PhD Defence: Elisa Maira

In her dissertation ‘Consumers and Producers’, ERIM’s Elisa Maira uncovers some of the changes introduced by recent advances in information and communication technology for consumers and producers.   

Elisa Maira defended her dissertation in the Senate Hall at Erasmus University Rotterdam on Friday, February 23 at 11:30. Her supervisors were Prof. Stefano Puntoni and Prof. Christoph Fuchs. Other members of the Doctoral Committee are Prof. Steffen R. Giessner (RSM), Prof. Gerrit H. van Bruggen (RSM), Dr. Marion Poetz(Copenhagen Business School), Prof. Martin Schreier (Vienna University of Economics & Business), Prof. Fred Langerak (Eindhoven University of Technology), Dr. Mirella H.P. Kleijnen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam).

About Elisa Maira

Elisa Maira was born in Seregno, Italy on November 27th, 1986. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Management for Arts, Culture, and Communications (2008) and Master’s Degree in Marketing Management (cum laude, 2011) from Bocconi University (Milan, Italy). Before starting her PhD in Marketing Management at the Erasmus Research Institute of Management, she worked for two years in marketing in the FMCG industry.

Currently, Elisa’s research interests concern how overall firm strategy and marketing strategy influence consumer decisions and the psychological consequences of consumers producing and selling their own products. She has presented her work and chaired sessions at international conferences such as the Association for Consumer Research (ACR), and the European Marketing Academy (EMAC). In September 2017, she started her new job as Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Innovation, Technology, Entrepreneurship and Marketing group at Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Thesis Abstract

In the last few decades, advances in information and communication technology have dramatically changed the way consumers and producers interact in the marketplace. The Internet and social media have torn down the information barrier between producers and consumers, leading to increased transparency. Moreover, while in the past there was a clear distinction between production and consumption of goods, nowadays this distinction is more blurred. Consumers are often involved in the production process of firms, or even create and sell products by themselves. In this dissertation, I examine some consequences of these changes for both consumers and producers.
First, I focus on consumers. Given the enormous availability of information on the Internet, consumers are exposed to information about company strategy that is not immediately relevant for consumption decisions. Here, I investigate how consumer behavior is influenced by exposure to information about company acquisitions. Second, I focus on consumer-producers, consumers who engage in production and online commercialization of goods. I investigate the psychology of consumer-producers, and especially the factors that keep them motivated in spite of scarce economic returns. Finally, I turn to individual producers (e.g., workers in factories). I investigate whether providing personal information about the consumer is a viable intervention for reducing the distance between producers and consumers that characterizes post-industrialized production settings.
By taking the different perspectives of consumers, consumer-producers, and producers, this dissertation uncovers some of the opportunities and challenges introduced by recent advances in information and communication technology.

Photos: Chris Gorzeman / Capital Images