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BSc (Hons), MCom, PhD (Otago)

John studies factors that affect New Zealand exports and exporters, and integrates this research into his teaching of international and export marketing. john_knightHe is especially interested in how food quality and food safety affect country image. For instance, does New Zealand's "clean green" image depend on banning particular kinds of genetic modification, controlling livestock disease outbreaks, or encouraging specific farming and environmental practices? This research has taken him to several European countries, to China and to India to determine what factors decide where food distribution channel members source imported food products.

Other research interests include factors influencing adoption or rejection of new technologies, and consumer perception of risk in relation to technological change. He is also undertaking research into the area of crisis management in international markets. Another research area is the use of technical barriers to trade; he has researched the long-standing trade dispute regarding the Australian ban on apple imports from New Zealand.
As a result of these research activities, John has developed strong links with primary industry organisations in New Zealand. He also has a long-standing personal involvement in farming and forestry. He has been guest speaker at numerous industry conferences, including the 2004 Federated Farmers National Conference, and several provincial farming sector conferences.

With a background in science and medical research, John continues his interest and involvement in the biomedical area and uses this background in developing inter-disciplinary research activities. His first degree was a BSc Hons in Zoology at the University of Otago, followed by a PhD in Immunology. He spent 20 years in biomedical research, mainly at Otago Medical School, and including one year at University College, London, and two years at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA .
He served a term of three years as Director of International Business. He currently teaches Innovation and New Product Development (MART 306).

John is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the British Food Journal. He has reviewed papers for a wide range of journals including: Nature; Autoimmunity; Immunogenetics; Biological Psychiatry; European Journal of Psychiatry; Food Policy; British Food Journal; Journal of Public Affairs; Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining; Appetite; Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics; British Journal of Psychiatry; Academic Psychiatry; Journal of Chinese Economics and Business Studies; Australasian Marketing Journal.

John retired from the Department of Marketing on in 2016 but still supervises some PhD students in his capacity of Emeritus Professor.


Bioethics panel, including Ellis, L., Knight, J., Maclaurin, J., & Wehi, P. (2019). Predator free New Zealand: Social, cultural, and ethical challenges. Commissioned by BioHeritage Challenge. 26p. Retrieved from

Ellis, E. H., Armstrong, D., Hohneck, M., Iorns, C., Knight, J., Litten, K., … Maclaurin, J., … Woolley, S. (2018). Predator-free New Zealand and the public good. Proceedings of the Society for Conservation Biology 5th Oceania Congress: Conservation in a Changing World. (pp. 133). Retrieved from

Chen, S., Mather, D., Gao, H., & Knight, J. (2017). Spillover of distrust to an industry. In L. Robinson, L. Brennan & M. Reid (Eds.), Proceedings of the Australian & New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (ANZMAC): Marketing for Impact. (pp. 33). Melbourne, Australia: RMIT University. [Abstract]

Chen, S., Knight, J., Gao, H., & Mather, D. (2017). Toward an institutional perspective of attribution, legitimacy judgment, and trust erosion during an industry-wide crisis: An abstract. In P. Rossi & N. Krey (Eds.), Marketing transformation: Marketing Practice in an ever changing world: Proceedings of the Academcy of Marketing Science (AMS) World Marketing Congress (WMC). (pp. 289-290). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-68750-6

Chen, S., Mather, D., Gao, H., & Knight, J. (2017). Consumer trust erosion during an industry-wide crisis: The central role of legitimacy judgment. Proceedings of the University of Otago Student Research Symposium: Te Wānaka Rakahau: Ākoka. (pp. 12). Retrieved from

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