Professor Bob Doherty
Professor of Marketing and Principal Investigator of IKnowFood



Bob Doherty is Professor of Marketing at The York Management School, University of York and principal investigator on a large 4-year interdisciplinary research programme (£3.4m) on food resilience titled ‘IKnowFood’, funded by the Global Food Security Fund. In addition, he holds a number of institutional wide research positions including the University of York lead for N8 AgriFood and research theme leader for sustainable food in the York Environmental Sustainability Research Institute (YESI).  Furthermore, he is a member of both the university nominations and the Office for Fair Access committees.

Bob received his PhD titled ‘Resource Advantage Theory in Fair Trade Social Enterprises’ from Liverpool John Moores University. Bob spent six and a half years at Liverpool Business School (Liverpool John Moores University) as Senior Lecturer in Social Enterprise and Corporate Responsibility, where he led the Social Enterprise Research Group and associated postgraduate programmes. From 2010-2012 Bob was Head of the Business School at Liverpool Hope University. More recently Bob was Deputy Dean at the York Management School (2013-2015), then Acting Dean (2015-2016).

Bob specialises in research on hybrid organisations namely the marketing and management aspects of fair trade organisations and social enterprises. Recently his research interests have developed to look at resilience in food systems. Bob is a member of the organising committees for both the International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC) and the International Fair trade Symposium (FTIS) and has chaired and hosted both these conferences in recent times. Bob has recently been successful in becoming the Founder members Trustee nomination on the Fairtrade Foundation board, this is a huge honour for Bob who has been a practitioner, activist and researcher of Fair Trade for 20 years nowFor the past 8- years he has been editor of the Emerald publishers Social Enterprise Journal and is also editorial board member of the Corporate Responsibility and Environmental management Journal (Wiley Publishers). Bob is also a regular reviewer for the Journal of Business Ethics, International Journal of Management Reviews and Organization Studies. Prior to moving into academia Bob spent nearly five years as Head of Sales and Marketing at the Fairtrade social enterprise, Divine Chocolate Ltd.

Bob has also provided evidence for a House of Commons International Development Select Committee for Fairtrade and Development and been involved with the development of the EU Commission's EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award. In recent years Bob has been able to secure research grant income from an exciting range of stakeholders including; government departments such as Department for International Development, British Academy, the European Social Fund, third sector sources such as Comic Relief African Grants Committee, the Fairtrade Foundation and Royal Society of Arts and a number of private sector sources such as RBS/NatWest. 

Subject Group




Main Research Interests

Professor Doherty is particularly interested in researching those enterprises which promote both social welfare and reduce environmental degradation, namely hybrid organisations such as social enterprises and fair trade organisations. Bob studies the management and marketing of hybrids and how they balance the dual social and commercial logics. More recently, his research has also developed to study how these organisational types can contribute to more resilient food systems. Bob has published on social enterprise and fair trade in the Journal of Business Ethics, International Journal of Management Reviews, Business History Journal, Public Money and Management and Journal of Strategic Marketing. He was also author of the first text book in social enterprise management titled ‘Management for Social Enterprise’ (SAGE).

Bob currently supervisors a range of funded PhD students not least a CLAHRC, White Rose PhD student on UK Food Poverty, a White Rose DTC ESRC Big Data Network Award PhD investigating what can we learn from Big Data in food trust incidents and a third White Rose DTC funded PhD on Supply Chains as Socio-Ecological Systems: Fair Trade and Cooperative Governance as a means to Building Resilience.

Additional topics

Bob is also interested in brand communities, governance and entrepreneurship particularly in the challenges of governance and entrepreneurship in business models trying to balance their commercial, social and environmental objectives.


Bob has won a large BBSRC grant funded by the Global Food Security Fund titled ‘IKnowFood: Integrating Knowledge for Food Systems Resilience’. This brand new £3.4 million pound, four year project started in October 2016, led by Bob with collaborators from across the University of York and the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester.

Bob has worked on a range of funded projects including a White Rose Grant in collaboration with Dr Anne Tallontire at the University of Leeds School of Earth and Environment and Professor David Oglethorpe at Sheffield University Management School titled; Building up Resilience in Supply Chains (BURNS). In addition, he has worked with principal investigator Dr Mike Tse on a British Academy Grant investigating Big Data and the Horse Meat scandal. Furthermore, Bob has won research funding fromtheInstitute of Small Business Entrepreneurship (ISBE) RAKE Award from Economic Social Research Council looking at how Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs) and Social Enterprises are creating Growth in the social sector and a Fairtrade Foundation Grant to investigate and compare the development of fair trade markets in four European territories (United Kingdom, Italy, France and Switzerland).




Full publications list

 Published Refereed Journal articles

  1. Power, M. S., Small, N., Doherty, B., Stewart-Knox, B. & Pickett, K. (2017). “Bringing heaven down to earth”: the purpose and place of religion in UK food aid", Social Enterprise Journal,
  2. Power, M. S.Uphoff, E. P., Stewart-Knox, B., Small, N., Doherty, B. & Pickett, K. (2017. "Food insecurity and socio-demographic characteristics in two UK ethnic groups: an analysis of women in the Born in Bradford cohort", Journal of Public Health, 
  3. Power, M. S.Doherty, B., Small, N., Teasdale, S. & Pickett, K. (2017). 'All in it Together? Community Food Aid in a Multi-Ethnic Context', Journal of Social Policy,
  4. Doherty, B. (2016), ‘Resilience and Fair Trade’, Journal of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, 30 (3),
  5. Zhang, M., Tse, Y.K., Doherty, B., Li,S., Akhtar,P., (2016). Sustainable supply chain management: Confirmation of a higher-order model, Resources, Conservation and Recycling,
  6. Tse, Y. K., Zhang, M., Doherty, B., Chappell, P., & Garnett, P. (2016). Insight from the horsemeat scandal: exploring the consumers’ opinion of tweets toward Tesco. Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 116 Iss 6 pp. 1178 - 1200,
  7. Gillett, A., Doherty, B., Loader, K., and Scott, J. (2016), Multi-organizational cross-sectoral collaboration: empirical evidence from an ‘Empty Homes’ project, Public Money and Management, Vol. 36, Number 1, 15-22
  8. Doherty, B., Smith, A. and Parker, S. (2015), ‘Fair Trade Market Creation and marketing in the Global South, Geoforum, special issue on Ethical Consumption In Global South Middle-classes,
  9. Mason, C. and Doherty, B. (2015), A fair trade-off? Paradoxes in the governance of fair-trade social enterprises, Journal of Business Ethics, 01/2015; DOI: 10.1007/s10551-014-2511-2
  10. Doherty, B., Meehan, J. and Richards, A. (2015), The Business Case and Barriers for Responsible Management Education in Business Schools, Journal of Management Development, 34 (1),
  11. Doherty, B., Haugh, H. and Lyon, F. (2014), ‘Social enterprises as hybrid organizations- A review and research agenda’, International Journal of Management Reviews, 16 (4), 417-436 and associated teaching guide learning_guides.htm
  12. Doherty, B. and Huybrechts, B. (2013), 'Connecting producers and consumers through fair and sustainable value chains', Social Enterprise Journal, 9, issue 1, p. 4-10
  13. Doherty, B. and Clarke, D.W. (2012), 'Drawing on "Producer-Tours": A Technique for Addressing Consumer Uncertainty Surrounding the Consumption of fair trade Food Products? Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 24, 296-320
  14. Doherty, B. and Davies, I. (2013), "Where Next for Fair Trade", Business History, 55(2), 161-189
  15. Davies, I.A.; Doherty, B.; Knox, S. (2010) “The rise and stall of a fair trade pioneer: The story of Cafédirect”, Journal of Business Ethics, 92, 127-147
  16. Doherty, B. (2010), ‘An Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship: voices, preconditions and contexts’, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 16 (1), 97-102
  17. Doherty, B. (2009), ‘Resource Advantage Theory and Fair Trade Social Enterprises’, Journal of Strategic Marketing, 19 (4), 357-380
  18. Doherty, B. (2008), ‘A truly co-operative venture: the case study of Co-operative Food, a retailer response to Fair Trade’, Journal of Strategic Marketing, 16 (3), 205-221
  19. Phipps, D., Alkhaddar, R., Morgan, R., McClelland, R., Doherty, R. (2009) Water and Energy Efficient Showers In Howlett, R.J. Lakhmi C.J., Lee, S.H. (ed) Sustainability in Energy and Buildings: Proceedings of the International Conference in Sustainability in Energy and Buildings (SEB'09) Part 6 pp. 357-368 Springer ISBN: 978-3642034541 DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-03454-1_37
  20. Doherty, B. and Tranchell, S. (2007), ‘Radical Mainstreaming of Fairtrade’, special edition of Equal Opportunities International Journal, Special Issue on Culture and Diversity in Marketing, 26 (7), 693-711
  21. Doherty, B. and Meehan, J (2006) ' Market entry based on social resources: The Case of Day Chocolate Company in the UK confectionary sector’. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 14 (4), 299-313
  22. Doherty, B. and Thompson, J.L (2006), ‘The diverse world of social enterprise: a collection of eight social enterprise stories’, International Journal of Social Economics, 33, 5/6, p: 361-375 (special edition on social enterprise).
  23. Doherty, B. and Tranchell, S. (2005) ‘New thinking in international trade? a case study of the Day Chocolate Company; Sustainable Development Journal, 13, p:166-176  (this journal has an impact factor of 1.3 and is 11 out of 43 in the citation index and is equivalent therefore to 2 star journal)
  24. Gillett, A., Doherty, B., Loader, K., and Scott, J. (2016), Multi-organizational cross-sectoral collaboration: empirical evidence from an ‘Empty Homes’ project, Public Money and Management, Vol. 36, Number 1, 15-22
  25. Doherty, B., Smith, A. and Parker, S. (2015), ‘Fair Trade Market Creation and marketing in the Global South, Geoforum, special issue on Ethical Consumption In Global South Middle-classes, Geoforum, Vol 67 (December), 158-171


Doherty, B., Foster, G., Mason, C., Meehan, J., Meehan, K., Rotheroe, N. and Royce, M. (2009), Management for Social Enterprise, SAGE Publishers

Chapters in Edited Books

  1. Tse, YK, Zhang, M. Doherty, B, Moore. SR, and Keefe, T (2016) 'Exploring the Hidden Pattern from Tweets: Investigation into the Volkswagen Emission Scandal' in Supply Chain Management in the Big Data Era (Chan, HK, Subramanian, N and Abdulrahman, MD. eds.) IGI Global: Hershey, PA (Chapter 10, pp 171 - 196)
  2. Doherty, B., Benzencon, V. and Balineau, G. (2015), Fairtrade International and the European market, in The Handbook of Research on Fair Trade (Professor Laura Raynolds.eds) Edward Elgar publishers, (Chapter 18, 316-332)
  3. Doherty, B. (2013), Social Enterprise Management: how do social enterprises compete? in Denny, S. and Seddon, F. (ed.) Social Enterprise Accountability and Evaluation, London, Routledge, p. 28-49
  4. Doherty, B., Davies, I and Knox, S. (2012), ‘Cafedirect: The Marketing Evolution and Market Penetration for Fair Trade Products’, case study in new Dennis Collins text book titled ‘Business Ethics: How to Design and Manage Ethical Organisations’, John Wiley and Sons. ISBN: 978-0-470-63994-8
  5. Doherty, B. (2011), ‘Fair Trade: Ethics in Practice’ in from Critique to Action: The Practical Ethics of The Organizational World, Cambridge Scholars edited by David Weir and Nabil Sultan. ISBN (10): 1-4438-2839-4

Conference Proceedings

I have presented at over 30 conferences. Some of my keynotes and invited presentations include:

  1. Davies, I. and Doherty, B. (2016), ‘Cafédirect: Hybrid Tensions in a Fair Trade Pioneer’, European Business Ethics Network (EBEN) conference, Nottingham, June 20th-22nd
  2. Doherty, B., Haugh, H. and Lyon, F. (2016), ‘Strategic management tensions in hybrid organizations: the case of social enterprise, 32nd EGOS conference, Naples, Italy, Sub-theme 59: Considering the Commons in Organizations in the Shadow of Rational Organizing
  3. Doherty. B. (2016), ‘Strategic Management Tensions in Thailand Social Enterprises’,  International Conference on Public Organizations (ICONPO VI), Open Government Democratic Governance and Public Administration, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand, 10-11th August.
  4. Doherty, B., and Haugh, H. (2015), ‘Fair trade in the frame: the role of rhetoric in market category creation and growth’ Sustainability, Ethics and Entrepreneurship Conference, Denver, Colorado, April 2015.
  5. Doherty, B. and Haugh. H. (2014), ‘Fair trade in the frame: A rhetorical analysis of new market categories and institutionalization’, Academy of Management 2014, Philadelphia, USA.
  6. Doherty, B. (2013), ‘Fair Trade Market Creation’, Academy of Management Conference, Capitalism under Question,Orlando, Florida, USA, August 1st-5th
  7. Doherty, B., Haugh, H. and Lyon, F. (2013), ‘Social enterprises as hybrid organizations- A review and research agenda’ International Social Innovation Research Conference, Said Business School, University of Oxford, September 2-4th
  8. Doherty, B. (2013), ‘The Development of Fair Trade in Europe’, 4th EMES International Research Conference on Social Enterprise’, pp. 189-205, University of Liege, Liege, Belgium, 1-4th, July 2013
  9. Doherty, B. (2008), Social Enterprise in the UK, European Commission Leonardo Da Vinci programme Final conference on Social Entrepreneurship in Transition States, September 16-18th 2008
  10. Economic Social Research Council (ESRC) Seminar, keynote speaker “The Future of Fairtrade” at the BRASS Institute Cardiff, April 2009
  11. Doherty, B. (2011), ‘Impact Evaluation of Liberation CIC’, ESRC British Academy UK-Belgium Workshop on Social Enterprise, University of Liege, March 2nd, 2011
  12. Doherty, B. (2011), Producer Tours in Fair Trade, British Academy 2011 Supported Workshop on Emerging Issues in Uncertainty & Ethical/Sustainable Consumption Research, University of Glasgow Business School.
  13. Doherty, B. (2013), Governance Challenges in Fair Trade, World Fair Trade Organisation Conference, Rio De Janerio, Brazil, May 24th-28th 2013.

In addition, some of my recent conference presentations include:

  1. Doherty, B. (2009), ‘Resource Advantage Theory and Fair trade Social Enterprises’, ISBE (Institute of Small Business Entrepreneurship) Conference, November 3rd- 5th,  2009
  2. Doherty, B. (2009), ‘Social Resources and Social Enterprise’, 2nd EMES International Research Conference on Social Enterprise’, University of Trento, 1-4th July, 2009
  3. Doherty, B. (2010), ‘Resource Advantage Theory and Fair Trade Social Enterprises’ International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC), Said Business School, University of Oxford, , September 13-15th 2010
  4. Doherty, B. (2011), ‘Lessons Learnt in the Start-up of Social Enterprises’, 3rd EMES International Research Conference on Social Enterprise’, University of Roskilde, Denmark, 4-7th July 2011
  5. Doherty, B. (2011), ‘Social-venture creation in Fair Trade Farmer-Owned Social Enterprises’ presented at International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC), London South-Bank University, September 13-15th 2011
  6. Doherty, B. (2012), ‘Social-venture creation in Fair Trade Farmer-Owned Social Enterprises’, Fourth International Fair trade Symposium, Liverpool Hope University, April 2nd-4th , 2012
  7. Doherty, B. (2012), ‘Where Now for Fair Trade’, Fourth International Fair trade Symposium, Liverpool Hope University, April 2nd-4th, 2012
  8. Doherty, B. and Mason, C. (2012), ‘Challenges of Governance in Fair Trade Social Enterprises’ will present this at two forthcoming conferences’, International Society for Third Sector Research), Sienna, July 11th- 14th , 2012
  9. Initiatives for Change Caux conference called ‘Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy”, 20-24th July 2012 with a paper titled “An equitable global economy through fair trade”.

Parliamentary Reports

UK Parliament written evidence to House of Commons International Development Select Committee for Fairtrade and Development, Volume 1, evidence titled Monitoring and Evaluation of Divine Chocolate in UK confectionery industry

Media Highlights

Professor Doherty is a frequent commentator on fair trade and social enterprise issues across a range of media types. His recent highlights include:

  1. BBC Radio 4's Farming Today programme on Monday 25th September, 2017 and Farming Today This Week on Saturday 30th September, 2017, to discuss UK food waste.
  2. BBC Radio 4's Farming Today Programme on Friday 4th November, 2016 to discuss country of origin labelling.
  3. BBC Radio York on 19th February 2017, to discuss All In It Together? community food aid in a multi-ethnic context paper.
  4. BBC Politics Show interview on Sunday 6th November 2011 to discuss the Development of the Fair Trade movement.
  5. Appearances as Fair Trade expert on BBC Radio Merseyside in March, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 for Fairtrade Fortnight debates.
  6. The Independent Newspaper (2012), ‘Fair Trade- It’s Been a fruitful Experience for everyone involved, The Independent, Monday 27th February 2012, p:2-3 Fairtrade Supplement
  7. ‘Divine’s sweet partnership with its supporters’, article for the Guardian:
  8. Regional press coverage- Liverpool Daily Post article for Liverpool Hope’s work on Fair Trade

 Bob Doherty

The York Management School
University of York
Freboys Lane
York YO10 5GD

Tel: +44 (0) 1904 325038
Room: MBA/018