About Us

Alan Rae

Alan Rae combines researching how small businesses use the internet with being the chairman of a family horticultural businesses that sells plants and tools for keen gardeners on line.  It’s based at Fletching Glasshouses which also produces organic vegetables for the local market.

Alan has been involved in a long running collaboration with Lisa Harris. Their work has resulted in “Abandoned Heroes” which deals with how small companies use IT and Punch Above Your Weight which analysed how early adopters were using web 2.0 techniques for marketing and collaboration and turned it into a successful training workshop.

More recently they’ve looked at how academics and supply chain companies use social media, how small companies market themselves (for BNI) and what makes people trust one web site rather than another (for Yell).

Alan is a past chair of the CIM South East region and is the author of “Social Media for Real Businesses” and “Growing Jobs”.  He holds a D Phil from the University of Oxford in plant science and was recently the SEEDA horticultural workforce champion.

Lisa Harris

Lisa is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Southampton School of Management. She was previously Course Director of the Brunel MBA at Brunel Business School where she developed and ran a cross-faculty undergraduate degree programme in e-commerce.  Lisa is also a qualified e-tutor for the University of Liverpool online MBA.

Lisa’s  research interests lie in the disruptive role of technology in business, education and society. She is currently working on projects to encourage the development of digital identity and investigate the effectiveness of online activism. Previously she ran ‘Punch Above Your Weight’ with Alan Rae which investigated how small firms promoted themselves and grew their businesses using Web 2.0 technologies. She is also running various projects to integrate aspects of open learning into the MSc curriculum at Southampton. Before joining the education sector Lisa worked for several years in marketing roles within the international banking industry.


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