Iris Steenkamp

  • Degree Programme: PhD in Marketing

I am a PhD student at London Business School and will be on the job market this year (2021). I hold a BA in Economics and Business from the Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University, an MA in Marketing (with distinction) from the Rotterdam School of Management, and an Master of Research in Marketing from London Business School.

My research explores the impact of marketing (as an intervention or a mechanism) in emerging markets. As a quantitatively oriented scholar, I conduct field experiments (randomized controlled trials) to test the effects I study. My research aims to provide a new perspective on central marketing concepts (e.g., sales activities and consumption) by linking these to key social and economic development outcomes (i.e., gender empowerment, resilience, and self-confidence) using rigorous and causal methods as well as novel and objective outcome measures.

My main research focus is on the impact of marketing and sales employment on female empowerment and resilience. In my dissertation research, I conduct a large-scale randomized-controlled trial to assess the impact of sales activities on the individual sales person. Specifically, I study how sales activities can shape how rural women in India think and behave, and can shape even how their communities think of them and behave towards them. Other ongoing projects include a randomized-controlled trial on the impact of relationship managers in building relations with coffee farmers in Rwanda, a quasi-experiment in India assessing the impact of consumption on the status of female migrants, and the impact of COVID on consumption decisions and resulting coping strategies among communities in rural India.

My research received the 2020 ISMS Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Award, the Research and Development Management Association PhD Award (2020) and the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development PhD Award (2020).

Featured Research

Iris’ research was feature in the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development brochure and THINK magazine.

Empowering women entrepreneurs in India


Go your own way: Migration, Consumption and status

Research interests

  • Sales Employment
  • Consumption
  • Gender Empowerment and Resilience
  • Small-Scale Firms
  • Emerging Markets
  • Field Experiments