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John’s professional background is in the agricultural and supply chain industries where he worked in business-to-business sales and business development roles. His first qualification after leaving school was in Agricultural Merchating. John joined Huddersfield Business School from Sheffield Hallam University where he was a Reader in Strategic Management. Previously John had worked for 13 years at Hull University Business School as a Lecturer in Marketing and Business Strategy. There he had extensive teaching experience, leading and teaching on over 20 different modules at all levels, and during which time he designed and was programme leader for both undergraduate and masters programmes in marketing and management − including overseas collaborative programme management in Hong Kong.
John held a number of other leadership roles including at Hull, being Chair of the Quality Committee and being involved in successful AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS accreditation teams. Whilst at Sheffield Business School, he was the Chair of the Faculty Ethics Committee and member of the University Ethics Committee. He currently serves as a Non-Executive Director of Dove House Hospice in Hull, one the largest NFP palliative care organizations in the UK, holding a specific remit for strategic planning.
His time at Hallam and Hull has been marked by a heavy involvement in Doctoral supervision and he has supervised seven students to completion. The topics of these theses are varied across marketing, international business and strategy subjects from consumption patterns during revolution in the Middle-East, to supply chain sustainability, business models, sales, internationalization, service strategy and change management. His work has so far appeared in leading journals such as Industrial Marketing Management, the Journal of Business Research, Marketing Theory, Policy and Politics, Supply Chain Management, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, and Qualitative Marketing Research. Further specifics of his research activity are provided below. He is Associate Editor of Industrial Marketing Management and is an active reviewer for several leading journals. He is also a consistent contributor to a number of leading international conferences.
John has researched in several areas and considers himself firmly to be an interdisciplinary researcher both in terms of methodologies and conceptual areas to which they have been applied.
Methodological and philosophical influences.
Whilst his work is characterised by a qualitative methodological approach, he is interested, through his use of integrative theoretical frameworks such as critical realism and structuration in exploring the interplay between agency and structure and moving beyond voluntarist assumptions underpinning much qualitative research. He has worked empirically and conceptually with structuration theory in his Doctoral thesis, and in the following publications.
Having spent many years at the University of Hull, with its strong tradition of systems studies, John also began to work with Prof. Gerald Midgley on several ideas derived from Prof. Midgely’s world recognised work on pluralism and systemic intervention. They a working on other projects exploring the boundaries of institutions using autopoietic systems.
A third string of interest running through these papers and others is an interest in critical realism. Before and after meeting the founder of the Critical Realist ‘movement’. John has developed a significant interest is using critical realist frameworks and is supervising two Doctoral students using these approaches. His publications and conference presentations to date that utilise this approach include.
John has several papers currently under consideration or in development that use critical realist ideas to explore the institutional dimension of peripheral regions, ecosystems and developing economies from the perspective of small businesses. Through his Doctoral students, he has also worked and published with them using grounded theory, social constructivist, mixed methods, bibliographic and phenomenological approaches. For instance.
A key thread running through John’s research is an interest in the interplay between time and space. In 2017, with his Co-Guest Editor’s Prof Christian Felzensztein from Massey University, New Zealand and Prof. Eli Gimmon from Tel Hai College, Israel, he delivered a special issue of the interaction between Industrial Marketing and Economic Geography disciplines. which drew in articles from leading international business (IB) and EG scholars alongside leading IM scholars. The following is the lead article to that special edition.
His recent co-authored work has developed empirical frameworks using processual theorizing techniques which have explored SME internationalization, public-private partnership and coopetition. He has a specific interest in the temporal emergence of business phenomena from multiple levels of analysis. For instance
Whilst maintaining an interest in Business-to-business and industrial strategy, John’s conceptual interests have included a strong focus on the local-international link and the interplay between core and peripheral areas. Over the last five year’s John has developed a specific interest in the overlaps between economic geography, international business and industrial marketing disciplines. He has published research, has research ongoing, or has supervisory interest in several developing economy contexts such as Vietnam, Pakistan, Nigeria, China, Libya and Egypt. Recent work has explored the process of internationalization and has been more inclined to investigate SME internationalisation although also maintains an interest in foreign investors in emerging markets. Other streams of interest coming from Doctoral supervision include an interest in business models, strategy-as-practice and value B2B co-creation. Work within his sphere of interest also includes, co-opetition, migrant entrepreneurship, absorptive capacity, entrepreneurial ecosystems, effectuation processes, knowledge transfer, technological catch-up, supply chain sustainability and the impact of institutions on business activity. A further thread of evolving work is investigating recombinant innovation in peripheral areas.
John has regularly presented papers as leading international conferences such as the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing Conference, the Academy of International Business, the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship conference, the Association of Critical Realism and IBEGIN (International Business, Economic Geography, Innovation).
Alfakhri, D., Harness, D., Nicholson, J. and Harness, T. (2017) ‘The role of aesthetics and design in hotelscape: A phenomenological investigation of cosmopolitan consumers.’ Journal of Business Research . ISSN 0148-2963
Pattinson, S., Nicholson, J. and Lindgreen, A. (2017) ‘Emergent coopetition from a sensemaking perspective: A multi-level analysis’ Industrial Marketing Management . ISSN 0019-8501
Tian, Y., Nicholson, J., Eklinder-Frick, J. and Johanson, M. (2017) ‘The interplay between social capital and international opportunities: a processual study of international take-off episodes in Chinese SMEs’ Industrial Marketing Management . ISSN 0019-8501
Ahmed, A., Roy, T. and Nicholson, J. (2017) ‘Researching corporate social responsibility in the Middle East: the current state and future directions’ Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management . ISSN 1535-3958
Midgley, G., Nicholson, J. and Brennan, R. (2017) ‘Dealing with challenges to methodological pluralism: the paradigm problem, psychological resistance and cultural barriers’ Industrial Marketing Management , 62, pp. 150-159. ISSN 0019-8501
Nicholson, J., Gimmon, E. and Felzensztein, C. (2017) ‘Economic geography and business networks: creating a dialogue between disciplines: An introduction to the special issue’ Industrial Marketing Management , 61, pp. 4-9. ISSN 0019-8501
Johnston, P., Nicholson, J. and Kelly, S. (2016) ‘Proposing business-to-business customer value: towards a conceptualisation of the value proposing actor’. In: 32nd Annual IMP Conference, 30th August - 3rd September 2016, Poznan, Poland
Lassalle, P., Nicholson, J. and Milena, R. (2016) ‘The embeddedness of migrant entrepreneurs and the process of opportunity creation’. In: 32nd Annual Industrial Marketing and Purchasing Conference, 30 August - 3 September 2016, Poznan, Poland
Nicholson, J. and Orr, K. (2016) ‘Local government partnership working: a space odyssey. Or, journeys through the dilemmas of public and private sector boundary-spanning actors’ Policy and Politics , 44 (2), pp. 269-287. ISSN 1470-8442
Jalil, E., Grant, D., Nicholson, J. and Deutz, P. (2016) ‘Reverse logistics in household recycling and waste systems: a symbiosis perspective’ Supply Chain Management , 21 (2), pp. 245-258. ISSN 1359-8546
Al-Abdin, A., Dean, D. and Nicholson, J. (2016) ‘The transition of the self through the Arab Spring in Egypt and Libya’ Journal of Business Research , 69 (1), pp. 45-56. ISSN 0148-2963
Khan, Z. and Nicholson, J. (2015) ‘Technological catch-up by component suppliers in the Pakistani automotive industry: a four-dimensional analysis’ Industrial Marketing Management , 50, pp. 40-50. ISSN 0019-8501
Nicholson, J., Brennan, R. and Midgley, G. (2014) ‘Gaining access to agency and structure in industrial marketing theory: a critical pluralist approach.’ Marketing Theory , 14 (4), pp. 395-416. ISSN 1741-301X
Khan, Z. and Nicholson, J. (2014) ‘An investigation of the cross-border supplier development process: problems and implications in an emerging economy’ International Business Review , 23 (6), pp. 1212-1222. ISSN 0969-5931
Coombes, P. and Nicholson, J. (2013) ‘Business models and their relationship with marketing: A systematic literature review’ Industrial Marketing Management , 42 (5), pp. 656-664. ISSN 0019-8501
Nicholson, J., Tsagdis, D. and Brennan, R. (2013) ‘The structuration of relational space: Implications for firm and regional competitiveness’ Industrial Marketing Management , 42 (3), pp. 372-381. ISSN 0019-8501
Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Guest Editor Economic Geography and Business Networks: Creating a Dialogue between Disciplines. Industrial Marketing Management, 2017
Associate Editor: Industrial Marketing Manager from 2017
Academic reviewer for Industrial Marketing Management (Review Board), International Business Review, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, British Journal of Management, Journal of Critical Realism, Systems Research and Behavioural Science.
2016- Currently on the advisory board of the project based on Uppsala University Sweden. The project is examining the impact of digitization in a major industrial supply chain.
External Examiner: Waterford Business School, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland.
Non-Executive Director: Dove House Hospice, Hull.
Past and ongoing collaborations other than with colleagues at his three historically professional academic affiliations of Hull, Sheffield Hallam and Huddersfield Universities.
John has successfully completed seven Doctoral candidates to completion and has a number of other students approaching completion. He has a track record of helping students he has supervised publish in internationally recognized journals and his former students can be found working now in important academic institutions around the world.
He would be interested in supervising in the following areas.
Past teaching experience