Pursey Heugens is a professor of organisation theory, development, and change at the Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). His research interests include comparative corporate governance, business ethics, and bureaucracy, institutional, and demographic theories of organisation. He has won numerous awards and his specialties include: research methods, issues management, beer breweries, genetically modified food industry.
The key word for our discussion is identity. We begin by talking about how people use disposable income in the third world. We move on to conspicuous consumption and how people use craft beer as a statement. One thing we spend a long time discussing is the relationship between brand and consumer, is it a reciprocal relationship? We close by talking about Dolly Parton and country music, and how songs like Coat of Many Colours show the importance of identity.
What’s the line between a product for your identity and a product for necessity? I feel no connection to where I fill up my car and I’m not going to pay for artisan craft petrol, but I do choose my ornaments extremely carefully. Perhaps it comes down to how many people see me, and my connection is to those people around me. Although even if it’s just myself sometimes, I hardly want to drink a wine made by somebody I greatly dislike. I remember reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo, where she says you should hold something you own and ask “does this spark joy” as to whether or not to keep it. Maybe I’ll try a variation on that. Does this say something about me? I wonder what I’d end up being attracted towards.