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Deborah Roberts
Professor of Marketing and Innovation Management



Deborah Roberts is Professor in Innovation and Marketing Management and is the joint Head of People, Operations and Marketing Group. Prior to joining the School for Business and Society, Deborah held positions at Nottingham University Business School and Cranfield School of Management. She also has been a visiting Professor at McGill University, Desautels Faculty of Management, Montreal, and Northeastern University, Boston, M.A.
Prior to her academic career Deborah worked in industry for over 15 years in roles focused on new product and service development, marketing and brand strategy. She is a chartered marketer, member of the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA), Advanced Institute of Management scholar (AIM) and sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Product Innovation Management.
Deborah’s research interests and expertise lie at the nexus of marketing and innovation management. In particular, projects include open and user innovation (OUI), value co-creation and value capture, market learning and the use of social media. Her research embraces business engagement, research which is practitioner relevant and is driven in the context of application.
Deborah’s teaching is research-led and focuses on relevant contemporary business and societal issues. Her teaching activities have included Undergraduate, Masters, MBA and Doctoral programmes. She has also designed and delivered Executive Education both in the UK and internationally.

Subject Group

People, Operations and Marketing

Departmental roles

Director of Interdisciplinary Research



Deborah’s research interest and field of expertise is at the nexus of marketing and innovation management and includes the co-creation of products and services and social media marketing, and open and user- driven innovation (OUI), which all emphasize the role of active customer participation in the marketing process. The basic premise of open innovation is that innovation is not solely performed internally within a firm, but in a collaborative mode with a variety of external actors.
OUI innovation practices are growing and now cover a wide range of sectors from healthcare to fast moving consumer goods and integrate a number of theories from marketing and management, eg service-dominant logic, networking, organizational design and strategy.
Deborah is researching this new model of managing and organizing the innovation process and is investigating the ‘active’ role and creative role of the user in the process. High quality PhD applications are welcomed in this area.
Her work has been published in leading international journals such as the Journal of Product Innovation Management, MIT Sloan Management Review, and the European Journal of Marketing.
Examples may be seen by following the links:



Research group(s)






Available PhD research projects





Selected publications

Journal Articles

Ko, G., Roberts, D. L., Perks, H, and Candi, M (2021) Effectuation logic: Can it be enhanced by Customer Co-creation in the early stage of the innovation process? British Journal of Management,

Roberts, D. L., Palmer, R., and Hughes, M. (2021) Innovating the product innovation process to enable co-creation, R&D Management, Online Open. AID: RAD

Avram, G., Ciolfi, L., Spedale,S, University of Nottingham., Roberts, D. L and Petrelli. D. (2019) Co-Design Goes Large. Interactions ACM. org. 59-63 

Beltagui, A., Schmidt, T., Candi, M., and Roberts, D. L. (2019) Overcoming the monetization challenge in fremium online games, Industrial Management and Data Systems, 119, 1339-1356

Candi, M., Roberts, D. L., Marion, T. & Barczak, G., (2018) Social Strategy to Gain Knowledge for Innovation, British Journal of Management

Roberts, D. L. & Darler, W., (2017) Consumer co-creation: An opportunity to humanise the new product development process, International Journal of Market Research

Roberts, D. L., Candi, M. & Hughes, M., (2017) Leveraging social network sites for new product launch, Industrial Management and Data Systems

Roberts, D. L., Piller, F. T. & Lüttgens, D., (2016) Mapping the Impact of Social Media for Innovation: The Role of Social Media in Explaining Innovation Performance in the PDMA Comparative Performance Assessment Study, Journal of Product Innovation Management

Roberts, D. L. & Piller, F. T., (2016) Finding the right role for social media in innovation, MIT Sloan Management Review

Reid, S. E., Roberts, D. L. & Moore, K., (2015) Technology vision for radical innovation and its impact on early success Journal of Product Innovation Management

Roberts, D. L. & Candi, M., (2014) Leveraging social network sites in new product development: Opportunity or hype? Journal of Product Innovation Management

Roberts, D. L., Hughes, M. & Kertbo, K., (2014) Exploring consumers' motivations to engage in innovation through co-creation activities European Journal of Marketing

Perks, H. & Roberts, D. L. (2013) A review of longitudinal research in the product innovation field, with discussion of utility and conduct of sequence analysis, Journal of Product Innovation Management

Roberts, D. L. & Palmer, R., (2012) Developing a visceral market learning capability for new product development, International Journal of Market Research

Reid, S. E. & Roberts, D. L. (2011) Technology Vision: A scale development, R and D Management

Roberts, D. L. & Adams, R. (2010) Agenda development for marketing research: The user's voice, International Journal of Market Research

Rickard, S. & Roberts, D. L., (2008) UK farming post reform: The key marketing challenges, Journal of International Food and Agribusiness Marketing



Deborah’s teaching is research-led and encourages students to develop a critical and reflective approach. Students are encouraged to critique and use academic theories and frameworks both in the classroom and in their organizations.
Collaboration, team work and creativity are essential to the innovation process and are therefore used to underpin teaching and learning. Deborah aims to support students in developing a life-long attitude to learning.
Currently Deborah is Module Leader for:
Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MAN000221)
Essentials of Marketing Communication (MAN00018C)



Other teaching


School for Business and Society
University of York
Church Lane Building
York Science Park
York YO10 5ZF

Tel: +44 (0) 1904 325150
Room: CL/A/116D

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