Kunal Basu is a Senior Teaching Fellow in Marketing at Saïd Business School and a Research Fellow of Templeton College. His recent research focuses on the interface between strategic marketing and corporate social responsibility, drawing on theoretical perspectives from philosophy, and social and organisational theory. In particular, Kunal has developed a new approach towards understanding customer loyalty which has benefitted both academic researchers and practitioners. He has also developed a conceptual framework to understand the cognitive, linguistic and behavioural dimensions of corporate social responsibility (CSR). This has impacted on CSR research and corporate practice. Basu is drawing on these frameworks as the principle investigator of a multi-country study within the retail industry in the UK, India and China. Funded for three years by the School’s Centre for Corporate Reputation, it addresses the issue of CSR’s impact on corporate reputation.
Kunal has published extensively in areas of branding strategy, brand loyalty, international marketing, consumer behaviour and advertising. His articles have appeared in leading journals such as the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, Journal of Brand Management, Sloan Management Review and California Management Review, in addition to numerous conference proceedings and edited books.
Kunal’s teaching is characterised by research-based innovation, with special focus on different learning paradigms and communication methods. He offered the first-ever course at the School on CSR and ethical marketing as an MBA elective, helping to establish the School’s position as a knowledge centre for socially responsive business education. He led the redesign of the School’s flagship open enrolment executive course, the Oxford Advanced Management and Leadership Programme (OAMLP), designing the architecture in order to develop an understanding of critical business themes rather than functions, the integration of concepts, contexts and competencies, and to encompass cutting edge thinking from a variety of disciplines outside management. These innovations have helped to position the Oxford OAMLP worldwide as one of the most innovative offering of its kind.
From 1993–2003, Kunal was a member of the marketing faculty at McGill University, Canada, most recently as a tenured Associate Professor. During his time at McGill, Kunal was Director of the Powercorp Centre for International Management Studies (from 1993–95) and Director of the International Masters in Practising Management (McGill University, Lancaster University, INSEAD, Hitotsubashi University, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore) (1997–99). Previously he had been Visiting Professor and Chair, Marketing area, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
Kunal has a PhD from the University of Florida (Major: Business Administration (Marketing)); an MSc from the Florida Institute of Technology (Major: Mechanical Engineering; Dean’s Honour list) and a Bachelor of Engineering from Jadavpur University (India) (Major: Mechanical Engineering; First Class Honours and Best All-Round Graduate).
Kunal is the author of five novels: The Opium Clerk (2001), The Miniaturist (2003) and Racists (2006) and The Yellow Emperor’s Cure (2010) KalKatta (2015). He has also written a collection of short stories, one of which – The Japanese Wife – has been turned into a film.
Areas of expertise:
Corporate Social Responsibility Innovation and Corporate Reputation
Kunal is the principle investigator of a multi-country study within the retail industry in the UK, India and China. Funded for three years by the School’s Centre for Corporate Reputation, it addresses the issue of CSR’s impact on corporate reputation using a new conceptual framework based on cognitive, linguistic, behavioural and relational dimensions of CSR activities engaged in by a firm. Extensions of the study are envisaged along additional geographic domains (USA, Spain, Germany, Australia, Singapore), industrial sectors (natural resources and manufacturing), as well as through development of conceptual linkages to national culture, stages of economic development, and legal frameworks for compliance.
Given the interdisciplinary focus of the research, partnerships with colleagues in Anthropology, Law, Development Studies and Economics are now in active progress within Oxford as well as in universities abroad (Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore; Renmin University of China, Beijing; Johns Hopkins University, USA; University of Salamanca, Spain; University of Western Australia, Perth; the National University of Singapore; and INSEAD).
Academic outputs are envisaged in terms of research articles in top journals, sector/country reports for the business press along with presentations in key conferences leading up to the Oxford book of Social Responsibility and Reputation.
Findings of this study will contribute to teaching through the development of case studies on retailers from a number of different countries, executive education seminars and Master Classes offered through the Oxford Retail Institute and the Centre for Corporate Reputation.
Kunal has oversight of all marketing research projects supported by the Centre, as well as nominating international research fellows, supporting executive seminars, coordinating research presentations by marketing area colleagues and supervising a doctoral student funded by the centre.
As a member of the university-wide steering group for India, Kunal has engaged with colleagues across the university in designing multidisciplinary projects drawing on broad scholarship. He was also a member of the School’s erstwhile India Centre and acted as the lead academic in organising the Oxford-India Business Forum in New Delhi, March 2010. He formulating the theme, ‘Challenges of Managing Higher Education in the 21st Century’, designed the sessions and developed the list of speakers drawn from educationists and policy makers in India as well as in Oxford.
Kunal is a member of the editorial board of Business Ethics Quarterly, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Marketing and Development and was previously a Director of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute. He has been a reviewer for a wide range of management and marketing journals, including the Academy of Management Review, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Sloan Management Review, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science Journal of Business Research and the Asia Pacific Journal of Management. He has given keynote speeches in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia, including to the Smithsonian Institute, South and Southeast Asian section (Washington DC, 2009), the Asia-Europe Leaders Forum run by the Herbert Quandt Foundation (Prague, July 2007) and the Chinese Marketing Academy International Symposium (Hangzhou, 2007). He gave a Master Class to Australian CEOs at Breakfast by the Bay (2009) and the Peter Ustinov Memorial Lecture at the University of Durham (2006).
Kunal’s research on customer loyalty (1994) won the Sheth award for the best journal article from the Academy of Marketing Science. He has received the Citation of Excellence award for his article, ‘Beyond Selfishness’ published in the Sloan Management Review (2002). He has been rated among the top 100 management scholars (Thought Leaders Network, 2003) and received the prestigious International Visiting Scholar fellowship from the Coca Cola Centre for Marketing Studies, USA. The Renmin University of China (Beijing) has conferred upon him an honorary visiting professorship in recognition of his contribution to marketing research and education in China. He was a Distinguisihed Visiting Professor at Hangzhou Daijin University and has held honorary positions at universities in The USA and Australia.
Kunal consults regularly for major international corporations, multilateral agencies and government departments.
Kunal teaches the core marketing course on the EMBA programme and the Strategic marketing segment within OAMLP. He provides doctoral supervision and MBA project supervision.
Kunal’s teaching is characterised by research-based innovation, with special focus on different learning paradigms and communication methods. Drawing on his research on corporate social responsibility, he offered the first-ever course in Oxford on the subject (CSR and Ethical Marketing) as an elective in the MBA programme. This has received enthusiastic responses from students; the course has had highly favourable mentions in the media (UK and elsewhere), and it has helped further establish the School’s position as a knowledge centre for socially responsive business education. In the School’s Executive Education, Kunal has been actively involved for more than a decade and has actively participated in the evolution of its institutional structure, with the goal of bringing the programme portfolio in line with the university’s aspirations and worldwide expectations from executive learning. He led the redesign of the School’s flagship open enrolment executive course, the Oxford Advanced Management and Leadership Programme (OAMLP), designing the architecture in order to develop an understanding of critical business themes rather than functions, the integration of concepts, contexts and competencies, and to encompass cutting edge thinking from a variety of disciplines outside management. For this last, he involved colleagues from across the University, particularly from Area Studies (Middle East, Africa, Indonesia, and China), Modern History, Economics (free trade agreements), Political Science, Biological sciences (Genome project), Media studies, and the Arts (theatre). He also introduced an Oxford-style tutorial component to bring participants closer to an authentic Oxford experience, a consulting oriented company visit, and simulations for cross-cultural negotiations. An Oxford-style debate was introduced on the theme of corporate social responsibility to encourage business leaders to question the societal and environmental impact of their business decisions. These programme innovations have helped to position the Oxford OAMLP worldwide as the most innovative offering of its kind.
Kunal has adopted a similar approach in designing commissioned executive programmes, focussing on Oxford’s world views and multidimensional knowledge base for clients such as Standard Chartered Bank, BMW, Scania, Volvo, Bang & Olufsen, PWC, Accenture, RWE Innogy, Chubb, O2, and Kemin, USA.
While at McGill University, Canada, Kunal published research on management education and engaged in programme development for senior executives, primarily through the directorship of the IMPM (International Masters for Practising Managers), a consortium of business schools and companies from North America, Europe and Asia, that has formed the basis of the much acclaimed book Managers Not MBAs: A hard look at the soft practice of management and management development by Henry Mintzberg.
Basu has won a number of teaching awards: he won the Royal Bank of Canada Teaching Innovation Award, 1995 (Canada’s highest university teaching award) and McGill University distinguished teaching award (for graduate teaching), 1994.
Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street