Geoff Soutar

Emeritus Professor, BEc W.Aust., MA PhD C'nell, FAIM, FAMI, FMIS, FANZAM

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

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Winthrop Professor Geoffrey Soutar graduated in economics from the University of Western Australia (UWA) and undertook doctoral training at Cornell University before returning to teach at the UWA, from 1973 to 1986. He was Foundation Professor of Management at Curtin University of Technology from 1986 to 1994 and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Public Management at Edith Cowan University from 1994 until 1999. He was also Director of the Graduate School of Management at UWA from 2000 until 2007 and Head of the Marketing Discipline Group at UWA from 2008 to 2016.  W/Prof Soutar was a member of the ARC's College of Experts from 2001 to 2004 (the first business acazdemic to have this role) and a member of the ARC's ERA Research Evaluation Committee for Economics and Commerce in 2012 and 2015.

W/Prof. Soutar has been a consultant to a large number of private and public sector organisations in Australia and internationally and has been active in research across a wide area, publishing more than 200 research papers in journals and in book chapters, as well as a number of research monographs, across a wide range of management and marketing areas and presenting more than 300 papers at seminars and conferences. His present research interests include cross-cultural decision-making, new product and service development and the marketing of services, especially educational and tourism services. He has a particular interest in service quality and its impact on organisational success, from which evolved a long-term study of consumption value and its impact on people's willingness to buy and their subsequent satisfaction or dissatisfaction.


PhD (in Business), Cornell University, 1974
Master of Arts, Cornell University, 1973
Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honours), University of Western Australia, 1971

Roles and responsibilities

Director of the Doctor of Business Administration Program

Graduate Research Coordinator for the Marketing Department

Future research

There are four major research streams:

1. Cooperative Organisations and their roles in the modern marketplace.

2. Personal values and their roles in people's decision-making processes.

3. Scale development in consumer behayior contexts

4. Innovation and commercialisation.

Funding overview

$60000 - Australia Council - An Examination of the Knowledge and Attitudes that Arts Organisations have about Marketing’, with Helen Close, David Hough and Roger Seares (1997).

$35000 - ARC SPIRT Grant – An Examination of the Factors Relevant to Evaluating Major Events, with Jack Carlsen and Don Getz (1999).

$80000 –AEI Grant – ‘Perceptions, Information and Choice: Understanding How Chinese Students Select a Country for Overseas Study’, with Tim Mazzarol and Don Smart (2000).

$75000 - NCVER Grant – ‘An evaluation of the Impact of the Frontline Management Initiative (FMI), with Llandis Barratt-Pugh (2001).

$542,000 – ARC Linkage Project - 'Understanding Cross-Cultural Consumer Behaviour and Implications for Effective Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning of Western Australia as a Tourism Destination', with Associate Professor Julie Lee (2002).

$20,000 - Australian New Zealand Academy of Management - 'Research Productivity Survey' (2002).

$86,000 – ARC Linkage Project - 'The Impact of Self-Management Training on Staff Satisfaction, Absenteeism and an Organisation's Service Culture', with Dr Renu Burr (2002).

$80,000 - ' ARC Linkage Project – ‘An Exploration of the Development and Effectiveness of Word-of-Mouth Communication in Financial Services Markets', with Professor Timothy Mazzarol and Professor Jillian Sweeney (2003).

$140,000 – ARC Linkage Grant to examine the impact of a self-management training program on workplace factors (with Renu Burr). (2003)

$210,000 - ARC Discovery Project – ‘The Impact of Customer-Focused Business Strategies on Organisational Performance in a Professional Service Context', with Professor Jillian Sweeney and Prof Janet McColl-Kennedy (2003).

$210,000 – ARC Discovery Grant – ‘Building Better Brands: A Study of Australian Organizations and Consumers’, with Professor Aron O’Cass and Professor Bill Merrilees (2003).

$8,500 - Tourism Western Australia - 'UK Tourists Intentions to Visit Australia - A Best Worst Approach', with Associate Professor Julie Lee (2007).

$244,000 - ARC Discovery Grant to extend the theory and measurement of personal values (with Julie Lee, Jordan Louviere and Shalom Schwartz). (2010)

$730,000 - ARC Linkage Grant to investigate the factors that influence the sustainability and competitiveness of cooperative enterprises (with Tim Mazzarol, John Watson and Jo Sneddon). (2010)

$650,000 – ARC Linkage Grant to examine ways to develop sustainable energy saving behaviour through communication: A longitudinal study (with Tim Mazzarol, Jill Sweeney and Dave Webb). (2010)

$176,000 – ARC Discovery Grant to model network innovation performance capability (with Sharon Purchase, Doina Olaru and Ray Cooksey). (2012)

$510,000 – ARC Linkage Grant to examine Dynamic Relations between Values and Consumer Behaviour - Age and Life Stage (with Julie Lee, Anat Bardi, Hesterina VanHerk, Len Coote). (2015)

Previous positions

2008-, Professor of Marketing, University of Western Australia Business School

2008-2016, Professor of Marketing and Head of the Marketing Discipline, University of Western Australia Business School

2000-2007, Director and Professor, Graduate School of Management, University of Western Australia

1999, Professor of Management, Graduate School of Management, University of Western Australia

1998-1999, Executive Dean, Faculty of Business and Public Management, Edith Cowan University

1997-1998, Acting Pro Vice Chancellor, Research and Advancement, Edith Cowan University

1995-1998, Executive Dean, Faculty of Business, Edith Cowan University

1986-1995, Foundation Professor of Management, Curtin University of Technology

1982, Honorary Visiting Research Fellow, Australian Graduate School of Business, University of New South Wales

1978-1985, Senior Lecturer, Department of Management, University of Western Australia

1978, Visiting Fellow, Cornell University

1973-1977, Lecturer, Department of Commerce, University of Western Australia

Current projects

Industrial Relevance

A word of mouth study has examined the reasons people give WOM and the ways people give and receive WOM. The results will provide insights into the strategies organisations can use to better manager these informal messages and the ways WOM can be improved [co-researchers are Tim Mazzarol and Jill Sweeney].

A study of the strategic approaches used by professional service firms has been undertaken that is examining the ways these firms approach their markets. The results provide insights into the strategies that impact most on firm performance and the contextual factors that influence such relationships. Managers will be able to assess their strategic approaches to see how well aligned they are with effective strategies [co-researchers are Jill Sweeney and Janet McColl-Kennedy].

A study has examined the role emotional labour plays in people’s work lives and, in particular, on their well-being and interactions with customers or clients. The results should help managers recruit and train employees more effectively [co-researchers Sandy Kiffin-Petersen and Catherine Jordan].

Links with Industry

Undertaken many research projects with private, sector, public sector and not-for-profit sector organisations.

Served on many committees for such organisations as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Institute of Management, the Australian marketing Institute and the Australian Market and Social Research Society.

Collaborations with Other Institutions

Joint research projects with academics at:
University of Queensland
University of South Australia
Murdoch University
Royal Holloway

Teaching overview

Multivariate Data Analysis (DBA and Honours)
Strategic Marketing (MBA)
Marketing Principles (MBA)


Consumer behaviour, cross-cultural consumer decision making, consumption value, tourism marketing, the marketing and management of international education

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 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Research expertise keywords

  • Customer service and customer satisfaction
  • International marketing of education
  • Market orientation research
  • Research methodology
  • Role of value and quality in consumer decision making
  • Service quality
  • Small and medium enterprise research
  • Word-of-mouth marketing


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