Bjoern FRANK


Born in Frankfurt, Germany. Two high school diplomas from Germany and the United States. B.S. and M.S. in Industrial Engineering and Management from Technische Universitaet Darmstadt (Germany). M.Eng. in General Engineering from Ecole Centrale de Lyon (France). 2009 Doctor of Engineering (Industrial Engineering and Management) from the Tokyo Institute of Technology. 2009-2015 Assistant Professor at the Department of Industrial of Engineering and Management, Tokyo Institute of Technology. Since April 2015 Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Sophia University. Adjunct Lecturer at Rikkyo University and at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. Editorial board member of the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science and the Journal of the Japanese Society for Quality Control. 2009 Research Award (Japanese Society for Quality Control). 2010 Tejima Dissertation Award (Tokyo Institute of Technology). 2013 Nikkei Quality Control Literature Prize (Nikkei Keizai Shimbun). 2011, 2012, 2013 Best Reviewer Awards (Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science).
Website: http://frank.genv.sophia.ac.jp/

1) Overview of research activities:

Based on statistical analysis of data from consumers and managers, I conduct empirical research in the fields of international marketing, new product development, supply chain management, and sustainable business practices. In particular, I am interested in the influences of national and organizational culture on consumer behavior and on corporate organizational processes. In the field of sustainable business practices, my research focuses on environmental satisfaction, consumer responses to environmental pollution, and corporate social responsibility. Regarding corporate social responsibility, my research explores how firms can profit from adopting a sustainable, long-term orientation in marketing and supply chain management that maximizes environmental, social, and economic benefits. In addition, I seek to find out how the optimal design parameters of sustainable business strategy vary across countries and cultures. Regarding environmental satisfaction, my research explores the relationships among environmental satisfaction, economic development, customer satisfaction, and consumer behavior. Regarding consumer responses to environmental pollution, my research explores how radioactive contamination affects consumer behavior and how the underlying mechanisms differ by industry and country. In addition, I conduct research on consumers' emotions and happiness.

2) Educational approach to research at Sophia GENV:

In my research group at Sophia GENV, we conduct research on consumers' and managers' psychological processes with respect to sustainability issues, and on the implications for the design of sustainable corporate strategy. In order to prepare for participating in this research, students are strongly advised to take at least my green marketing course (spring semester) to acquire knowledge of substantive theories, and to take my seminars A to D in order to acquire knowledge of research methodology. Students will read academic articles, collect data through questionnaire surveys and from other sources, analyze these data with statistical techniques, and draw conclusions from the results. Students do not need to have any prior knowledge of statistics or be worried about statistics; they will learn everything they need in my lectures and seminars. In order to extend these international research activities, I would welcome the participation of both Japanese and foreign students in the master's and doctoral programs.

3) Expected learning achievements:

The study of sustainable business and marketing is relevant to virtually all occupations and thus translates into knowledge that students can leverage in their future career. My lectures enable students to learn theoretical knowledge, whereas my seminars enable them to acquire the ability to conduct research and manage complex projects. In the context of graduate-level research, students practice creative thinking by defining a research topic and developing research hypotheses, enhance their practical work abilities by organizing the process of data collection, build technical skills by analyzing data, enhance their analytical and critical thinking abilities by interpreting results and drawing practical implications, and practice their writing skills by trying to convey complex theories in a clear and concise manner.

4) Contents of research seminar:

My seminar (A to D) aims to provide students with the abilities to understand research articles and to conduct research in the field of green business and marketing. In the first stage of the seminar, students will study mainly statistics-based research methodology. In the second stage, they will search the literature for scientific articles meeting their personal research interests. They will present these articles in the seminar and lead group discussions. In the third stage, they will define their own research projects, collect data through questionnaire surveys or databases, and analyze these data with statistical methods. The objective of such research is to derive findings of practical value to companies. My seminar would be a good fit for master's and doctoral students with an interest in research and in sustainable business and marketing, as well as for foreign students with an interest in cultural and other international differences.