Best Marketing Thesis in India 2016-17

The doctoral thesis of Dr. Anup Krishnamurthy, who graduated from IIM Bangalore in 2016, has been judged the best marketing thesis in India for the year 2016-17, by the Scientific Committee for the Best Thesis Award of the International Marketing Trends Congress and ESCP Europe.

Dr. Anup is an Assistant Professor of Marketing and Co-Chair of the Center for Business Research at SJIM.

His thesis, titled ‘Exploring Consumer Satisfaction and Loyalty’, was selected from among marketing theses of completed doctorates from reputed business schools across India. The India Committee of the Scientific Network of the International Marketing Trends Conference recognised ‘the author of a completed thesis for its outstanding contribution to research in marketing’ in India.

Anup represented India at the 2017 International Best Thesis Award - Marketing Trends, and presented his thesis in Madrid in January, 2017. Along with him, the authors of the best theses from other countries, including the UK, USA, Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and Italy also presented their work.

About the thesis: It is a common belief that if consumers were satisfied with a brand, they would be loyal to it. However, some studies on the relationship between consumer satisfaction and loyalty found little evidence to support this claim, a view which was echoed by practitioners as well. Dr. Anup’s thesis reviews the current understanding of the satisfaction-loyalty relationship, and explores alternative paths to loyalty. The dissertation comprises three essays. Essay 1 is a meta-analytic review of the existing literature on the satisfaction-loyalty relationship that estimates the strength of association between consumer satisfaction and loyalty. Essay 2 uses a consumer-brand relationship perspective to examine the path to loyalty for different types of consumers. Essay 3 is an empirical study on consumer expectations, which is an important determinant of consumer satisfaction. Together, the findings from all three essays point towards building a new framework to understand the satisfaction-loyalty relationship.

About the award: Every year, the International Marketing Trends Congress, together with ESCP Europe, awards the International Best Thesis Award in Marketing Trends to acknowledge a PhD in Marketing from any country and to encourage their talent. Each thesis is reviewed for significance of the research contribution, innovation and potential impact on marketing trends. The scientific committee chooses only one thesis from each country. The final round involves an oral defence of the best thesis from each country.