Professor Nick Lee (BCA, BCA (hons.), Ph.D.)

Marketing Department

Nick Lee

His research interests include sales management, ethics, social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and research methodology. With colleagues at Aston University, he developed the multidisciplinary research field of organizational cognitive neuroscience, and his work in this and other areas has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Organization Science, the Journal of Management, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, the Journal of Business Research, the Journal of Business Ethics, the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, Industrial Marketing Management, the European Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Interactive Marketing, the American Journal of Bioethics, and the International Journal of Psychophysiology.

Position: Honorary Professor of Marketing and Organisational Research
Email: n.j.lee@aston.ac.uk 

Dr. Lee’s work has also featured in popular outlets such as The Times, the Financial Times, and BBC Breakfast. His first book Doing Business Research was published by Sage in 2008. His work is widely cited, and a number of his articles have been rated top in downloads and citations within their fields.

Dr. Lee is the Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Marketing, the Section Editor for Sales Research Methods for the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, a Review Editor for Frontiers in Cognitive Science,and he serves on the review panel or editorial board of several other journals. In 2009 he was featured in The Times as ‘one of the 15 scientists whose work will shape the future’. His research has won multiple awards, including the 2010 Joseph Lister Award for Social Science from the British Science Association, the 2005 Emerald Outstanding Special Issue Award, the 2002 EMAC Conference award for best doctoral paper, and a 2002 UK CIM/AM Research Excellence Award. He is a regular speaker at international conferences on sales and methodological issues. Dr. Lee lectures in organizational research methods and marketing science to doctoral and postgraduate programmes. He received his Ph.D. from Aston University (UK) in 2003, and his first Chair in 2009.

In his leisure time, despite a snapped Achilles tendon in 2011, Nick is still trying to remain an active sportsman, playing competitive club cricket, as well as also partaking in badminton and football (he occasionally tries to play golf, but the less said about that the better). Nick is an enthusiastic guitarist, and enjoys listening to music at unsociably-loud volume. He is also renowned far and wide for his gastronomic adventuring, is generally considered to make the best chilli this side of Texas, and is a widely-consulted expert on pies of all types.

"The good news is, you're fired" Inaugural Lecture by Nick Lee. 
Professor Nick Lee talks about his research.

Nick’s research is generally located within the psychological tradition, containing aspects of the social, cognitive, and neuroscientific approaches. Within this broad context, the specific research areas he works in centre around the concept of relationships among people, individually and in groups. Nick’s primary area of research and contribution has focused on relationships within the sales force, but he is also involved in driving research forward within the emerging field of organizational cognitive neuroscience, and has a long standing interest in measurement theory and philosophy of science.

Sales Force Relationships: The sales force is a key driver of profit for the firm, generating substantial amounts of income and cost. Coupled with the nature of the sales function as a link between the firm and its customers, effective management of the function is thus of major benefit to salespeople, the firm, the value chain, and society as a whole. Nick’s work here explores the relationships and social environment of the sales force within the firm, and the consequences for salespeople’s behavior and psychological well-being. Results show that the social interactions between sales managers and salespeople play a key role in problem resolution and influencing the ethical behaviors, higher performance, and psychological well-being of their salespeople. It is emerging that this social role may be even more important than the technical role that sales managers play (e.g. feedback and decision-making). Studies related to this have been published in journals such as the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Business Ethics, European Journal of Marketing, and Industrial Marketing Management.

Organizational Cognitive Neuroscience: Applying cognitive neuroscientific theories and methods to organizational problems affords a new and powerful explanatory mechanism for human behavior in this context. It is towards this end that the Organizational Cognitive Neuroscience Centre was created. Work on defining an agenda for OCN research has appeared in the natural and social scientific literature (International Journal of Psychophysiology, American Journal of Bioethics, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Nature Preceedings; Journal of Consumer Behavior), and there are exciting new developments currently underway. Examples include testing genetic differences across leadership styles, and also developing a theory of thin-slice cognition within sales force interactions. However, much of the early work in this area has been theoretical, with a key objective to create a coherent agenda for research in this area, avoiding the pitfalls plaguing so much research which has tried to integrate brain science and marketing/organizational issues so far. Key papers on this subject appear in Organization Science and the Journal of Management.

Measurement and Philosophy of Science: The link between fundamental philosophy of science concepts such as reality, knowledge, or measurement, and applied business research is vital but poorly understood by most practicing researchers. Doing Business Research (Sage) aims to demystify these concepts and show how good research depends on understanding the relationship between epistemology, ontology, and methodology, while recent explorations of the relationship between theoretical concepts and observable data, re-evaluates the use of classical techniques (published in European Journal of Marketing) and explores the use of new methods of measurement (published in Journal of Business Research).

Books and Chapters

  • Lee, Nick (2011) The Changing Sales Environment: Implications for Sales Research and Practice. In Piercy, N, Cravens, D., and LeMunier-Fitzhugh, K. (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of Sales Management. Oxford.

  • Lee, Nick, & Gordon Greenley (2010). Data Mining and Scientific Knowledge. In. F. J. Martinez-Lopez & J. Casillas(Eds.) Marketing Intelligent Systems by Soft Computing, Springer, pp 9-16.

  • Lee, Nick, with Ian Lings (2008). Doing Business Research. Sage: London.

Interesting Opinion Pieces

  • Lee, Nick and Mike Ahearne (2012) Introduction to the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management Special Section on Sales Research Methodology In press at the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management

  • Lee, Nick (2011) Reflections on Assessing Academic Quality in Marketing, and the UK REF. European Journal of Marketing, vol 45 (4): 477-483

  • Lee, Nick and Gordon Greenley (2010) From the Editors: Brief Reflections. European Journal of Marketing vol 44(5/6).

  • Lee, Nick and Gordon Greenley (2010) The Theory-Practice Divide: Thoughts of the Editors and Senior Advisory Board. European Journal of Marketing, vol 44(1/2).

  • Lee, Nick and Gordon Greenley (2009) From the Editors: What Makes a Good Article? Generating an Insightful Manuscript. European Journal of Marketing, vol 43(5/6).

  • Lee, Nick and Gordon Greenley (2009) From the Editors: Being a Successful and Valuable Peer Reviewer. European Journal of Marketing, vol 43(1/2).

  • Lee, Nick and Gordon Greenley (2008) From the Editors: The Primacy of Data? European Journal of Marketing, vol 42(11/12).

  • Lee, Nick and Gordon Greenley (2008) From the Editors: The Primacy of Theory. European Journal of Marketing, vol 42(9/10

Selected Journal Publications

Sales and Strategy Topics

  • Marshall, Greg W., William C. Moncrief, John M. Rudd, and Nick Lee (2012) Revolution in Sales: The Impact of Social Media and Related Technology on the Selling Environment. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management. Vol. 32 (4).

  • Flaherty, Karen, Son K. Lam, Nick Lee, Jay P. Mulki, and Andrea L. Dixon (2012). Social Network Theory and the Sales Manager Role: Engineering the Right Relationship Flows. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management. Vol 32 (1): 29-40.

  • Baldauf, A., and Nick Lee (2011). International Selling and Sales Management: Sales Force Research Beyong Geographic Boundaries. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management. Vol 31 (3): 211-218

  • Panagopoulos, Nicholas G., Nick Lee, Ellen Bolman Pullins, George Avlonitis, Pascal Brassier, Paolo Guenzi, Anna Humenberger, Piotr Kwiatek, Terry W. Loe, Elina Oksanen-Ylikoski, Robert M. Peterson, Beth Rogers, and Dan C. Weilbaker (2011) Internationalizing Sales Research: Current Status, Opportunities and Challenges. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management. Vol 31 (3): 219-242

  • Lee, Nick, David Gilliland, Dan Bello and Talai Osmonbekov (2011) When Electronic Management Tools Work – and don’t Work – in Social-Based Channel Relationships. Journal of Business Research vol. 64 (10): 1017-1024

  • Kleijnen, Mirella, Nick Lee, and Martin Wetzels (2009). An Exploration of Consumer Resistance to Innovation and its Antecedents.Journal of Economic Psychology, vol 30: 344-357.

  • Lee, Nick, Amanda Beatson, Tony C. Garrett, Ian Lings & Xi Zhang (2009) A Study of the Attitudes Toward Unethical Selling Amongst Chinese Salespeople. Journal of Business Ethics, vol 88: 497-515.

  • Cadogan, John W., Nick Lee, Anssi Tarkiainen and Sanna Sundqvist (2009). Sales Manager and Sales Team Determinants of Salesperson Ethical Behavior. European Journal of Marketing, vol 43 (2/3). [note this article was submitted to an EJM special issue prior to my Editorship].

  • Lee, Nick, and John W. Cadogan (2009) Sales Force Social Exchange in Problem Resolution Situations. Industrial Marketing Management. Vol 38: 355-372

  • Wieseke, Jan, Christian Homburg and Nick Lee (2008). Understanding the Adoption of New Brands Through Salespeople: a Multilevel Framework. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, vol 36(2).

  • Brown, Joanne, Amanda J. Broderick and Nick Lee (2007). Word of Mouth Communication within Online Communities: Conceptualizing the Online Social Network. Journal of Interactive Marketing, vol. 21(3): 2-19. [this article was the most cited article since 2007 in JIM as at 1 January 2012]

  • Lee, Nick, Anna Sandfield and Baljit Dhaliwal (2007). An Empirical Study of Salesperson Stereotypes Amongst UK Students and Their Implications for Recruitment. Journal of Marketing Management 2007, vol. 23: 723-744.

  • Nicholls, Alex, and Nick Lee (2006). Purchase Decision-Making in Fair Trade and the Ethical Gap: ‘Is there a Fair Trade Twix?’ Journal of Strategic Marketing; vol. 14: 405-422. [This paper was selected as one of the four ‘Aston Key Studies’ for 2007].

Organizational Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology

  • Lee, Nick, Carl Senior, and Michael J. R. Butler (2012) Organizational Cognitive Neuroscience: A Theoretical and Empirical Challenge. In press in the Journal of Management.

  • Lee, Nick, Carl Senior, and Michael J. R. Butler (2012). Leadership Research and Cognitive Neuroscience: The State of This Union. Leadership Quarterly. Published online: DOI 0.1016/j.leaqua.2011.08.001.

  • Guilliame, Yves, Felix Brodbeck and Nick Lee (2011) Diversity as a Multilevel Construct: Interaction Effects of Individual Dissimilarity, Group Diversity, and Societal Status in Ethnic Origin on Individual Learning Performance in Work Groups. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology vol 42 (7): 1198-1218

  • Senior, Carl, Nick Lee and Michael Butler (2011) Organizational Cognitive Neuroscience. Organization Science. Vol 22 (3) 804-815

  • Senior, Carl, Michael Butler and Nick Lee (2008). Fear and Loathing in the Workplace. The American Journal of Bioethics, vol. 8(5).

  • Senior, Carl, Nick Lee and Michael Butler (2008). The Neuroethics of the Social World of Work. American Journal of Bioethics, vol. 8: 54-55.

  • Lee, Nick and Laura Chamberlain (2007). Neuroimaging and Psychophysiological Measurement in Organizational Research: An Agenda for Organizational Cognitive Neuroscience. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 1118: 18-43.

  • Lee, Nick, Amanda J. Broderick and Laura Chamberlain (2007). What is Neuromarketing? A Discussion and Agenda for Future Research. International Journal of Psychophysiology, vol 63: 199-204. [This article was ranked 7th most downloaded article in the journal for Quarter 1 2007]

Measurement, Methods, and Philosophy of Science

  • Lee, Nick, and John Cadogan (forthcoming) Problems with Formative and Higher-Order Reflective Variables. Forthcoming in the Journal of Business Research.

  • Cadogan, John, and Nick Lee (forthcoming) Improper Use of Formative Endogenous Variables. Conditionally forthcoming in the Journal of Business Research. 

  • Orriols-Puig, Albert, Francisco J. Martinez-Lopez, Jorge Casillas, and Nick Lee (forthcoming) A Soft-Computing-Based Method for Automatic Discovering of Fuzzy-Rules in Database. Conditionally accepted at the Journal of Business Research.

  • Rigdon, Edward E., Kristopher J. Preacher, Nick Lee, Roy D. Howell, George R. Franke, and Denny Borsboom (2011). Avoiding Measurement Dogma: A Response to Rossiter. European Journal of Marketing. Vol 45 (10).

  • Lee, Nick (2010) Are Quality Standards a Restriction on Academic Freedom? In Fuat Firat, A. (Ed) ‘Commentaries on the State of Journals in Marketing’, Marketing Theory, vol 10(4), 446-447..

  • Lee, Nick (2010) On a Distinction Between Causal and Formative Variable Models: Theoretical Issues and Practical Implications for Organizational Researchers. Aston University Working Paper Series 2010 ISBN 978-1-85449-765-9

  • Wieseke, Jan, Nick Lee, Amanda J. Broderick, Jeremy F. Dawson, and Rolf van Dick (2008). Multi-Level Research in Marketing: Differentiating Analytical Outcomes. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, vol 16(4).

  • Lee, Nick, and Graham Hooley (2005). The Evolution of ‘Classical Mythology’ Within Marketing Measure Development. European Journal of Marketing, vol. 39: 365-385.

  • Saunders, John, and Nick Lee (2005). Whither Research in Marketing?. European Journal of Marketing, vol. 39: 245-261.  

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