• overview
  • profile
  • research
  • teaching
  • Service/Other

Research group for sustainable business and marketing
Bjoern FRANK

Associate Professor
Dr. Bjoern FRANK

7-1 Kioi-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8554, Japan
Sophia University
Building No.2, Room 1520



Green marketing (2 courses in English and Japanese, spring semester)

Green marketing deals with how firms design and sell environmentally friendly products and with how consumers become motivated to purchase such products. This course covers both general knowledge of marketing and specific knowledge of green marketing. It deals with green marketing strategy, green marketing mix, customer relationship management, green product design, and green marketing research.

Environment and Supply Chain Management (English, fall semester)

Supply chain management focuses on the strategic coordination of business functions both within and across companies of the supply chain, for the purpose of improving the long-term performance of the individual companies and the supply chain as a whole. This course deals with both basic concepts of supply chain management and environmental issues in supply chain management. It covers topics such as green manufacturing, green procurement, closed-loop supply chains, carbon footprinting, and green quality management.

Corporate Social Responsibility (Japanese, fall semester)

本講義では、CSR(Corporate Social Responsibility)とその経営を対象にする。CSRとは、社会と自然環境に利益をもたらす企業活動である。CSRを重視する企業は、 利益のみを追求するのではなく、社会と自然環境にとって有害な影響を最小化し、有益な影響を最大化することに責任を持っている。本講義の対象テーマは、CSRの定義と経営上の合理性、 利害関係者理論、労働慣行、CSR対応の組織変動とリーダーシップ、社会的起業、社会的責任投資、CSRと文化の関係等である。

Research seminar

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.