News story 11th Mar 2015

Research study wins prestigious thesis award

Dr Carla Ferraro, senior research fellow and former PhD student with Monash Business School's Department of Marketing, was recently awarded the prestigious 2014 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award. 

Dr Ferraro received the award in the Marketing Research category for her thesis, Deconstructing the Impact of Store Refurbishment.

This internationally competitive award is given to research that addresses an issue that is of importance in a given area of expertise. Dr Ferraro's entry was judged by members of the editorial board of the European Journal of Marketing, one of the leading international journals in the field.

Dr Carla Ferraro

Her thesis was reviewed and judged on its significance for theory and practice; originality and innovation; appropriateness and methodology; and quality of data/research.

To Dr Ferraro, however, this award means more than recognition of the significance and quality of her doctoral studies.

"This award provides great motivation to continue to develop my career as an academic in the Department of Marketing at Monash Business School, and validates the value of undertaking applied research," she said.

Supervised by Professor Tracey Danaher, her research involved a large-scale field study with one of Australia's largest retail chains. The study looked at the impact of store refurbishment on customer reactions over time. It took into consideration the store's condition before refurbishment, something that had not been studied before.

Though store refurbishment increases customer spending, the benefit is greater when a store's initial reference point is low rather than high.

"This is a critical finding as the bottom line for most retail decisions is the impact on sales. It is important for retailers to be aware of how refurbishment can drive a customer's spending behaviour," Dr Ferraro said.

This award provides great motivation to continue to develop my career as an academic in the Department of Marketing at Monash Business School, and validates the value of undertaking applied research.

Dr Carla Ferraro

Department of Marketing

The 2014 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award is an internationally significant award.

"It is great for Monash Business School to be represented alongside some of the top universities in the world. It is recognition of the quality of our students and the quality of our PhD program, and our desire to engage with industry," said Professor Harmen Oppewal, Head of the Department of Marketing.

This article has appeared in Monash News.

  • Dr Carla Ferraro

    Dr Carla Ferraro

    Senior Research Fellow, Department of Marketing Associate Director (Research), ACRS

    Read more
    in