Remembering and Celebrating the life and research achievements of Dr. Christina Scandelius (1968-2016)


Dr Christina Scandelius

On 17th January (2018) the colleagues and friends of the late Dr. Christina Scandelius met in the University’s Chaplaincy Centre for a service of remembrance for her life and academic accomplishments.


Dr. Scandelius was a lecturer in marketing at Brunel Business School, and was a member of the Marketing and Corporate Brand research group. She was also a former PhD scholarship holder within the Business School.  She died on 6th May 2016 after a long-fight with cancer.  Dr. Scandelius was a popular and widely-respected colleague and teacher, and had many friends in the Marketing and Corporate Brand research group, the Business School, and beyond.


The service of remembrance was organised by Dr. Geraldine Cohen (who had been Dr Scandelius’s erstwhile PhD supervisor), and led by The Reverend Sally Hitchner (Anglican Chaplain to the University). It was attended by the Dean (Professor Tom Betteridge), Associate Deans, faculty members and students.


In addition to prayers for Dr Scandelius’s family and friends, the liturgy drew on several traditions and included a reading of a Psalm from the Hebrew Bible (by Dr. Cohen), music from the Latin Requiem Mass (“In Paradisum” by Faure), and the Santa Lucia Neapolitan carol so beloved by Christina and by Swedes the world-over (In both Sweden and in Naples, St. Lucy’s day is a major festival).


Reflections on Dr. Scandelius’s life and academic achievements were given by Professor Tom Betteridge and Dr Sharifah Alwi, while Dr Dorothy Yen read from the acknowledgements page of Dr. Scandelius’s PhD thesis.


In his Panegyric, Professor John M.T. Balmer (Director of the Marketing and Corporate Brand Group) reflected:

Dr. Christina Scandelius through her vocation as a teacher and scholar illumed the lives of faculty and students at Brunel. Furthermore, through her published output, Christina provided light to the world-wide community of marketing scholars and to the practice of marketing. In all that she did, she was an embodiment of our University’s corporate brand covenant, a brand promise which is informed by the precept of useful learning. Finally, I know that her candle will burn brightly in our hearts for many years to come.

Brunel Research: Explaining the effect of rapid internationalization on horizontal foreign divestment in the retail sector

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) compete in a fierce global arena. One of the most critical aspects related to their performance, is among others, the speed of internationalisation the adopt, that is how rapidly MNEs expand their foreign operations. Although high speed of internationalisation is important for MNEs in order to leverage first mover advantages and quickly deploy their unique firm-specific capabilities, at the same time the managerial resources needed to execute such a fast-paced internationalization strategy are limited, and to a certain extent, subject to regional availability. As such, firms that grow too rapidly in one period may not only grow more slowly in the subsequent period but may also need to divest some of their operations.


The study developed by Dr. Batsakis and his coauthors (Prof. Alex Mohr from WU Vienna and Dr. Zita Stone from the University of Kent) argues that the likelihood of divestment of MNEs’ international operations increases with the speed of firms’ prior international expansion. Given that MNEs are likely to face constraints in terms of quickly deploying managerial resources to new international operations, the study argues that two important factors, namely international experience and regional concentration, can act as “shock absorbers”, thus mitigating the negative effects of the speed of firms’ prior international expansion on the level of foreign divestment.


Figure: The moderating role of intra-regional international experience on the relationship between intra-regional internationalization speed and intra-regional foreign divestment. (Image source)

Drawing on regional strategy theory and the theory of the growth of the firm (Edith Penrose), the aforementioned arguments are tested using two-stage least squares (2SLS) estimation on panel data that capture the international expansion and divestment of retailers over the period 2003–2012.


The article has been published in the Journal of International Business Studies.


Dr. Georgios Batsakis is an Assistant Professor of International Business. His research focuses on internationalisation processes and foreign market entry strategies of multinational enterprises. His teaching lies in the areas of international business, strategic management and entrepreneurship. Dr. Batsakis has published in leading international business and general management academic journals, such as the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, British Journal of Management, Management International Review, International Business Review, International Marketing Review, Journal of Business Research, among others.


Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Doctoral Research awarded to marketing student Dr. Anisah Hambali

Dr. Anisah Hambali, a former PhD student from the Marketing and Corporate Brand Research Group, at Brunel Busines School, Brunel University London, has been awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Doctoral Research during the recent  2017 Winter Graduation held in Westminster, London.  The title of her thesis is, “Introducing Celebrity Corporate Brand: Moving Beyond Endorsement and Exploring its Effect on Corporate Brand Enhancement.”

PHD prize

Dr. Anisah Hambali

Supervised by Dr. Sharifah Alwi and Professor John M.T. Balmer, Dr. Hambali is a worthy receipt of this prestigious accolade not only because of the cutting-edge focus of her thesis, but also the quality and rigour of the study. She has also been a very active PhD member of the Marketing and Corporate Brand Research Group and won the college’s 3-Minutes Thesis Competition in 2016 and represented the college in the final round. In 2013, she was awarded with the Conference Fund Prize by the Academy of Marketing.


Dr. Hambali is persuing an academic career and has been appointed as Assistant Professor in Brand Management and Marketing in Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. She takes up this faculty appointment in January 2018.


Commenting on her award, Dr Hambali said:

“The award of the Vice Chancellor’s prize is a terrific honour and is the cherry on the cake having completed my PhD on celebrity corporate brand endorsement. I came to Brunel because of its international reputation in corporate branding and to work with Dr Sharifah Alwi and Professor John Balmer who are known authorities in the field”.


Congratulations to Dr. Anisah Hambali.

Research: The role of local communities in disaster relief and recovery

A new paper by Brunel Business School expert, Professor Afshin Mansouri, highlights the critical role of local communities in disaster relief and recovery. The paper was co-authored with Dr Jennifer Bealt and published in the January 2018 issue of Disasters. In it, the authors discuss how the local community can form ad-hoc networks to provide effective and efficient disaster management.


Figure 1. The disaster management cycle
Image source

The relief and recovery activities that need to be performed in the aftermath of a natural disaster (Figure 1) are not only numerous but also varied and complex. Moreover, humanitarian logistics activities are, normally, performed by multiple actors, each with their own set of resources and expertise. As a result, disaster relief and recovery efforts are sometimes thwarted by problems such as:

  • Poor coordination among humanitarian organisations (HOs)
  • Lack of commitment
  • Failures to bridge the gap between relief and development activities
  • Competition for funding, media attention, and scarce resources
  • Managerial attention focused on accountability to donors to the detriment of the needs of the population affected by the disaster


Conversely, as Professor Mansouri and his co-author argue, when local responders form collaborative aid networks (CAN), they may greatly improve the success of relief and recovery efforts. This is because of the wealth of knowledge and skills already in existence within those communities. Moreover, their solutions tend to be self-reliant, participatory, and inclusive.


Specifically, the involvement of the local community in post-disaster operations has two main benefits:

First, the capacity, local knowledge, and resources possessed by CANs can support relief and recovery efforts significantly. The collaborative nature of local networks allows for improved dissemination of resources and information on needs. Furthermore, their ability to share information leads to more efficient and effective humanitarian operations, tailored specifically to the disaster-affected community. Local knowledge and expertise also has ensured proficient distribution of goods and competent navigation of the terrain.


Second, CANs support a more inclusive approach to long-term recovery, a process with which HOs often struggle. CAN involvement in humanitarian operations may increase the resilience of disaster-affected societies and decrease their vulnerability to hazard events in the future. By recognising the power and influence of community-driven supply chains, and the positive effects of community-led engagement in humanitarian operations, the effective communication of needs to a variety of stakeholders is facilitated in the face of adversity.



An open access (free) version of the paper can be accessed here.


Professor Mansouri is Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management, and Director of Research at Brunel Business School. His research activities focus on improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and fairness of humanitarian operations, as well analysing trade-offs between the environmental, economic, and social sustainability dimensions in supply chains.

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Dr Grigorios Theodosopoulos investigates the management challenges faced by hospices in England

Approximately 70% of the available palliative care beds in England – that is, places offering end of life care for terminally ill patients – are managed by voluntary sector organisations. The great majority of these organisations, known as hospices, are independent local charities, which are subject to an increasing number of regulatory demands covering areas as diverse as health and safety, patient treatment, and value for money. There are also a number of key stakeholders, and associated relations, that impact on what hospices do, and how. Figure 1 illustrates these stakeholder relations.


Image source

Dr Grigorios Theodosopoulos has researched the management challenges faced by hospices in England, and has recently published a paper on this topic. The paper reveals that hospices are called upon to provide an ever-increasing range of clinical and other services, for which they need to secure funding via innovative income generating initiatives. Drawing on interviews and financial data, the research conducted by Dr Theodosopoulos and his co-authors sheds light on:

  • The complexity of the funding model used by these organisations
  • The scarcity of appropriately skilled staff for clinical, nursing and fundraising work
  • The extended demand for hospice care driven by population demographics


Dr Grigorios Theodosopoulos is a Senior Lecturer in accounting, and a member of the Accounting and Auditing Research Centre, at Brunel Business School. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, member of the British Accounting and Finance Association, member of the Voluntary Sector Studies Network and has broad working experience in accounting, commercial auditing, and management. His research focuses on the development and application of an accounting business models’ framework within voluntary sector organisations. His teaching interests include: contemporary issues in accounting research, financial reporting and analysis, and introductory accounting.


The research paper is entitled ‘Accounting for voluntary hospices in England: A business model perspective’, and was published by the journal Critical Perspectives on Accounting. For further information about this work, or for a copy of the paper, please contact Dr Theodosopoulos here.

ANZMAC Best paper award for Dr Marcia Christina Ferreira

Dr Marcia Christina Ferreira, a lecturer in marketing at Brunel Business School, and researcher in the Marketing and Corporate Brand Management Research Group, won the best paper award in the Consumer Culture Theory track, at the prestigious marketing conference ANZMAC, organized by Australia and New Zealand Marketing Academy.

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The paper, titled “The Enmeshed Paths of Consumers as Collectors”, explores the publicisation of once-private collections on social media. This research investigates how the design, materials, and marketing efforts objectified in the branded products interweave consumers and objects through different levels of sociality, leading consumers to develop enmeshed individual and collective paths as collectors.

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Co-authored with Dr Daiane Scaraboto from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and Dr Emily Chung from RMIT University, this paper brings new insights into understanding collectors and their pathways towards becoming (or ceasing to be) devoted collectors. Their approach uses a more dynamic and integrative perspective that is different to the simplistic, linear manner adopted by prior research. The insights revealed by this study can also in turn help brand managers develop tools to better relate to its most loyal consumers.

Dr Andreas Georgiadis contributes to key resource for policy makers

Dr Andreas Georgiadis, Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Economics at Brunel Business School, has contributed to the “Disease Control Priorities” (DCP) book series, which has been described by former prime minister of the UK, Gordon Brown, as a key resource for Ministers of Health and Finance.


Dr Andreas Georgiadis

Dr Andreas Georgiadis’s contribution to this series draws on empirical evidence regarding the impact of interventions on Health and Development during middle childhood and school age, and shows that:

“the effects of early deprivation do not necessarily persist throughout life, especially if environmental circumstances change, and the trajectories of child growth and cognitive development respond rather strongly to growth-promoting interventions after age two years.”


The central message of this contribution is, thus, that it is possible to reverse the effects of deprivation in early childhood, through coordinated growth promoting interventions. Given the readership of this book series, it is expected that this work will influence government policy and interventions around education and child health.

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Image source: @DCPThree


The latest volume in this important series was presented at an event which included representatives from the World Health Organisation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and various other dignitaries and policy makers.


Image source: @DCPThree

More information about the book series is available here.