A final year PhD Student in the Marketing and Customer Management Department of the University of Ghana Business School, Thomas Anning Dorson has won the best paper award at the 2015 Annual Conference of The Emerging Markets Conference Board.

The conference was organized in association with the Academy of Indian Marketing (AIM), European Marketing Academy, Academy of Marketing Science and the American Marketing Association (AMA).

The conference which was hosted by Institute of Management Technology, Dubai from January 18-22, 2015 on the theme “Redefining Value in Emerging Markets” was Co-Chaired by Naresh Maholtra, a Regents’ Professor Emeritus, Georgia Tech, USA, Professor, V. Kumar, Georgia State University, USA, Professor J. Moorthy, IMT-Dubai and Professor Jagdish Sheth of Emory University, USA.  

The annual conferences of the Emerging Markets Conference Board (EMCB) bring together marketing and emerging markets scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss contemporary issues and challenges in emerging economies. In attendance this year were highly regarded scholars such as Professors A. Parasuraman, Michael Brady, Steve Burgess, Vithala Rao, Robert Meyer, K. Sudhir, Russell Belk, Rajesh Chandy, David Tse and many others.  The goal of EMCB is to advance the understanding of marketing and other management issues in emerging markets and facilitate collaboration on emerging markets research.

At the 2015 Dubai Conference, contributors from across five continents presented their works under different tracks. Some of the over 140 research papers addressed issues such as winning with digital marketing and social media which examined opportunities, challenges and application of digital marketing and social media in the emerging markets.

Papers on consumer behaviour in emerging markets emphasized the need to assess the generalizability of accepted marketing theories in the emerging market context. The track on marketing strategies for penetrating emerging markets pointed out how firms can develop customer-centric marketing strategies which will involve a well thought out program to succeed in a highly competitive and volatile environment of the emerging markets.

Thomas’ best paper was co-authored with his supervisors Prof. Robert Hinson of the Department of Marketing and Customer Management and Dr. Mohammed Amidu of the Accounting Department on the topic “environmental moderators and performance effect of interactitivity innovation: a study of the services sector of an emerging economy”.

Their research argued that unlike previous studies that indicate that service innovation is directly related to firm performance, it is rather high levels of service innovations that maximize performance in service firms operating in emerging economies. The paper made a novel contribution to the innovation literature by indicating that the implementation of service innovation can be maximized when environmental conditions are aligned to the implementation of interactivity innovations.

The paper recommended to service firms operating in emerging economies to implement high levels of interactivity innovations in low competitive intensity period or reduce investments in interactivity innovation during high competitive periods. Service firms were also advised that in the period of high customer demand, they can maximize the performance effect of interactivity innovations by increasing the level of customization innovations, timing innovations and involvement innovations.