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Taltech School of Business and Governance, Department of Business Administration offers a 4-year PhD position in marketing.

Research field: Economics and Business Administration
Supervisor: Edward Kasabov
Availability: This position is available.
Offered by: School of Business and Governance
Department of Business Administration
Application deadline:Applications are accepted between November 16, 2020 00:00 and December 16, 2020 23:59 (Europe/Zurich)


The project belongs to the general area of Services Marketing, but is – more specifically – positioned at the meeting point of Service, Relationship, and Strategic Marketing.  It seeks to establish the strategic value of new types of relations trialled by practitioners in service marketing through the application of various types of online control.

In spite of the dominance of the concept of customer centricity, current research in service marketing demonstrates how highly successful companies focus on persuading customers to comply with their systems, in return for lower prices and, frequently, a better service.  By critically examining customer-provider relationships and service provision, the place, role, parameters and implications of control are to be ascertained, with a focus on the strategic advantage of companies introducing such practices.

The project will focus on online service provision, and the establishment on online relations, in view of the fact that innovative relations of the type described above have been introduced across types of online – and less so, off-line – environments. The introduction and growing use of computers in the last 30 years, the ability to link computers, as well as more recent developments in technology and communications have assisted marketing practitioners in designing, applying and refining highly innovative strategies and techniques to manage their customers and business partners, with little to no reference to traditional marketing approaches.  While new technologies have supported the application of such novel marketing approaches, it is the ingenuity of marketing practitioners that have broken path dependent norms to such an extent that new relationship and service practices have grown to replace traditional approaches across sectors.

Current marketing theory does not adequately describe and accurately explain some of the innovations introduced by marketing practitioners referred to here.  Therefore, this project should shed light on, and makes sense of, technology-enabled innovations introduced by marketing practitioners which should stimulate thinking about what it is that some businesses do so well in terms of competing through new relations in online service provision, and why they have proved successful against their more traditional rivals.  What seems to define competitive success are: first, an ability to recognise, and eagerness to embrace, the advantages offered by rapidly developing technologies; and second, recognise the potential of control-based relations.  The project will explore both of the above two ingredients, while also exploring the future role of such practices, especially in a post-Covid-19 context which, it appears, will be marked by the negation or re-thinking of long-held assumptions in marketing practice and theory, most notably the concept of customer centricity.  

MSc or MA in Marketing, Business Administration, Political Science, or Sociology

The applicants should fulfill the following requirements: 

  • The candidate should hold a MSc or MA in Marketing, although applicants holding BA/MA/MSc degrees in Business Administration, Political Science, or Sociology are also welcome
  • The candidate should have completed successfully their studies at the time of application, including having successfully defended their thesis