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PhD, MPhil, BA (Hons), FHEA
Oxford Brookes Business School
+44 (0) 1865 485694
My current role as the university Chair of the research ethics committee often calls on my expertise in matters of digital research, including the ethical challenges and good practice for researchers. I am also actively involved in the Public Engagement Network of the university to help facilitate the communication of research to the wider world.
research interests lie within exploring how the digital environment is
shaping behaviour change across society, business, consumers and citizens. In
addition, the impact of
digitalisation on tools and perspectives within social science research
methods and the ethical challenges in contemporary digital research. Much of
my research is collaborative and interdisciplinary. Current projects
include; the development of a best practice framework for co-created
participatory research with older people, and
how digital tools can facilitate the sharing of memories to enhance
connectivity for older people. Recent
funded research projects include how the sharing of images on social media
can enhance well-being and mitigate social isolation for older people in the
UK (with the Sir Halley Stewart Trust and the Open University). Previous projects have investigated how European SMEs are adopting digital
technologies to enhance their business performance as well as examining
whether LinkedIn can create value for businesses in the Wine sector.
- £24,000 from Sir Halley Stewart Trust joint bid with the Open University, as
Co PI, The role of social media image sharing in mitigating social isolation
and enhancing wellbeing in older UK citizens.
- £3500 European Economic and Social Research fund (ESRC) as PI to investigate
bridging the gaps between industry and academic research within the digital
We are faced with an ageing population whose longer lives need to be lived well. Extant marketing scholarship has largely neglected older consumers’ behavior in relation to the social media realm and its influence on well-being. This two-stage qualitative study investigates subjective well-being, exploring whether and how sharing photos on social media increases the dimensions of self-acceptance, positive relations with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, purpose in life, and personal growth. The findings indicate that photo-sharing is a powerful behavior in augmenting older consumers’ well-being as it enables individual self-reflection, self-representation and transforms the individual experience into a collective one. Contributions include; that photo-sharing acts as a bridge in creating, reinforcing but also breaking bonds among older consumers, also a tension exists between the desire for autonomy and the need for relationships with others, and finally that the digital self exists as a component of subjective well-being in older consumers.
Ethics committees have an important role to play in ensuring ethical standards (e.g. BERA, ESRC, RCUK recommendations) are met by educational researchers. Balancing obligations to participants, society, institutions and the researchers themselves is not, however, easy. Researchers often experience the Ethics committee as unsympathetic to their research endeavour, whilst Ethics committees find some research approaches do not make ethical implications sufficiently explicit. This potential for misunderstanding is evident in the literature; but studies investigating how participants perceive this relationship is missing.
This study comprises a novel empirical study which explores researcher perceptions of research ethics committees. Fifty-five participants in Higher Education departments of Education responded to an online survey. Open and closed ended questions were used to collect data on roles, methodological stance, experiences of the research ethics committee, perceived tensions and examples of good practice.
The results indicated that contemporary educational researchers regard research ethics committees as friends when researcher and reviewer are transparently engaged in a shared endeavour. When this shared endeavour breaks down, for a variety of reasons including apparently unreasonable demands or mutual misunderstanding, the research ethics committees can become foe. The difference between foe and friend lies in the quality of communication, clear systems and a culture of respectful mutual learning.
The contributions of this study have practical implications for the ways that education researchers and research ethics committees relate to one another within university settings, both to alleviate areas of tension and to arrive at shared understanding which will enable best ethical research practice.
While the competence of subordinates is considered desirable in the workplace, it may create challenges in managing people in organizations. This study examines why subordinates’ competence triggers ostracism within the workplace based on social comparison theory and previous insecurity studies. Data from both managers (N = 130) and their subordinates (N = 231) provided findings which affirm that, first, some managers regard competent subordinates as potential challengers and thus develop a feeling of insecurity, which creates motivation for the ostracism of those competent subordinates. Second, those subordinates who feel ostracized by managers may show less commitment toward their managers, feel less confident and engage in negative gossip about their managers. The implications of competence triggered ostracism for management include that competent subordinates require active management and development to avoid potentially damaging relationships between managers and subordinates emerging which would be detrimental to the organization.
This article reports on a U.K. workshop on social media research ethics held in May 2018. There were 10 expert speakers and an audience of researchers, research ethics committee members, and research institution representatives. Participants reviewed the current state of social media ethics, discussing well-rehearsed questions such as what needs consent in social media research, and how the public/private divide differs between virtual and real-life environments. The lack of answers to such questions was noted, along with the difficulties posed for ethical governance structures in general and the work of research ethics committees in particular. Discussions of these issues enabled the creation of two recommendations. The first is for research ethics committees and journal editors to add the category of ‘data subject research’ to the existing categories of ‘text research’ and ‘human subject research’. This would reflect the fact that social media research does not fall into either of the existing categories and so needs a category of its own. The second is that ethical issues should be considered at all stages of social media research, up to and including aftercare. This acknowledges that social media research throws up a large number of ethical issues throughout the process which, under current arrangements for ethical research governance, risks remaining unaddressed.
Gossip is a common phenomenon in the workplace, but yet relatively little is understood about its influence to employees. This study adopts social information theory and social cognitive theory to interpret the diverse literature on gossip, and to develop and test hypotheses concerning some of the antecedents of gossip, with an aim of developing knowledge of the relationship between gossip and employee behaviour in the workplace. The study analysed survey data in a two-stage process, from 362 employees across a range of industries in Taiwan. The findings revealed that jobrelated gossip predicted employee cynicism and mediated the relationship between psychological contract violation and cynicism, and that non-job-related gossip showed a similar but weaker effect to employee cynicism. The contribution made by this paper is of value to both the academic subject domain and managers in Human Resources. First, we have identified two constructs of gossip, job-related and non-job-related gossip not previously reported and a validated scale has been created. Second, we have confirmed that these different constructs of gossip impact differently on employee behaviour and therefore HR managers should be cautious about gossip in the workplace, as it can cause cynical behaviour amongst employees.
Keywords: abusive supervision; employee cynicism; gossip; human resource management; psychological contract
Writing a literature review yields many academic benefits. It is an appropriate route for management students to learn academic skills, such as how to search databases and to search off line, and to improve practical and theoretical knowledge. It enables theory development unimpeded by the practical obstacles of gaining access to people and organisations to collect data. It requires the development of expertise in research methods, numeracy, attention to detail, and in the analysis and interpretation of data. Despite these benefits, the pedagogic literature has little to say about the best means of teaching students how to research and write literature reviews. This paper develops a three-stage framework for teaching literature reviews which gives explicit guidance for teachers and simplifies the process for students. The framework comprises a means of learning how to carry out a systematically informed search for relevant literature, demonstrated through examples; an approach to learning how to read and deconstruct a text in a critically informed way, through using a template with a questioning approach; and a way explaining how to reconstruct the material, using a simple metaphor to demonstrate how this is done.
Purpose - The potential influence of consumer generated communication in the form of online discussion fora has been overlooked by marketers. The purpose of this paper to explore the content of discussion and the relationships between posters on social networks using the wine sector as the research basis. Design/methodology/approach - The paper examines the current usage of discussion fora by wine enthusiasts through a netnographic approach. A non-probability purposive sample of wine discussion fora in three countries is employed to determine the content and style of the contributions posted. Findings - The paper indicates that individuals within fora develop relationships with each other, the network itself and brands. Such relationships are predicated on trust between members, shared interests and experiences and relationships with the brands that they discuss. These relationships can develop into strong bonds and even evolve into offline activities. Research limitations/implications - The paper is an exploratory study with a sample limited to one product type and thus generalisation is difficult. Practical implications - The paper outlines the strength and types of relationships between social network members. It demonstrates how netnography can provide insights into consumer behaviour and relationships between consumers and products. Marketers should consider the content of discussion fora as a valuable resource for learning about contemporary consumer communication and appreciate the power of peer-to-peer online relationships. Originality/value - The paper uses a novel, but accepted, research method to discover useful insights into consumer perceptions and behaviour.
Engaging in reflection is a vital part of learning for university students and its practice should be embedded in course design. Feedback on written work can be used as a vehicle for reflection. Both the gift and receipt of feedback and the habit of reflection require practice and capturing this experiential learning can be achieved in a class environment. This paper outlines how reflection on written feedback may be used formatively by teachers in a university context. The paper reports on the use of a simple tool, a self-copying sheet, given to management undergraduates on the return of coursework, which engages students and captures their reflection on their feedback. The teaching model presented outlines an approach to reflective learning that recognises the need for students to engage with feedback in the classroom, to reflect on it and to feed forward to the next assessment, thus completing the learning cycle.
Purpose - Organisations now regard having a web site as mandatory but as more businesses create websites the real challenge lies in driving traffic to a specific web site. Little research attention has been paid to the issues for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of how to increase traffic to their web site. This paper addresses the issue of web site traffic generation for SMEs which have limited resources to determine how SMEs might make more effective use of search engine marketing (SEM) tools to increase web site traffic. Design/methodology/approach - An investigation of specific SEM tools, including press release distribution and directory submission, that are available to SMEs was conducted. This research paper follows a mixed methods approach incorporating Pearson's product moment correlation conducted on web site traffic and backlinks data as well as qualitative analysis of interview transcripts of three SME organisations and their use of search engine optimisation across different industries. Findings - The findings indicate that a combined use of both press release distribution and directory submission does increase traffic generation to a web site. A tentative model is proposed which requires further testing. Practical implications - This paper demonstrates the synergy that can be created from two easily accessible and low cost SEM tools for SMEs in order to improve web site traffic generation. Originality/value - The value of this research lies in the fact that the tools used in the creation of the model are within the means of small organisations and therefore highly relevant to SMEs.
Pera, R., Quinton S., & Baima, G.
(2020) I am who I am: Sharing photos on social media by older
consumers and its influence on subjective well-being. Psychology and
Chang, K., Kuo,
C.C., Quinton, S., Lee, I.L., Cheng, T.C., & Huang, S.K (2019) Subordinates’ competency: A potential
trigger for workplace ostracism. International Journal of Human
Quinton, S. & Reynolds, N. (2018), Understanding Digital Research, London: Sage.
Samuel, G., Ahmed, W., Kara, H., Jessop, C.,
Quinton, S., & Sanger, S. (2018). Is It Time to Re-Evaluate the Ethics
Governance of Social Media Research?. Journal of Empirical Research
on Human Research Ethics, 13(4), 452-454.
Lugosi, P. & Quinton S. (2018). More than human netnography, Journal of Marketing Management.34(3-4), 287-313.
& Reynolds, N. (2018). The changing roles of researchers and participants
in digital and social media research, chap 3
in Iphofen R., ed. ‘The ethics
of online research, Advances in research ethics and integrity’, Vol. 2,
Canhoto, A., Molinillo, S., Pera, R.
& Budhathoki, T. (2017). Conceptualising
a digital orientation: antecedents of supporting SME performance in the
digital economy, Journal of Strategic
Quinton, S., & Simkin, L. (2017). The digital journey: Reflected learnings and emerging challenges. International Journal of Management Reviews, 19(4), 455-472.
Quinton, S. & Wilson, D. (2016).
Tensions and ties in social media networks: Towards a model of understanding
business relationship development and performance enhancement through the use
of LinkedIn, Industrial Marketing
Management, 54, 15-24.
A., Quinton, S., Jackson, P. & Dibb,
S. (2016), The mechanisms of value co-creation in university-industry R&D
collaboration, Industrial Marketing
Management, 56(5), 86–96. DOI: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2016.03.010.
& Reynolds, N. (2016). Ethical ponderings in social media research,
in Woodfield K., ed. ‘Social
Media and Social Science Research Ethics’. London: The Academy of Social
Celse, J., Chang, K.,
& Quinton, S. (2016). The reduction of employee
lying behaviour: Inspiration from a study of envy in part-time employees, Journal of Strategy and Management, 9(2),
Kuo, C.C., Chang, K.,
Quinton, S., Lu, C-Y. & Lee, I. (2015).
Gossip in the workplace and the implications for HR management: A study
of gossip and its relationship to employee cynicism. International Journal of Human Resource Management. 26(18),
2288-2307. (3*, 1.65)
Quinton, S. (2013),The
digital era requires new knowledge to develop relevant CRM strategy: a cry
for adopting social media research methods to elicit this new knowledge, Journal of Strategic Marketing, 21(5), 402-412.
Quinton, S. &
Fennemore, P. (2013), Missing a Strategic Marketing Trick? The Use of Online Social Networks by UK
charities, International Journal of
Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Marketing. 18(1), 36-5.
paper and conference papers available on request.