University Buildings 14th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference. Delhi

Higgins, M & Ellis, N (2006) The Search for Justice in Supply Chain Management: A Levinasian Perspective, EGOS Bergen, June 2006.

Ellis. N & Higgins. M (2004) “Constructing the Supply Chain: The Constitution of Relationship Facts and Organisational Types within Management Texts” 6th International Conference on Organizational Discourse: Artefacts, Archetypes and Architexts Amsterdam.

Higgins. M & Ellis. N. (2004) Discourse, Otherness and Supply Chain Management – Competitive Paper, Academy of Marketing. July, Cheltenham.
Ellis. N & Higgins. M (2003) The Role of Codes of Practice in the Supply Chain: Discourse, Power & Agon, APROS, Mexico. December 5-8th.

Higgins. M (2001) ʻConsumer Protest & Corporate Criticismʼ. 2nd Critical Management Workshop – Stoke on Trent, UK May 2nd-3rd

Higgins. M & Smith. W (2001) ʻEngaging Ethics: Marketing & Child Adoptionʼ A Paper accepted for the World Marketing Congress - Cardiff, Wales, UK- June 27th-July 1st.

Higgins. M & Smith. W (2000) Socially Sensitive Marketing?: The Processes of Objectification in the English & Welsh Child Adoption Process An Abstract for the Seventh Annual International Business Ethics Conference New York September 21st-23rd

Smith. W and Higgins. M (1999) ʻBuilding Better Worlds: Science Fiction and Marketingʼ Paper presented at Science Fiction and Organization Conference. Leicester. September.

Higgins. M and Smith. W (1999) ʻI Dreamt I Was Caught Dead Without My Virginform Casket: Science Fiction and Marketingʼs Future Presentʼ. Proceedings of the Marketing Paradiso Conclave (eds. Stephen Brown and Anthony Patterson) University of Ulster (ISBN 1-85923-1144) pg. 159-171

Smith. W, Higgins. M and Ashiagbor. L (1999) ʻRefreshing the Relationship Analogy: Marketing, Morality and Masochismʼ Paper presented at First Critical Management Conference, Manchester. July.

Smith. W and Higgins. M (1999) ʻRough Cut for ʻBuilding Better Worlds: Science Fiction and Marketingʼ Paper presented at First Critical Management Conference. Manchester, July.

Higgins. M and Smith. W (1997) ʻCharity Begins At Hovis: Ethics & Cause Related Marketingʼ Proceedings of the Marketing Illuminations Spectacular (Eds. Stephen Brown,Anne Marie Doherty & Bill Clarke), University of Ulster [ISBN 1-85923-063-6] pp. 240-251.

Higgins. M and Smith. W (1998) ʻ“What a Handsome Pair!” Relationship Marketing and Representations of the Consumer.ʼ British Academy of Management Conference September 1998

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