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Member Highlight: Alexandra Ganglmair-Wooliscroft

1. First, list your current professional title. Second, describe your background, experience, and research as it relates to Quality-of-life studies. Feel free to describe this in detail.

I am a Senior Lecturer at Massey Business School, Massey University Auckland, New Zealand

I graduated with a Master’s degree in Commerce at the University of Economics and Business Administration, Vienna Austria before moving to New Zealand to complete a PhD in Marketing at the University of Otago. For my PhD, I developed a scale that extends consumer satisfaction to include strong consumption related emotions and this was also the start of my interest in studying broader areas of (life-) satisfaction and wellbeing.

I consider myself a macromarketer – being interested in the interactions of markets, consumption and society. My research focuses on the wider implications of consumption and how it can increase, or hinder, wellbeing. I was involved in the New Zealand Consumer Lifestyle study for several iterations (while working at the University of Otago) and first started to include the Personal Wellbeing Index in our nationally representative survey in 2005. At first, I was mostly interested to apply the Personal Wellbeing Index in New Zealand, and over the years have expanded my interest to include different well-being dimensions, and investigate their relationship with consumption related issues.

In the last years I have been particularly interested in sustainable consumption or consumption systems and how they relate to different wellbeing dimensions like Satisfaction with Life, Flourishing or Psychological Wellbeing and Hedonic Wellbeing. In light of the environmental and societal challenges, most of us have to change the way we consume. I am trying to understand how easy or hard it is for consumers to change, what are triggers or barriers and particularly how sustainable consumption is related to perceived wellbeing.

2.  What initially attracted you to the field of quality-of-life studies?

Marketing and consumer behaviour have a dubious reputation when it comes to quality of life and wellbeing. My home discipline is often criticised with being responsible for many ill-beings, like overconsumption. While completing my PhD I realized that, while I am interested in marketing and consumer behaviour, I don’t want to spend my academic life trying to encourage consumers to ‘buy more stuff’. I was rather trying to learn more about how consumption can increase or maintain our subjective quality of life.

3. What are some areas of quality-of-life studies you feel are lacking attention? Any advice for future QoL researchers?

I have been to quite a few ISQOLS conferences and I am always surprised how few papers are approaching QOL and wellbeing from a consumer behaviour or marketing perspective. There are quite a few research streams in marketing that imply positive wellbeing outcomes of consumption – for example Transformative Consumer Research – but considerably less research explicitly explores or measures well-being and quality of life. There is quite a bit of research on consumption wellbeing and QOL happening around the edges, but there is still a lot to learn about it.

4. How long have you been a member of ISQOLS? Why did you choose to be a member of ISQOLS? How has your involvement in ISQOLS impacted your career/research/advancement in your knowledge of QoL studies?

I have been a member of ISQOLS for more than ten years and have attended six conferences since 2014. I became aware of ISQOLS through Joe Sirgy and Don Rahtz, both senior members of the Macromarketing Society and of ISQOLS who encouraged me to pursue QOL topics in the consumption field.

I really like the multidisciplinary nature of ISQOLS – conferences (newsletters and seminars) are always interesting and expand my horizon beyond the marketing and consumer wellbeing boundaries. The problems we are facing are complex and ‘wicket problems’ won’t be solved by discipline specific silo-thinking and research.

ISQOLS has made me aware of publication opportunities outside my strict home discipline journals - many of my marketing colleagues find the Journal of Happiness studies an exotic publication outlet.  By being an ISQOLS member and participating at the conference I got the opportunity to contribute to a number of academic (encyclopaedia of …) and popular books.

The International Society for
Quality-of-Life Studies

P.O. Box 118
Gilbert, Arizona, 85299, USA


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