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Dr Edward Wei

Biography

Edward holds a PhD degree from UTS, a Master of Business degree from QUT and a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), China. Edward has been working in university research institutes since 2007. He has worked on many research grants and commercial projects involving both research and project related activities.

Before working in university, Edward was a market research professional with many years of experience in various roles, including researcher, quantitative analyst, online panel and survey manager, and operation manager in major market research companies such as AC Nielsen and AMR Interactive. He has extensive experience in conducting both tracking and customised research projects for public and private sectors.

Senior Research Associate, Marketing Discipline Group
Associate Member, CENSOC
PhD (UTS)
 

Research Interests

Edward’s research interests cover implications of choice models, decision supports systems, data analytics, and judgment and decision making in consumer and business research. Edward’s PhD topic is on integrating choice model, learning theory and intelligent tutoring system to improve people’s predictions on choice probabilities. Edward’s early research also covered international marketing problems such as entry mode strategies into Asia.

Conferences

Burke, P.F., Zlatevska, N. & Wei, X. 2016, 'How Health Claims in Food Choices Are Evaluated: What Consumers Nominate as Essential versus Intended Behaviour', Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Burke, P.F. & Wei, X. 2015, 'The public opposition to university deregulation', Innovation and Growth Strategies in Marketing, ANZMAC 2015, Australia and New Zealand Marketing Academy, Sydney, Australia, pp. 830-837.
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This study examines findings from recent surveys conducted to understand public opinion towards the Federal government's proposed changes to higher education. Frequently labelled 'deregulation', these changes include modifications to the HECS-HELP system, government funding reductions, and provision for universities to determine tuition fees for domestic students. Our research shows that public opinion amongst those familiar with universities strongly oppose deregulation and will impact voting behaviour. The overwhelming feedback is to maintain the existing HECS-HELP system, with possible modifications in the form of flexible repayment parameters and refined tuition bands. With such negative market responses, this study indicates a potential higher education policy failure. However, our findings also indicate alternative policy changes to appease public expectations
Burke, P.F., Sethi, S. & Wei, X. 2015, 'The multiple benefits of brands and features: Evaluating the position of breads on health, taste, and value', Innovation and Growth Strategies in Marketing, ANZMAC 2015, Australia and New Zealand Marketing Academy, Sydney, Australia.
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We outline a framework outlining how product positioning occurs in a multi-dimensional consideration of brand benefits, whilst accounting for how product features further shape product positioning. Respondents evaluated supermarket breads described by brands and a variety of features (e.g., flour, claims, price). A holistic evaluation was made with respect to health, taste, value and overall preference. A brand's relative position on multiple benefits was derived via a discrete choice model, simultaneously accounting for the impact that product features have on these same dimensions. This allows a direct comparison of the drivers of positioning from a holistic, multi-attribute multi-brand perspective. The results show the strong value that brands have in driving positioning, but also the role of some features in furthering this. The research compliments other frameworks and methods in product positioning, and we outline its extension to benefit segmentation.
Southwood, T.J., Foot, C., Hickson, E., Flynn, T., Louviere, J.J., Roodenburg, O., Bilgrami, I., Bradford, G., Wei, X. & Huynh, E. 2014, 'Comparative evaluation of a new chest drain training model using best-worse choice analysis', American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, American Thoracic Society 2014 International Conference, American Thoracic Society, San Diego, USA, pp. A2792-A2792.
Burke, P.F., Louviere, J.J., Wei, X.I.N., MacAulay, G., Quail, K. & Carson, R. 2013, 'Overcoming challenges and improvements in best-worst elicitation: Determining what matters to Japanese wheat millers', Proceedings of International Choice Modelling Conference 2013, International Choice Modelling Conference 2013, Open Conference Systems, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-19.
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Knowing how to produce what types of wheat with what characteristics and in what quantities is a key challenge for producer countries like Australia to successfully export wheat to various markets that consume it. Both producers and consumers would benefit by better matching what is produced to what the market(s) prefer and are willing to pay to have produced. Analysis of decision-maker choices is difficult as there are only a small number of millers in any one country that make buying decisions. Moreover, the buyers tend to use an extensive list of quality characteristics to inform their purchases. This research provides details of some of the insights that have been gained into this decision making context using best-worst scaling (BWS), as a choice-based measurement and modelling approach. The survey instrument was administered using CAPI in personal interviews with Japanese flour millers. A small number of flour millers in Japan supply the entire government regulated market with products like Udon and Ramen noodles. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 14 individuals from four different companies that account for about 74 per cent of wheat flour production in Japan. These individuals play various roles in wheat buying, production, distribution and marketing, such as production managers, quality control specialists and new product and scientific development managers. Based on the literature and pilot discussions with wheat buyers, a list was compiled of 31 factors (attributes) that could be considered by the individuals who influence wheat buying decisions. These included technical attributes (e.g., viscograph peak height; farinograph dough stability, etc) as well as attributes common in most business-to-business trade settings that are often cited as important in many agricultural trade contexts (e.g., price; country of origin; uniformity of shipment, etc).
Fine, B., Menictas, C. & Wei, X.I.N. 2007, 'The superiority of panel research: a fast food choice modeling case study using online panel research', ESOMAR Publications, Panel Research Collection 2007, ESOMAR Panel Research, ESOMAR, Orlando, USA, pp. 1-13.
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This paper presents a nationwide price optimisation study for a fast-food companys menu in Australia. * We demonstrate the benefits of combining the practicality of online panels with discrete choice modelling. * As discrete choice models involve trade-offs between alternatives, the full set of alternatives for each choice task is best represented using web-based visual choice tasks. * Data solicitation via online panels is not constrained by geography when compared to CATI or face-to-face methods, hence their unique ability to effortlessly capture nationwide representation. * The amount of information in discrete choice experimental output is oftentimes overwhelming and recently the practice has been to present clients with a decision support system (DSS), to simplify the amount of data the user has to deal with when interpreting the results. * The DSS allows the user to simulate price changes and visually appreciate the impact to market share. * We present a state of the art DSS, which dramatically reduces the amount of information users typically deal with when interpreting the output of discrete choice models.

Journal articles

Russell, G., Burke, P.F., Waller, D.S. & Wei, X. 2017, 'The impact of front-of-pack marketing attributes versus nutrition and health information on parents' food choices', Appetite, vol. 116, no. September, pp. 328-338.
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Front-of-pack attributes have the potential to affect parents' food choices on behalf of their children and form one avenue through which strategies to address the obesogenic environment can be developed. Previous work has focused on the isolated effects of nutrition and health information (e.g. labeling systems, health claims), and how parents trade off this information against co-occurring marketing features (e.g. product imagery, cartoons) is unclear. A Discrete Choice Experiment was utilized to understand how front-of-pack nutrition, health and marketing attributes, as well as pricing, influenced parents' choices of cereal for their child. Packages varied with respect to the two elements of the Australian Health Star Rating system (stars and nutrient facts panel), along with written claims, product visuals, additional visuals, and price. A total of 520 parents (53% male) with a child aged between five and eleven years were recruited via an online panel company and completed the survey. Product visuals, followed by star ratings, were found to be the most significant attributes in driving choice, while written claims and other visuals were the least significant. Use of the Health Star Rating (HSR) system and other features were related to the child's fussiness level and parents' concerns about their child's weight with parents of fussy children, in particular, being less influenced by the HSR star information and price. The findings suggest that front-of-pack health labeling systems can affect choice when parents trade this information off against marketing attributes, yet some marketing attributes can be more influential, and not all parents utilize this information in the same way.
Barnard, A.S., Louviere, J.J., Wei, X. & Zadorin, L. 2016, 'Using Hypothetical Product Configurators to Measure ConsumerPreferences for Nanoparticle Size and Concentration in Sunscreens', Design Science.
Although nanoparticles have been shown to have clear technological advantages, their use in some consumer products remains controversial, particularly where these products come in direct contact with our bodies. There has been much discussion about using metal oxide nanoparticles in sunscreens, and numerous technology assessments aimed at predicting the type, size and concentration of nanoparticles and surface treatments that will be best for consumers. Yet, the optimal configuration is ultimately the one that people actually want and are willing to pay for, but until now consumer preferences have not been included in model predictions. We describe and discuss a proof of concept study in which we design and implement a hypothetical sunscreen product configurator to predict how people tradeoff sun protection factor (SPF), product transparency and potential toxicity from reactive oxygen species (ROS) in configuring their most preferred sunscreen. We also show that preferred nanoparticle sizes and concentrations vary across demographic groups. Our results suggest that while consumers choose to reduce or eliminate potential toxicity when possible, they do not automatically sacrifice high SPF and product transparency to avoid the possibility of toxicity from ROS. We discuss some advantages of using product configurators to study potential product designs and suggest some future research possibilities.
Laurenceson, J., Burke, P.F. & Wei, E. 2015, 'The Australian Public's Preferences Over Foreign Investment in Agriculture', Agenda. A Journal Of Policy Analysis & Reform, vol. 22, no. 1.
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This paper estimates a model of how the Australian public's preferences over foreign investment in agriculture are determined. The results show that the attributes of foreign investment of greatest concern to the public are not the same as those used by the foreign investment approvals regime to flag proposals for scrutiny
Carson, R., Louviere, J.J. & Wei, E. 2010, 'Alternative Australian climate change plans: The public's views', Energy Policy, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 902-911.
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Climate change has come to the forefront of Australian politics and there is now an active on-going policy debate about how to best reach a commonly agreed long term goal. This paper looks at five major dimensions of this debate and constructs policy options based on them. A discrete choice experiment approach was used with a representative sample from a major internet panel provider. Survey respondents made choices between pairs of policy options with different characteristics. They favored policies starting in 2010 rather than 2012, and spending 20% of revenue raised on energy-related R&D. They were almost evenly split on whether the plan should initially exempt the transport sector and two competing approaches that redistribute revenue from the plan, and, they opposed plans giving special treatment to energy-intensive sectors of the economy. A number of other policy relevant questions related to understanding Australian views and knowledge related to climate change also were asked.