Advanced Consumer Research

Course Description: Advanced Consumer Behavior will familiarize students with recent theoretical and methodological advancements in the field of consumer research. The course focuses particularly on the most recent trends in the field, such as the market- and institutional-level analyses that have emerged in the last five years. The course offers PhD students who work in the field of CCT, in particular, up-to-date analytical tools for theorizing and empirically exploring consumer behavior in the contemporary global marketplace.

The course will help students to become familiar with theories and frameworks that are currently informing research within the field, and help to provide participants with a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the most current conceptual and methodological developments in the field. Using seminal papers and articles from top-tier journals as illustrative examples, the course will: Present and analyze the fundamentals of contemporary consumer research, Examine how consumer research is grounded in disciplines, paradigms and debates that expend beyond its own confines, and reveal what is to be gained by unveiling and understanding these, Help students develop a personal approach to some of the more topical questions discussed in the field of cultural and experiential consumer research.

Learning outcomes: After completing the course the student will have a comprehensive understanding of contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches to consumer research and consumer marketing, their theoretical legacies, current debates and future directions. A particular emphasis is laid on helping students understand ground-breaking theoretical contributions in the field consumer culture research. As a result, students are able to:

  •      position their own thesis work within the different streams of consumer research
  •      conceptualize the cultural, experiential, and aesthetic dimensions of consumer behavior from a number of different theoretical perspectives; and to
  •      outline appropriate empirical research problems and designs for each of these theoretical perspectives.

Course requirements:

  •      Regular class attendance
  •      Mastery of the assigned readings and active participation in classroom activities
  •      Satisfactory completion of final course paper

The final course paper is an article that fulfills the requirements for submission as a competitive paper to the Association of Consumer Research Conference (see guidelines). The topic of the course paper should be a consumer behavior issue that is of the most interest to the participant. A five-page paper proposal has to be submitted before the course. The paper will be discussed and developed during the course and the final version of the paper is due after the course.

Target group: Doctoral students from member universities of KATAJA. The course is designed particularly for students in marketing and consumer behavior, communication, management and organization, and international business. Selection is based on applications.

Time: The four-day intensive course will be organized 9th – 12th of June 2014

Place: Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki

Course Language: English

ECTS: 6 Credits

Number of students: 20 – 25

Course work and evaluation: Course work consists of lectures, student presentations, and class-based collaborative learning assignments. Instruction is based on a package of pre-readings. Students will be evaluated on a three-point scale (fair, good, excellent) based on their final course paper at the end of the course.


Dr. A Fuat Firat, Professor of Marketing, University of Texas – Pan American, USA and visiting professor Aalto University School of Business, Finland

Dr. Eileen Fischer, Professor of Marketing, York University, Schulich School of Business,  Canada

Dr. Johanna Moisander, Professor of Organizational Communication, Aalto University School of Business, Finland.

Dr. Anu Valtonen, Professor of Marketing, University of Lapland, Finland.

Required readings: The learning material for the course consists of a set of articles that cover both the seminal work and recent advances in the field of consumer research. Course participants are requested to study and submit a pre-assignment on this material before the course starts.

Application: To apply for the course, please email (a) the application form given below and (b) a short research paper (max. 5 pages) on your PhD project to Johanna Moisander (johanna.moisander(at) by March 31 2014. You can also visit the course website by clicking on the following link:

Please submit the application form and the paper as a single pdf-document, using your last name as the file name.


Acceptance decisions will be sent by April 4 2014 by e-mail.


APPLICATION FORM (Copy paste into a Word document)


Contact address:





When officially accepted to doctoral program:

Motives for participating in the course:

Thesis topic:

Phase of doctoral dissertation: