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Dr Peter Ling

Program Director, Communications

Faculty of Education & Arts

Industry oriented academic

My industry orientation

For years, my 'research' had an industry and practical purpose as I had spent many years in various disciplines, such as journalism, public relations, retail marketing, international advertising agency management, marketing communications consultancy, and team creativity consulting. I researched media sources to write marketing, communications, and creativity articles for industry publications, newspapers, and conferences. I published three books in the process based on collections from my hundreds of newspaper column articles on marketing insights, personal effectiveness, and team creativity.

My doctoral journey

It was only in 2002 that I decided to try my hand at academic research through a doctorate in education at the University of Western Australia. The decision to enrol in a professional versus a philosophical doctorate reflected my industry orientation. Experimenting with team creativity techniques and co-writing a book on team creativity had piqued my interest in academic research, hence my doctoral topic was on accelerated adult team creativity. It was a challenge adjusting to requirements of academic research. Fortunately, I did well enough to complete my doctorate in 2005 and win the Fogarty Prize for best Doctor of Education thesis.

Life as an academic

Joining ECU and academia for the first time in 2004 was also a challenge. I was involved in reviewing theses and supervising postgraduate students while struggling to balance teaching and completing my doctorate. I still remember my first thesis review where I awarded a Credit when a colleague assessed it as a High Distinction. I was then known to be a tough marker and that reputation still remains, surprisingly with positive results as I have reviewed and examined 30 proposals and theses, and supervised 15 students over the last five years.

My postgraduate students have researched diverse practical topics such as Indonesian television advertising and childrens behaviour, Singaporean identity in advertising, culture-based promotion in Shanghai, the use of animals in Canadian advertising, sex appeals in Indonesian magazines, fear appeals in drug prevention and anti-smoking campaigns in Australia, web advertising in Hangzhou, a case study of a bicycle enterprise in Malaysia, celebrity impact on Hong Kong university students, fashion preferences of Perth university students, and sportswear purchases of Chinese students.

Continuing my industry orientation as a Teacher Scholar I have written 15 marketing cases for Pearson Australia textbooks such as Consumer Behaviour, Marketing, Marketing Management, and Principles of Marketing; contributed 14 articles for Perths Campaign Brief magazine for the marketing communications industry; and delivered 18 conference papers on creativity and learning in Brisbane, Chicago, Georgia, Houston, Perth, Singapore, and Taipei.

Evolving into an academic researcher

Over the years, I have reviewed numerous articles for diverse publications, such as the Journal of Thinking Skills and Creativity, the Journal of Marketing Education, and the Journal of Media & Cultural Studies. Since 2008, I have evolved into a more 'serious' academic researcher, with publications of refereed articles in the IMC Review, the Australian & New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference, and ECU's E-culture (with the paper on ECU's Google Challenge experience posted on the Google Challenge Research Centre website). My focus now is on accelerated learning through real experiential projects in cultural settings.

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