Consumer Marketing

NOTE: The course will most likely be given as a distance learning course

Time and Place: 13 – 16 October 2020, University of Vaasa, Finland

Learning goal and objectives

The course provides an in-depth overview and understanding of the major theoretical and paradigmatic approaches within consumer marketing. The idea is not only to give a basic knowledge on the various approaches, but also to translate how each of them may be applied to and what do they mean for marketing practices. Emphasis is given to the ability to probe into the fundamental assumptions underlying different theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches, into the basic questions they try to provide answers for, as well as into their limitations. Also, how research is carried out in each theoretical tradition is addressed. The course aims not only to support participants’ own Ph.D. research but also offers a systematic ‘state-of-the-art’ overview of the wide-ranging field of consumer marketing. Relevant theories are not only lectured but also exercised during the course work.

Instruction and examination

Seminar type of lectures and workshops, altogether 28 hours in a four day intensive format. Each day consists of one or two teachers’ lectures on given approach and workshops using experiential teaching methods. Prior to course participants study a reading package on course material (seminal articles on each approach); during the course, active student participation, group/individual tasks through preparation of mini-presentations of given problems/articles; after the course a reflective essay based on a student’s own research topic and related course material.


  1. Lectures, active participation and exercises (40% of the grade). Readings of key articles provided by each of the teachers (approx. 300-400 pages). Please, note that you should reserve enough time to prepare for the course (reading-package).
  2. A reflective essay (3,000-4,000 words) on the theoretical stream that is linked participant’s own research area (60% of the grade).

Credits: 5 ECTS

Grading: 1-5 scale (based on class participation, group work & presentation and the reflective essay)

PrerequisitesEarlier studies (e.g. M.Sc.) in marketing are preferable.

Instructors and their topics

  • Prof. Klaus G Grunert (Aarhus University): Historical insights to consumer behavior research and its development
  • Docent, Associate Prof. Elina Närvänen (University of Tampere): Marketplace cultures and consumption practices
  • Docent, Ass. Prof. Henna Syrjälä (University of Vaasa): Basic premises of cultural consumer marketing
  • Associate Prof. Hannele Kauppinen-Räisänen (University of Vaasa): Qualitative inquiries into consumer value
  • Prof. Harri T. Luomala (University of Vaasa): Experimental research settings in consumer research

Admittance: The maximum number of students is 25 and the participants will be selected on the basis of KATAJA’s general instructions. There is no course fee. However, participants have to cover their travel expenses, accommodation and meals.

Fill in the course application form (see at the end of the page) and send it no later than Mon 31 Aug 2020 to the course coordinators. Please, remember to indicate your motivation and the phase of your doctoral studies properly. The acceptance will be notified by 11 Sep 2020.

Note! As the amount of participants is limited, and, as the list of course material will be sent to the participants in advance, the application (when accepted) is binding. In case you have to cancel, please inform us immediately.

Course coordinators and contact information:

Henna Syrjälä, +358 29 449 8483

Salla Niskanen, +358 29 449 8454

University of Vaasa, School of Marketing and Communication, P.O.Box 700, FI-65101 Vaasa, Finland.

Course application form






University, faculty and department:


Officially accepted as Ph.D. student (when and where?):

Research field:

Subject or title of dissertation:

Phase of doctoral studies:

Motives for participating in the course: