Professor Debbie Ellis

Professor Debbie Ellis
Associate Professor
Post Graduate Centre, School of Management, IT & Governance
Marketing & Supply Chain Management


Professor Debbie Ellis is an Associate Professor in Marketing. She holds a Masters in Business Science from the University of Cape Town and a PhD in Marketing from KTH, Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Professor Ellis has more than 30 years of teaching and research experience. She has taught at undergrad, postgrad and management development levels at a number of South African universities. Her main areas of teaching expertise include Strategic Marketing and Planning, Social-, Services- and Global Marketing.

Professor Ellis has been involved in programme and curriculum development as well as management and leadership of numerous programmes including Master of Business Administration (MBA), Honours in Marketing and Postgrad Diplomas in Marketing, Management and Marketing and Supply Chain Management as well as been Academic Leader of Research and Higher Degrees.

She has chaired the school’s Ethics committee and is on the Marketing & Supply Chain Management discipline committee for higher degree proposals. Professor Ellis has been an external examiner for courses as well as dissertations and theses for various South African as well as international universities. Prof Ellis is on the editorial and/or review boards for several South African and international journals including the European Journal of Management, Environment, Development and Sustainability, International Journal of Sustainable Society, Journal of Marketing Education, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, Journal of Cleaner Production, Journal of Macro Marketing, Journal of Public Affairs, Journal of Strategic Marketing, and the Online Information Review.

Professor Ellis’ work has been published in Journal of Cleaner Production, Sustainability Science, the International Journal of Consumer Studies, Young Consumers, the International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Business Horizons, the South African Journal of Business Management, and the South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, amongst others. Her primary areas of research interest include eco-consumers, young consumers, social marketing, consumer knowledge, and female networks.

Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Business Science (UCT, South Africa)
  • Masters of Business Science (Marketing and HR) (UCT, South Africa)
  • PhD Marketing (KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)

Professional Bodies

  • Prof Ellis is the president of the African Social Marketing Association

Research Interests

  • Eco-consumers
  • Sustainable Consumption
  • Young consumers
  • Social Marketing
  • Health Marketing
  • Consumer knowledge
  • Female Networks

Publications and Papers

Journal Articles, Books and Book Chapters
  • Mkhize, S. & Ellis, D. (2023) Chapter 34: Social Enterprise Consumers: The Case of South African Organic Produce Consumers. In IRMA (Ed.) Research Anthology on Approaches to Social and Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Volume 2, Hershey, PA: IGI Global., p652-672.
  • Hall, P.& Ellis, D. A systematic review investigating gender bias in AI algorithms. Submitted to Online Information Review, Accepted for publication Jan 2023, OIR-08-2021-0452. ISI. Q1.
  • Axcell, S., & Ellis, D. (2023). Exploring the attitudes and behaviour of Gen Z students towards branded mobile apps in an emerging market: UTAUT2 model extension. Young Consumers, 24(2), 184-202. Scopus Q1
  • Ndlovu, S. & Ellis, D. (2022) The Nature and Extent of Sustainability Advertising in Magazines in a Developing Market. International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 16(3/4): 372-399. Q3 journal (, Scopus
  • Hall, P., Ellis, D. & McArthur, B. (2022) Knowledge Sharing Enablers in Small Business Networks. International Journal of Knowledge Management, 18(1):1-16. Q3 journal (, Scopus
  • Ellis, D. & Ndlovu, S. (2021) Disrupting Norms: Reflections on the Challenges and Response Strategies in Marketing Education Due to the Covid Crisis. Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice, 42(2021):17 pages, DHeT.
  • Beachcroft-Shaw, H., Ellis, D. [2020] Finding common ground: mapping the nomological networks of sustainability constructs for improved social marketing. Sustainability Science, 15: 745–758 (2020). Q1 journal (
  • Mkhize, S. & Ellis, D. [2020] Creativity in Marketing Communication to Overcome Barriers to Organic Produce Purchases: The case of a Developing Nation, Journal of Cleaner Production, 242(2020): 1-9., Q1 journal (’
  • Chiweshe, N. & Ellis, D. (editors) [2019]. Strategic Marketing for Social Enterprises in Developing Nations, Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
  • Ellis, D. & Derera, E. [2019]. Chapter 1: Strategic Marketing for Social Enterprises: Nexus of the Two Domains. In N. Chiweshe & D. Ellis (Ed.) Strategic Marketing for Social Enterprises in Developing Nations. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, p1 – 30.
  • Maikoo,M. & Ellis, D. [2018] South African children’s influence tactics: what works and when?”, Young Consumers, 19(4): 432-449,, Q1 journal (
  • Mkhize, N.H. & Ellis, D. [2018]. Chapter 5: Consumer Cooperation in Sustainability: the Green Gap in an Emerging Market. In S. Indris (Ed.) Promoting Global Environmental Sustainability and Cooperation, Hershey, PA: IGI Global, pp.112 – 135. Recent Conference Papers Delivered
  • Dumakude, S. & Ellis, D. (2023) How much do South Africans know about eco-labels. Presented at AfSMAC2023, African Social Marketing Association conference, 2023: Future is Fusion, Johannesburg, South Africa, 24-26 April 2023.
  • Matimelo, T. & Ellis, D. (2023) The effectiveness of social marketing in addressing unhealthy eating habits: A systematic review. Presented at AfSMAC2023, African Social Marketing Association conference, 2023: Future is Fusion, Johannesburg, South Africa, 24-26 April 2023.
  • Ndlovu, S. & Ellis, D. (2023) A developing market perspective: evaluation of message framing and message explicitness use in green advertising. Presented at AfSMAC2023, African Social Marketing Association conference, 2023: Future is Fusion, Johannesburg, South Africa, 24-26 April 2023.
  • Aigibe, V. & Ellis, D. (2023) Trust and eco-friendly behaviour. Accepted as a poster presentation at AfSMAC2023, African Social Marketing Association conference, 2023: Future is Fusion, Johannesburg, South Africa, 24-26 April 2023.
  • Kawesha, C. & Ellis, D. (2022) The Evolution of social