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Our People

Professor Nick Ellis

BSc, MSc, PhD, CIM Dip Marketing

Professor of Marketing Management, Director of Masters in Management Programmes

Nick’s research focuses primarily on the discursive construction of managerial and professional identities in inter-organizational relationships and B2B marketing contexts. His publications embrace marketing and organization studies, with world-leading and internationally excellent papers in journals with high impact factors, e.g. Organization Studies, Human Relations, British Journal of Management, Industrial Marketing Management and Marketing Theory. Nick’s teaching has been consistently rated positively by students and peers; and recognized in global rankings. He has also held a series of major administrative responsibilities, including Head of Department roles.


Nick is recognized as an early proponent of discourse analysis to explore marketing management. His research focuses primarily on the social construction of managerial and professional identities in inter-organizational relationships/networks and business-to-business (B2B) marketing contexts. He has extended this approach to critically examine aspects of supply chains, consumption and alternative modes of organization. His expertise is reflected in receiving an invitation to contribute a chapter on Networks and Identities to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Identities in Organizations (due 2020). 

Nick’s publications embrace marketing and organization studies, including world-leading and internationally excellent journal papers in both disciplines, for example in Industrial Marketing Management (Impact Factor 3.16), Organization Studies (3.11), British Journal of Management (2.98), Human Relations (2.62), Marketing Theory (2.57), Journal of Business Ethics (2.35), Organization (2.12) & European Journal of Marketing (1.33). He has written a book on B2B marketing and a co-authored text on critical marketing, and has co-edited a collection of works in B2B marketing. Nick is on the editorial board of several journals and has co-organized academic conferences and streams in marketing and critical management. Amongst his academic prizes is the most downloaded article of 2010 in Organization Studies

He has been successful in gaining research funding including a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), co-funded by the ESRC and the TSB, addressing marketing orientation and supply chain management. The KTP is now part of an ongoing Impact Case Study. Nick has also co-led projects funded by the European Regional Development Fund to provide research advice to SMEs, and by the private sector to explore KAM practices. He has acted as a rapporteur for the ESRC and been invited to present his work at ESRC seminars.

Drawing upon over 20 years of pedagogic experience, Nick’s teaching has been consistently rated highly across a variety of topics and levels by students and peers; and recognized in global rankings. In 2018 in the Financial Times’s ‘Top MBAs in selected categories’ Durham was rated 10th globally and 1st in the UK for Marketing (a module which he delivers across the MBA suite). Nick has successfully supervised to completion eight Doctoral students, and been invited to act as Examiner for a further ten candidates.

Nick has made a significant managerial/service contribution throughout his career via a series of administrative responsibilities. He is currently Director of Masters in Management Programmes. His previous roles since joining the University in 2011 have included: Head of Department of Marketing when the Dept. was ranked 40th in the world and 4th in the UK based on citation metrics (Soutar et al. 2015); Deputy Head of Dept. of Management & Marketing; and PhD Programme Director when he also led the ESRC-funded DTP. 

Prior to joining Durham, Nick was Senior Lecturer in Critical Marketing at the University of Leicester. He also worked at the University of Derby where he combined his academic role with responsibilities for HE-business liaison. He has a PhD in Industrial Marketing (Lancaster), an MSc in Marketing Management (Nottingham Trent), and the CIM Diploma. Nick's first degree was in Civil Engineering (Surrey) where he specialised in management studies. He put his training into practice during the 1980s and 90s with the HMV retail group, working in sales, marketing and purchasing of music, movie and other lifestyle products. He thus brings experience of both B2B and B2C contexts to his research and teaching.

Research Interests

  • Marketing management
  • B2B marketing & industrial networks
  • Professional services marketing
  • Critical marketing
  • Identity & boundary construction
  • Qualitative methods
  • Discourse analysis

Research Groups


    Authored book

  • Ellis, N. & Sarkar, S. (2015). Business-to-Business Marketing: Relationships, Networks, and Strategies (Asian Edition).. Mumbai: Oxford University Press.
  • Ellis, N. (2011). Business-to-Business Marketing: Relationships, Networks & Strategies. Oxford University Press.
  • Ellis, N., Fitchett, J., Higgins, M., Jack, G., Lim, M., Saren, M. & Tadajewski, M. (2011). Marketing: A Critical Textbook. Sage.
  • Chapter in book

  • Ellis, N & Hopkinson, G (2020). Networks and identity: positioning the self and others across organizational and network boundaries. In The Oxford Handbook of Identities in Organizations, Oxford.
  • Ellis, N. (2016). Constructing identities in Indian business networks: discourse analysis in B2B marketing research.. In Discourse and management: critical perspectives through the language lens. Mautner, G. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 119-132.
  • Ellis, N. (2015). Case study: some challenges in product sourcing in global retail supply chains.. In Retail marketing management: principles and practice. Goworek, H. & McGoldrick, P. Harlow: Pearson Education. 307-310.
  • Higgins, M. & Ellis, N. (2015). 'Who Said We're Flogging a Dead Horse?': Re-Framing Ethics and the Supply Chain.. In The Routledge Companion to Ethics, Politics and Organizations. Pullen, A. & Rhodes, C. London: Routledge. 249-268.
  • Ellis, N. & Rod, M. (2014). Using Discourse Analysis in Case Study Research in Business-to-Business Contexts. In Field Guide to Case Study Research in Business-to-Business Marketing (Advances in Business Marketing & Purchasing book series). Marshall, R., Pattinson, H. & Woodside, A. Emerald. 21: 77-99.
  • Ellis, N. , Tadajewski, M. & Pressey, A. (2011). “Editors’ Introduction”. In Business-to-Business Marketing. Ellis, N. , Tadajewski, M. & Pressey, A. Sage. 1: xxi-xixv.
  • Ellis, N. (2005). Managing Global Marketing Relationships. In Global Marketing Management: Changes, New Challenges & Strategies. Lee, K. & Carter, S. Oxford University Press. 416-454.
  • Ellis, N. (2004). Distribution. In Introduction to Marketing – Theory & Practice. Palmer, A. Oxford University Press. 343-397.
  • Ellis, N. (2000). 'Channel Intermediaries' and 'Physical Distribution Management'. In Principles of Marketing. Palmer, A. Oxford University Press. 337-412.
  • Ellis, N. (1997). The Organizational Purchase Decision for Professional Services. In Effective Organizations: Looking to the Future. Armistead, C. & Kiely, J. Cassell. 53-57.
  • Edited book

  • Ellis, N., Tadajewski, M. & Pressey, A. (2011). Business-to-Business Marketing. Volumes I-IV. London: Sage.
  • Journal Article

  • Obiegbu, J, Larsen, G & Ellis, N (2020). Experiential Brand Loyalty: Towards an Extended Conceptualization of Consumer Allegiance to Brands. Marketing Theory 20(3): 251-271.
  • Obiegbu, J., Larsen, G., Ellis, N. & O'Reilly, D. (2019). Co-constructing Loyalty in an Era of Digital Music Fandom: An Experiential- Discursive Perspective. European Journal of Marketing 53(3): 463-482.
  • Obiegbu, J, Larsen, G & Ellis, N (2019). The Critical Music Fan: The Role of Criticality in Collective Constructions of Brand Loyalty. Arts and the Market 9(1): 65-80.
  • Wells,V., Ellis, N., Slack, R. & Moufahim, M. (2019). “It’s us, you know, there’s a feeling of community” Exploring notions of community in a consumer co-operative. . Journal of Business Ethics 158(3): 617-635.
  • Canacott, J., Ellis, N. & Tadajewski, M. (2018). Inter-functional collaboration and inter-organizational relationships in communications strategy implementation.. RIMAR - Revista Interdisciplinar de Marketing 8(1): 1-16.
  • Schepis, D., Ellis, N. & Purchase, S. (2018). Exploring strategies and dynamic capabilities for net formation and management.. Industrial Marketing Management 74: 115-125.
  • Ellis, N. & Iwasaki, A. (2018). Making Sense of Global Key Account Management (GAM): a case study from Japan.. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing 33(7): 1052-1064.
  • Purchase, S., Ellis, N., Mallett, O. & Theingi, T. (2018). Religious social-identities in the hybrid self-presentations of Sikh businesspeople.. British Journal of Management 29(1): 99-117.
  • Dean, A.K., Ellis, N. & Wells, V.K. (2017). Science ‘fact’ and science ‘fiction’? Homophilous communication in high-technology B2B selling.. Journal of Marketing Management 33(9-10): 764-788.
  • Rod, M., Lindsay, V. & Ellis, N. (2014). Managerial Perceptions of Service-infused IORs in China & India: A Discursive View of Value Co-creation.. Industrial Marketing Management 43(4): 603–612.
  • Schepis, D., Purchase, S. & Ellis, N. (2014). Network Position and Identity: A Language-Based Perspective on Strategizing. . Industrial Marketing Management 43(4): 582–591.
  • Ellis, N., Rod, M., Beal, T. & Lindsay, V. (2012). Constructing Identities in Indian Networks: Discourses of Marketing Management in Inter-Organizational Relationships. Industrial Marketing Management 41(3): 401-412.
  • Lowe, S., Ellis, N., Purchase, S., Rod, M. & Hwang, K.S. (2012). Mapping Alternatives: A Commentary on Cova, B., et al (2010) ‘Navigating Between Dyads and Networks’. Industrial Marketing Management 41(2): 357-364.
  • Rod, M., Ellis, N. & Beal, T. (2012). Discursive Constructions of the Role of Cultural Intermediaries in the Wine Markets of Japan and Singapore. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal 15(2): 128-147.
  • Lowe, S., Purchase, S. & Ellis, N. (2012). The Drama of Interaction within Business Networks. Industrial Marketing Management 41(3): 421-428.
  • Ybema, S., Beech, N. & Ellis, N. (2011). Transitional and perpetual liminality: an identity practice perspective. Anthropology Southern Africa 34(1&2): 21-29.
  • Ellis, N. & Ybema, S. (2010). Marketing Identities: Shifting Circles of Identification in Inter-Organizational Relationships. Organization Studies 31(3): 279-305.
  • Purchase, S., Lowe, S. & Ellis, N. (2010). From ‘Taking’ Network Pictures to ‘Making’ Network Movies: a New Metaphorical Manifesto for Industrial Marketing Research. Journal of Organizational Change Management 23(5): 595-615.
  • Ellis, N. & Hopkinson, G. (2010). The Construction of Managerial Knowledge in Business Networks: Managers’ Theories about Communication. Industrial Marketing Management 39(3): 413-424.
  • Brennan, R., Eagle, L., Ellis, N. & Higgins, M. (2010). Of a Complex Sensitivity in Marketing Ethics Education. Journal of Marketing Management 26(13-14): 1165-1180.
  • Ellis, N., Jack, G., Hopkinson, G. & O’Reilly, D. (2010). Boundary Work and Identity Construction in Marketing Exchanges. Marketing Theory 10(3): 227-236.
  • Ybema, S., Keenoy, T., Oswick, C., Sabelis, I., Ellis, N. & Beverungen, A. (2009). Articulating identities. Human Relations 62(3): 299-322.
  • Ellis, N. (2008). ’What the Hell is That?’ Representations of Professional Service Markets in The Simpsons. Organization 15(5): 705-723.
  • Lowe, S., Ellis, N. & Purchase S. (2008). Rethinking Language in IMP Research: Networking Processes in Other Words. Scandinavian Journal of Management 24: 295-307.
  • Ellis, N. (2008). Discursive Tensions in Collaboration: Stories of the Marketplace. International Journal of Sociology & Social Policy 28(1): 32-45.
  • Oswick, C., Keenoy, T., Beverungen, A., Ellis, N., Sabelis, I. & Ybema, S. (2007). Discourse, Practice, Policy. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 27(11/12): 429-432.
  • Ellis, N. & Higgins, M. (2006). Recatechizing Codes of Practice in Supply Chain Relationships: Discourse, Identity and Otherness. Journal of Strategic Marketing 14: 327-350.
  • Ellis, N., Lowe, S. & Purchase, S. (2006). Towards a Re-Interpretation of Industrial Networks: A Discursive View of Culture. The IMP Journal 1(2): 29-59.
  • Ellis, N., Higgins, M. & Jack, G. (2005). (De)constructing the Market for Animal Feeds: A Discursive Study. Journal of Marketing Management 21: 117-146.
  • Kapoulas, A., Ellis, N. & Murphy, W. (2004). The Voice of the Customer in e-Banking Relationships. Journal of Customer Behaviour 3: 27-51.
  • Kapoulas, A., Murphy, W. & Ellis, N. (2002). “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye: Missed Opportunities for Electronic Relationship Marketing within the Financial Services Sector? International Journal of Bank Marketing 20(7): 302-310.
  • Ellis, N. & Mayer, R. (2001). Inter-Organizational Relationships and Strategy Development in an Evolving Industrial Network: Mapping Structure & Process. Journal of Marketing Management 17(1/2): 183-222.
  • Ellis, N. & Wiesehofer-Climpson, H. (2001). Qualitative Research at the Academy of Marketing Conference 2000. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal 4(1): 5-6.
  • Ellis, N. & Watterson, C. (2001). Client Perceptions of Regional Law Firms and Their Implications for Marketing Management. The Service Industries Journal 21(4): 100-118.
  • Mayer, R., Job, K. & Ellis, N. (2000). Ascending Separate Stairways to Marketing Heaven (or Careful With That Axiom, Eugene!). Marketing Intelligence & Planning 18(6/7): 388-399.
  • Ellis, N. (2000). Developing Graduate Sales Professionals through Co-operative Education and Work Placements: A Relationship Marketing Approach. Journal of European Industrial Training 24(1): 34-42.
  • Ellis, N. (1999). A Disco(urse) Inferno: The Pitfalls of Professionalism. Marketing Intelligence and Planning 17(7): 333-343.
  • Ellis, N., Mayer, R. & Radford, V. (1999). Managing Trade Marketing Relationships in Non FMCG Sectors: A Case Study. International Journal of Customer Relationship Management 2(3): 205-216.
  • Ellis, N. & Moon, S. (1998). Business and HE Links: The Search for Meaningful Relationships in the Placement Marketplace. Education and Training 40(5): 185-193.

Contact Details

Professor of Marketing Management, Director of Masters in Management Programmes
+44 191 3340513