Doctoral student of the month - November 2011

Benjamin Hartmann

Marketing and Logistics/ MMT Centre

Who are you and where are you from?

I am a tall and curious person originally from Berlin, Germany. I was raised in the north-west of Berlin where there is a lot of green, which could explain that I like nature.

How did you decide to become a doctoral student? And why did you decide to do it at JIBS?

The first time I thought about pursuing an academic career was when I was studying for a Master´s degree in International Marketing and Brand Management at Lund University. I learned that I enjoy digging deep under the surface of things and wondering how things are as they are. However, when I returned from Sweden to finish my degree in Business Management at Technical University in Berlin, I then started to gain some practical experience within the area of marketing and innovation consulting.

This time proved very valuable for me and it was fun working with my areas of interest such as social media, branding, and marketing. After a while, I felt that there are so many questions unanswered and that it would be a new challenge for me to get to the bottom of some of those in a doctoral project. I decided to come and join JIBS because the excellent and international research conditions at JIBS paired together with the Media Management and Transformation Centre proved to provide a very good framework to pursue research in my areas of interest.

What are your main research interests?

My main research interest revolves around problematizing the relation between consumption and production in contemporary consumer culture. Today, it becomes increasingly difficult to separate the producer from the consumer especially if you look at what is happening with the developments of social media. I explore this issue by looking at different contexts such as musical instrument consumers and an online gardening community and by applying different theoretical lenses. For example in one of my studies, co-authored with Jacob Östberg from Stockholm University, we can show how consumers, the brand owner, and other important stakeholders join forces to negotiate the authenticity of the Swedish guitar brand Hagström through the production and consumption of specific discourses.

What is the best thing with working at JIBS?

I already mentioned the research conditions and not to forget our excellent library. However, the best thing with working at JIBS is the freedom embedded in a friendly and supporting atmosphere. JIBS is a very dynamic place and there is always an open ear for new ideas and change. I also enjoy teaching and working with my students a lot, who come here from various countries and cultures eager to learn, discuss, research, and innovate. It is this international spirit in a Swedish way that I think makes JIBS very special.