Professor Nick Lee
Professor of Marketing
(Marketing Group)

Professor Nick Lee leads the core Marketing module on the WBS Distance Learning MBA, which was the top-ranked distance learning MBA in the world from 2018-2022 (FT Rankings), and currently ranks 2nd in 2023. He also teaches quantitative research methods on the WBS DBA, and Philosophy of Science and Quantitative Methods on the WBS PhD. He is the Research Environment Lead for the Marketing Group at WBS. In 2009, Nick was one of the youngest-ever scholars in marketing to be appointed to a Full Professorship, a year in which he was also featured in The Times as 'one of the 15 scientists whose work will shape the future'.

Nick is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management (JPSSM), which is the premier journal for research in professional selling. He is the first UK academic to hold this position, and only the second ever from outside the US. Nick was also the Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Marketing from 2008-2018.

In 2017 (less than 15 years after he gained his Ph.D.), The Academy of Marketing honored Nick with Life Membership in recognition of his outstanding lifetime research achievements and contribution to marketing scholarship. He has received multiple other awards throughout his career, beginning with the first-ever European Marketing Academy Award for Best Doctoral Research Paper in 2002, and including the 2018 James M Comer Award for contribution to selling and sales management theory (also highly commended in 2019), the 2014 Darden award for Best Methodology Paper from the Academy of Marketing Science, the 2010 Joseph Lister Award Lecture for Social Science from the British Science Association, the 2005 Emerald Outstanding Special Issue Award.

Nick's work has appeared in world-leading journals across multiple fields of business research and behavioral / psychological science, including The Journal of Marketing Research, The Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Organization Science, Journal of Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Human Relations, Organizational Research Methods, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, the American Journal of Bioethics, and PLOS One. These papers have been cited over 9500 times (1 July 2022) since his first publication in 2005. His h-index is 40, and his i10 index is 73.

Nick is the leading sales researcher in the UK, and is a Founding Fellow of the Institute for Sales Professionals, who recognized him with an award for outstanding contribution to the sales profession in 2016. He holds strategic advisor positions for a number of innovative sales and leadership development companies, and he was part of the All Party Parliamentary Group inquiry into professional sales in 2019. His work has been featured in The Times, the Financial Times and Forbes, and he has appeared on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5Live, and BBC Breakfast television. He's also a regular commentator in the business and general media on marketing issues, having featured in publications around the world, including Advertising Age, The Financial Times, and Business Insider.

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Research Interests

Nick's work connects theories from social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, economics, and philosophy, to advanced measurement and modelling methods, in order to solve important problems in professional sales, organizational psychology, behavioural science, behavioural research methodology, and philosophy of science. His work can be classed under three main themes, each connected by an underlying desire to challenge accepted wisdom, and deliver counter-intuitive knowledge which drives real change in management, policy, and social science theory and practice.

Nick is the leading sales force researcher in the UK, and one of the world's leading scholars in the area. He completed his Ph.D. in sales management at Aston Business School, under the supervision of Prof. John Cadogan, in 2003. Since then, his primary area of interest in terms of business research has been the social and individual psychology of sales management and sales force performance. Within this context, Nick focuses on both intra-individual influences (e.g. psychological influences on individual performance), and social interactions, such as those between managers and salespeople (e.g. incentivization, motivation, and personal relationships), and between salespeople and customers. His work in this area has appeared in the Journal of Marketing Research, Industrial Marketing Management, the Journal of Business Research, the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, and other leading journals. He has received multiple awards for this work.

At the same time, Nick has been a strong advocate of the informed use of neuroscientific methods to examine management research questions. He has been a key thought leader in the development of the Organizational Cognitive Neuroscience approach, of which a key aim is to integrate biological and neuroscientific models and methods with behavioral and social scientific methods, in a holistic multi-level framework and methodology. Since 2007, his writing in this area, and in the area of neuromarketing, is amongst the most highly cited in the area, and has appeared in Organization Science, the Journal of Management, Human Relations, and other leading journals. He delivered the Joseph Lister Award Lecture for the British Science Foundation for his work on neuromarketing.

Finally, since Nick's first ever publication in 2005, he has maintained a strong interest in measurement, and associated issues in philosophy of science (e.g. metaphysics, scientific realism, causality). Most recently, Nick has been especially interested in unpacking the underlying assumptions of psychological measurement, and especially the implications of philosophy of mind, consciousness, and neuroscientific advances, for social and psychological measurement. Further, Nick has been active in working within the ongoing debate regarding formative indicator models, arguing that there are significant problems inherent to their current theory and use. Nick's work in this area has appeared in Organizational Research Methods, Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, the Journal of Business Research, the European Journal of Marketing, the Academy of Marketing Science Review, and multiple other journals, and has recieved a number of awards.

Nick would be interested in supervising top-quality doctoral students in many areas of sales management, organizational psychology, behavioral science, philosophy of science, and research methodology. However, any prospective students should be able to demonstrate an extremely strong background (e.g. a high quality degree or outstanding experience) in a highly quantitative field of study (e.g. engineering or computer science), econometrics or behavioral research methods (e.g. economics, finance, or quantitative psychology, sociology, or psychometrics), neuroscience, or if appropriate, philosophy of science or mind.