Mark Cleveland has been named as the DANCAP Private Equity Chair in Consumer Behaviour

December 01, 2020

Mark Cleveland has been named as the DANCAP Private Equity Chair in Consumer Behaviour.

Mark Cleveland has been named as the DANCAP Private Equity Chair in Consumer Behaviour.

For Cleveland, a Professor in the DAN Department of Management & Organizational Studies, the title is a great opportunity to continue leadership role, and to represent the department on the world stage. The position and endowment associated with it with help high-level research, allowing Cleveland to hire students, as well as other costs associated with research and publishing.

Since joining the department in 2005, Cleveland has helped build capacity in the consumer behaviour area of the department. “There was no area in consumer behaviour, and only one marketing course,” said Cleveland. “Looking back, one of the things I’m most proud of is being able to contribute to the consumer behaviour as an area in the department.”

Cleveland feels the Chair position is a recognition of the leadership role in the consumer behaviour area, both in the department and outside the university, where he is an associate editor for one of the top journals in the field, and sits on many conference and dissertation committees.

Much of Cleveland’s work has focused on how globalization and ethnic identities affect consumer behaviour. In April, Cleveland received a SSHRC Insight grant for a five-year research project examining the concept of mixed ethnic identity, and the impact it has on social and consumer behaviours.

“Our social identity is a big part of how we identify ourselves as individuals,” said Cleveland, which includes consumer behaviour and the brands and trends adopted. People of mixed ethnic identities – people with one parent that is Caucasian and one who is a visible minority –may not feel connected in either population.

“They can be a double minority,” said Cleveland, “with one foot in the mainstream population, and one in a minority population.”

They also make up the fastest growing population group in Canada. Currently, about three per cent of the Canadian population are people of mixed ethnic background; by 2030, this is expected to be seven per cent, and 20 per cent by 2050.

While mixed ethnicity have been studies in other fields, Cleveland said there has not been much research from a marketing and consumer behaviour perspective.

“Culture is the single biggest variable that explains differences in the behaviours of consumers, and people of mixed ethnic identities may have a unique way of looking at the world,” Cleveland said, noting that cultural variables have been used to segment consumer behaviours since the birth of marketing.

“In terms of new trends and fashions, people at intersection of cultures are often the foundation for new cultural trends. They take something from one cultural sphere and mix it with another.”

While the focus of mixed ethnic identities is new to Cleveland, and for the field of consumer behaviour, he expects it will grow in importance. As globalization continues and people continue to move around the world, there will be more mixed ethnic relationships and more mixed ethnic children.

Cleveland sees this as a way for growth in culture; “People at intersection of culture tend to be the spark that set the stage for new cultural ideas.”

The DANCAP Private Equity Chair in Consumer Behaviour is one of four private equity chairs created as a result of the generosity of Aubrey Dan and the University Matching Chairs program.

The positions are a “symbol of research excellence and the maturity of the department,” said Cleveland.

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