Research @ HEC Liege

Research @ HEC Liège

Strategic Marketing Innovation (SMI)


Despite the confinement, the Strategic Marketing Innovation (SMI) field has been very active. Here are some highlights of what we have done in the past months.


Sharing our research in online guest lectures

On top of their regular teaching activities, professors of the field have delivered (virtual) guest lectures in renowned institutions.

Professor Willem Standaert presented a recently published case on digital innovation in sports in classes of his co-authors at both the Copenhagen Business School and the McCombs School of Business (for further details about the case please check here).

Professor Laurence Dessart provided a guest lecture on Brand Repulsion in a class of her co-author Bernard Cova from KEDGE Business School, based on a recently accepted paper in the European Journal of Marketing. The paper discusses the phenomenon of brand repulsion as a way for consumers to build their identity, looking specifically at the case of Apple. It will be available online in the coming weeks.

New paper unveiling how consumers engage in the digital ecosystem

Professor Laurence Dessart, along with her co-authors from the Adam Smith Business School, Anna Morgan-Thomas and Cleopatra Veloutsou, investigate the active and essential role of technology in supporting engagement practices in their new paper “Digital ecosystem and consumer engagement: a sociotechnical perspective”, published in the Journal of Business Research. Using qualitative data from interviews, netnography, and participant observation, the authors found that by using devices, digital haptics and platforms, consumers engage with brands applying practices such as uncovering, appropriating and cultivating. This shows that consumer engagement is overall a socio-technical phenomenon. To discover the paper please visit:

Our research awarded during Covid times

Professor Willem Standaert has recently won the second place in the human and social sciences prize “Genre and Covid-19” organized by the ARES. Along with his co-author Sophie Thunus his research delves into the participation in virtual meetings and gender inequality in the academic sphere. A summary of their research can be found here

Planting the seeds of a research spirit in our master students

We are proud to share the high-quality work of our students in the Master of International Strategic Marketing. Indeed, two of our master students who graduated last month have produced outstanding research in their master thesis. On the one hand, Stéphanie Ernens worked on the impact of service robots on employees’ perceptions. She won the David Sempels Prize and the output of her work has been submitted to an academic journal, with Cécile Delcourt, Laurence Dessart and Lisa Baiwir as co-authors. Lisa Baiwir also produced an outstanding thesis on the impact of virtual reality in tourism marketing. She was hired as a PhD candidate in our strategic field and graduated first of her class. Lisa’s doctoral thesis will explore how gamification through wearables foster users’ engagement with health platforms and their communities to improve physical activity.