David Webb

Associate Professor, MBA PhD Wales, Dr

  • The University of Western Australia (M263), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


David has held numerous international academic and industry positions in Germany, the Far East, the United States and the United Kingdom together with an executive position at a customer satisfaction management consultancy firm in South Africa. He is currently Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia.

While his research is varied, David’s primary interests are in the domain of macro-marketing focusing in particular on the interface between marketing and quality of life (QOL), self determination theory and the psychology of consumption.

David serves on many editorial boards and was awarded ‘Distinguished Research Fellow’ of the International Society for Quality of Life Studies (ISQOLS) in 2010 for his contributions to QOL research.

Roles and responsibilities

2021 - Convenor UWA Modern Slavery Research Cluster

2019 - Co-Founder and Co-Manager UWA FABLE Modern Slavery Research Cluster (MSRC)

2017 - Founder Informal UWA Modern Slavery Network

2013 - Dec 2017: Associate Director (UN PRME) UWA Business School, United National Global Compact (UNGC) UWA, Global Compact Network Australia (GCNA).


  • Societal & Quality of Life Marketing,
  • Self-determination theory,
  • Sustainable consumption,
  • Applied business ethics,
  • Modern slavery (Human Trafficking)


Societal and public policy marketing with a specific focus on the well-being, quality of life, happiness of populations, health care, poverty alleviation, contentment, materialism, consumer well-being, spirituality, religiosity and moral self-regulation.

Self-determination theory application in various behavioral settings including energy management, health care, social relationships and sustainability.

Ethics and values application in society

Current projects

Research in Progress (2020 Onwards)

Domestic collaboration

  1. Exploring the motivations, attitudes and behaviours related to household energy saving in WA has been the focus of an ARC-funded research grant ($184K) since 2010. Together with my collaborators Professors Geoffrey Soutar, Jillian Sweeney and Timothy Mazzarol we continue to publish and share the results of our work. Industry partners include the WA Office of Energy, Bang the table, Pureprofile and Synergy.
  2. Modern slavery - Together with UWA researcher Dr Liudmila Tarabashkina and Dr Robyn Ouschan (Curtin University), David will be exploring a variety of projects drawing on his knowledge in the growing interest field of modern slavery. This program of research will extend the collaborative relationship inernationally with UN PRME research partners from the University of Leeds (UK) and Sheffield University (UK) in particular. A submission for WUN (World Universities Network) grant is in proces.
  3. Agriculture and Tourism.  Fang Liu and Juanyi Liu. This study represents a major part of Juanyi’s PhD studies exploring the role of communication and product placement strategy in the context of agritourism in Western Australia.
  4. Giving Voice to Values and Modern Slavery. A project in conceptualisation mid 2020 with Dr Nin Kirkham (UWA Philosophy).

International Collaboration

  1. Project with Fridrik Larsen (University of Reykjavik) and Christopher Rastin E.ON, Germany, exploring various self-determination and brand-related constructs and subsequent behaviour in the energy sector is currently in progress (2021 >).
  2. Exploring the relationship between clothing style, fashion, materialism and subjective well-being. This project is with Professor Wencke Gwozdz (Germany), James Gentry (USA), Kristian Nielsen (Denmark) and Shipra Gupta (USA). An A level paper is in progress for publication submission in 2021/22.
  3. Modern slavery - Together with colleagues from across UWA, David will be exploring a variety of projects drawing on his knowledge in the growing interest field of modern slavery. This program of research will extend the collaborative relationship with UN PRME research partners from the University of Leeds (UK) and Sheffield University (UK) in particular.
  4. Exploring the role of consumers in respect to Modern Slavery. Project conceptualisation in conjunction with Associate Professor Matthew Davis (University of Leeds). See project 2 domestic above.

Future research

  1. Self-determination theory - David's future research will continue to draw on self-determination theory to explore the positive behaviour of individuals across a range of societal, environmental and socially beneficial fields.
  2. Materialism and Subjective wellbeing - David will also be continuing a program of research exploring materialism, consumption and subjective well-being. This research will be conducted in both goods and service contexts.
  3. Modern slavery - Together with Dr Fiona McGaughey (Law School) and other colleagues from across UWA FABLE, David will be exploring a variety of projects drawing on his knowledge in the growing interest field of modern slavery. This program of research will extend the collaborative relationship that David and colleagues enjoy with research partners from the University of Leeds and Sheffield in particular.


Funding overview

ARC Linkage award - Mazzarrol, T., Soutar, G., Sweeney, J., Webb, D.A., Henry, J., (2010) ‘Enhancing Sustainable Energy Saving Behaviour Through Communication: A Longitudinal Study’. ARC Linkage submission with Office of Energy, Synergy and Pure profile. $184,000

Binge Drinking among 14-16 yr Olds – UWA Business School, September 2008. Pettigrew S; Jarvis W; and Webb D - $14,850

Assistance with travel – Personal Well-Being data collection in remote Tibetan communities, Qinghai, (Dec 2005 – Jan 2006) - $1400

Assessing Macro Measures of Consumer Well Being in Australia: Implications for Research and Policy – School of Economics, and Commerce, (2005) - $5000

Association of Commonwealth Universities – QOL Grant – Exploring the relationship between Ecotourism and Quality of Life in Sikkim, (2003) – $13,400

Investigating Quality of Life (QOL) and Consumption: Spirituality, the Missing Dimension” School of Economics and Commerce, (2003) - $2,480

Extension - Empirical examination of Relationship Benefits across multiple stakeholders - School of Economics, and Commerce, (2003) -$5,000

Exploring Non-User Motivations with Respect to Natural Environment Areas. Department of Conservation and Land Management, (2002) - $1,435

Empirical examination of Relationship Benefits across multiple stakeholders - School of Economics, and Commerce, (2001/2002) -$5,000

Exploring the Identity and Structure of Relational Benefits- School of Economics, and Commerce, (1998) - $5000

Teaching overview

  • Ethics and Sustainability
  • Principles of Responsible Management
  • Marketing and Society
  • Ethical Dimensions of Organisations, Management and Leadership
  • Societal Environmental and Public Policy Marketing
  • Marketing Analysis and Planning
  • Environmental Marketing
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Services Marketing
  • Consumer Behaviour

Industrial relevance

Subjective wellbeing - Global relevance - Many organizations (Government departments and NGO's) integrate QOL indicators and related data into their overall decision-making and performance assessment. Providing valid and reliable data collected across multiple contexts is an important contributor to such organizations with significant policy implications of relevance to macro global and micro community groups.

Business ethics - Global relevance - Many organisations struggle with reducing misconduct. In addition to developing compliance orieted materials (codes of conduct etc.), employees need to develop the competence and cofidence to act in accordance with their best values when confronted with values-based dilemmas. The giving voice to values framework (ethics) provides a framework for just such competence development. Dr Webb provides guidance to organisations in both the public and private sectors looking to develop employee competencies in this area.


Professor Mary Gentile (Darden University). Giving Voice to Values

Modern slavery - Global relevance with specific focus on Australia and UK at present. With the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act in Australia in 2019, which requires that all organisations with a turnover in excess of $AUD100 million report on their activities to mitigate against modern slavery, organisations will be considering what this means for them in respect to not only their reporting, but more importantly, their activities across the value chain. The work conducted by David and his colleagues both at UWA as well as overseas in the UK (University of Leeds and Sheffield University) will go a significant way toward addressing these questions.


Dr Fiona McGaughey (Law School - Modern Slavery) - With the development of potential collaborations with Industry partners.

Dr Mathew Davis (University of Leeds)

Dr Louise Waite (University of Leeds)

Dr Hannah Lewis (Sheffield University)



English and German

Previous positions

1995 – 1997 Lecturer in Strategic Marketing, Cardiff Business School, University of Wales.

1991 - 1994 ESRC Management Teaching Fellow in Strategic Management, Cardiff Business School, University of Wales.

1994 – 1995 Executive Consultant, Insight: Consultants in Customer Satisfaction Management Johannesburg, South Africa.

1985 – 1990 Regional Sales Representative (Germany, USA, Asia), Bose Corporation, Framingham, Mass. USA

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Expectation psychology, PhD, Exploring the antecedents of customer expectations: A role theory perspective, University of Wales


Award Date: 15 Dec 1995

Research expertise keywords

  • Self Determination Theory
  • Wellbeing Studies
  • Pro-Social And Pro-Environmental Behaviour
  • Business Ethics
  • Modern Slavery
  • Self-determination theory
  • Service-dominant logic
  • Moral self-regulation
  • Ethical marketing and business ethics
  • Macromarketing
  • Quality of life and well-being
  • Happiness and life satisfaction
  • Environmental marketing
  • Societal marketing
  • Transformational marketing
  • Experiential marketing
  • Social marketing
  • Religion and spirituality


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