Dr Denise Maria Conroy

PhD, MSc (Hons)

Profile Image
Honorary Academic


Originally from England, Denise now calls New Zealand home. On a personal level, she has two teenagers, both of whom she likes most of the time, and a collection of somewhat exotic pets, all of which she likes all of the time. 

She is an enthusiastic but hopeless gardener, still determined to grow a perfect English garden in the Auckland climate; a regular, but useless yoga practitioner, and keeps meaning to join the gym.

Research | Current

Denise is particularly interested in identity and how our sense of self shapes our consumption choices, how we allocate and spend our resources, and where we choose to focus our attention. She uses interpretivist techniques in her own research, and is currently adopting a multimodal approach in her analysis. 

Whilst some of Denise’s research takes a meta analysis and conceptual approach, an extensive business background in advertising and public relations means she is also very interested in application. 

She has a special interest in social marketing and in working with businesses to achieve community engagement, particularly in the area of sustainability. A further interest is in the area of food and its role in achieving sustainable behaviours.  

Her current research is in consumer choices around weight management, both through group and personal effort and in acceptability of potential supplements, additives etc that may be developed to assist appetite control.

An initial training in science sees Denise bring systems thinking to much of her work, and allows her to collaborate with a wide range of colleagues both locally and internationally - an approach she sees as essential given her belief that questions concerning sustainability are far too complex for any one discipline to answer on their own. 

A commitment to developing resources and research capacity in Australasia means Denise actively researches with colleagues in Australia, China and Malaysia. She has taught on the MBA programmes at Southern Cross University, Australia, CIBS Shanghai, China, and the PhD programme at Monash University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Teaching | Current

Denise’s main teaching interests are in the areas of consumer behaviour - drawing from her background as an applied psychologist, and her ten years managing her own public relations agency; and qualitative research methods at the postgraduate level. Denise is also interested in advertising, taking a branding focus.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Young, J. M., Conroy, D. M., & Jaeger, S. R. (2019). Self-Control and Weight-Loss Practices: An Exploration of Repertory Grid Constructs. Journal of Constructivist Psychology10.1080/10720537.2018.1547994
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jennifer Young
  • Osburg, V.-S., Strack, M., Conroy, D. M., & Toporowski, W. (2017). Unveiling ethical product features: The importance of an elaborated information presentation. Journal of Cleaner Production, 162, 1582-1591. 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.06.112
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/44215
  • Fifita, I., Hong, D., Seo, Y., Ko, E., & Conroy, D. (2017). Sustainable food consumption as luxury fashion: Insights from the organic market in South Korea. Paper presented at Global Fashion Management Conference, Vienna, Austria. 6 July - 6 July 2017. 2017 Global Fashion Management Conference.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: 'Ilaisaane Fifita
  • Conroy, D., & Harker, R. (2017). Chinese consumer insights regarding complementary foods and immunity: Draft white paper. The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd,.
  • Conroy, D., & Smith, S. (1/1/2017). An exploration of Chinese consumers’ understanding of early age nutrition. Poster presented at IUNS 21st ICN International Congress of Nutrition, Buenos Aires, Argentina. IUNS 21st ICN International Congress of Nutrition.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sandra Smith
  • Young, J. M., Conroy, D., & Jaeger, S. (2017). Fashioning health: Paradoxes for the rise of functional foods. Paper presented at 2017 Global Fashion Management Conference at Vienna, Vienna, Austria. 6 July - 9 July 2017. 2017 GFMC at Vienna Proceedings. 10.15444/GFMC2017.02.06.04
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jennifer Young
  • Osburg, V. S., Strack, M., Conroy, D. M., & Toporowski, W. (2016). How ethical product information is presented matters – especially to consumers who care. Paper presented at AMA Summer Conference, Atlanta Georgia USA. 5 August - 8 August 2016. 2016 Summer AMA Proceedings.
  • Conroy, D. (2016). An exploration of factors influencing Chinese consumers expectations of corporate social responsibility. Paper presented at The 2016 Academy of Marketing Science World Marketing Congress, Paris, France. 19 July - 23 July 2016. The 2016 Academy of Marketing Science World Marketing Congress. (pp. seven).
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Biljana Juric

Contact details

Primary office location

Level P1, Room P101A
New Zealand