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School of Business and Management

Muhammad Riaz

 Muhammad Riaz


Project title

Role-related tensions in the lived experience of marketing managers in Islamic banks in the UK: A phenomenological exploration.

Project description

My research explores the “lived experience” of marketing managers (MMs) in Islamic Banks (IBs) in the UK. These MMs, along with a majority of professionals working in UKIBs, have largely transitioned from either conventional banks or other organisations and come from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.

While the marketing literature discusses the evolving role of marketers and conflict in their inter-functional relationships (Grönroos, 1996; Vargo and Lusch, 2004; Ruekert & Walker, 1987; Griffin and Hauser 1996;  Gok and Hacioglu, 2010 etc.), references to MM’s role in IBs are limited to the promotional aspect of marketing. The Islamic finance (IF) literature does raise concerns regarding IB’s practices and products being able to meet the socio-economic objectives of IF and does often question the lack of appropriate training for IB professionals in order to achieve these objectives (Asutay, 2010; Ayub, 2018; Ahmed, 2011; Boon and Ozcan, 2016; Al-Jarhi, 2018 etc.). However, no study to date has examined the MM’s role in IBs and how their religious, moral, cultural and professional backgrounds impact that role and what business and ethical tensions/conflicts they may experience as a result.

Therefore, this research is focused on exploring the business and ethical tensions experienced by IB MMs and how they reconcile their intellectual capital, moral philosophies and professional ethics with the tensions related to their role within IBs. The impetus behind this research is to shed light on the complexity of the role of marketing managers in the Islamic banking industry which is governed by unique operational principles that may clash with the broader system of international capitalist banking within which they are established. This research also aims to respond to the lack of research on the “lived experience” of these managers while recognizing a that managers are valuable sources of information and conveyors of rarely exploited an understanding that is rarely exploited in research into marketing (Ardley, 2008).

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), a qualitative research method with its foundations in phenomenology and hermeneutics (Bramley & Eatough, 2005; Smith et al, 2009), is employed to interpret the meaning MMs ascribe to their experiences of working within IBs. The phenomenological dimension of the IPA method allows the researcher to “get as close as possible to the experience of the participant” whereas its hermeneutic aspect recognises the role of the researcher in the research process as “an interpretative endeavour for both participant and researcher” (Smith et al., 2009: 37).


1st Supervisor: Dr Chris Miles
2nd Supervisor: Professor Stephen Fox


With marketing and business development background, I have extensive experience within the UK higher education sector with marketing activities spanning national and international jurisdictions. I hold a master degree in Islamic Banking, Finance and Management from Loughborough University.

In addition to conducting PhD research at School of Business and Management, Queen Mary, University of London, I currently teach English language to adults in Cambridge, United Kingdom.


  • Riaz, M. (2016) 'Islamic Marketing Ethics and The Marketing Practices of Islamic Banks'. ISRA International Journal of Islamic Finance. 8(2): pp27-49
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