Student Voices

Travel Report: Kirk Plangger, Business

May 23, 2014

Kirk Plangger, a Doctoral student in Business, received a Graduate International Research Travel Award to further his research in the USA. His report:

Marketing PhD candidate Kirk Plangger first considered extending this Beedie MBA experience into a PhD by his marketing professor, Leyland Pitt, and his technology management professor, Michael Parent. Ever since Kirk has been interested in technology and how it affects consumer behaviour. While his dissertation research focuses on consumer privacy and surveillance concerns, he has also written about social media, creative consumers, gamification consumer labeling theory, and mobile technology use.

In summer of 2013, Kirk drove down the west coast to Tucson, Arizona where he spent a little over 3 months at the University of Arizona. He met nearly daily with some of the outstanding scholars at U of A, including Professor Linda Price (current President of the Association of Consumer Research and consumer psychology expert), Professor Hope Schau-Jensen (MBA Dean at the U of A and brand community expert), Professor Sidney Levy (founder of the brand image concept), and the amazing U of A PhD students who didn’t mind sharing their work space during the summer.

Kirk’s travel to the U of A had two main objectives. First, he needed to work on his dissertation, as this experience was before Kirk had defended his dissertation proposal. The countless hours that these individuals, mentioned above, spent with him shaped and molded his thoughts about consumer privacy and surveillance. Second, Kirk had recently published a paper with his Beedie collaborators on how workers use mobile technology and he wanted to work with Professors Linda and Hope on an extension of this work into the consumers world. In fact, this project has received seed funding from the King’s College London’s Department of Management in Fall 2013, where Kirk now works full time. Kirk also helped out at the Consumer Culture Theory Conference that took place in June 2013 in Tuscon, where he continued to

Aside from working on consumer research, and even though it was hot (43 degrees Celsius according to my car), Kirk explored the Arizona desert including an extraordinary three-day hiking/camping trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, day excursions around Tucson, and a hike around the amazing Sedona Canyon. Then as August approached, he headed back to Vancouver driving through Nevada, Utah, Oregon, and Washington states.

Currently, Kirk is a lecturer in Marketing at King’s College London at University of London, as well as the marketing management lecturer on the Beedie Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. His research has been funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the UK Technology Strategy Board’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), and other organizations. He has been published journals such as for example the Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, AMS Review, Business Horizons, and the Journal of Public Affairs.

For more information on Kirk or his research please see his King’s page and he can be reached via email

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