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Donna Smith

Dr. Donna Smith

Director, Retail Management | Professor
DepartmentRetail Management
EducationBA, MBA, DBA
OfficeTRS 3-028
Phone(416) 979-5000 ext: 554827


Donna Smith’s research has two streams: B2B and B2C. Her most recent survey examines inter-organizational trust between social media platforms and their business partners in the US. From a consumer perspective, she recently conducted a study on Millennials and their purchase intention in a social media-marketing context. A new research stream explores the operationalization and testing of employee brand equity on Instagram in the fitness and health industry. In 2021, Dr. Smith won the Yeates School of Graduate Studies Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Award for her work in implementing wellbeing into the Ted Rogers MBA curriculum. 

In the classroom, Professor Smith enjoys lots of action and challenges with elements of discovery along the way. She brings in leading retailers to work with students on “live” case study competitions - with Louis Vuitton (external link, opens in new window) , McDonald's, TOPSHOP, Buffalo Jeans, and Nordstrom as examples of retailers that have collectively challenged hundreds of TRSRM students to develop innovative ideas for their businesses. In the Ted Rogers MBA program Dr. Smith’s students do consulting projects with companies around the world, based on industry themes. For example, MBA student teams have worked with coffee growers in Columbia who aimed to export their products globally.

Donna Smith uses both quantitative and qualitative methods in her research. For example, when examining the factors that impact purchase intention or inter-organizational trust, she builds and tests structural models using SmartPLS. In her research on employee brand equity on Instagram, she collects large data sets and analyzes them using multiple software programs. She enjoys problem-solving and working with graduate students.

Journal Articles
Smith, D. (March 8, 2022). “Let’s close the gender gap on financial literacy.” The Globe and Mail (Ontario Edition) Report on Business.
Smith, D., Jacobson, J., Rudkowski, J. (2021). Employees as influencers: measuring employee brand equity in a social media age. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 30(6): 834-853.
Smith, D. and Neiborg, D.B., “An exploration of interorganizational trust in social media platform partnerships”, 10th International Conference on Social Media & Society, Toronto, Canada, July 19-21, 2019.
Smith, D., Jacobson, J., and Rudkowski, J., “An Exploration of Employee Brand Equity on Instagram”, 10th International Conference on Social Media & Society, Toronto, Canada, July 19-21, 2019.
Emily Raymond, Smith, D. (co-authors), and Hair, Joseph F. (2017). “Marketing a Luxury Brand Through Digital Storytelling: An Analysis of Campaign Diffusion Through YouTube and Instagram (external link) .” 2017 Global Fashion Marketing Conference. Vienna, Austria, July 6-9, 2017.
Smith, D., Hernández-García, Á., Agudo Peregrina, Á.F., and Hair, J.F. “Social Network Marketing: A Segmentation Approach to Understanding Purchase Intention (external link) .” Accepted for the International Conference on Social Media & Society, London, UK, July 11-13, 2016.
Lee, Seung Hwan (Mark), Smith, D., Sergueeva, Ksenia (2016). What do students think about group work in business education? (external link)  An investigation into the benefits, challenges, and student suggested solutions. Journal of Education for Business, 91(7): 380-386.
Smith, D., Hair Jr, J. F., & Ferguson, K. (2014). An investigation of the effect of family influence on Commitment–Trust in retailer–vendor strategic partnerships (external link) Journal of Family Business Strategy, 5(3), 252-263.
Sarstedt, M., Ringle, C. M., Smith, D., Reams, R., & Hair Jr., J. F. (2014). Partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM): A useful tool for family business researchers (external link) Journal of Family Business Strategy, 5(1), 105-115.

Teaching in 2021-2022

MB812: Managing Customer Value
This advanced marketing course examines the delivery of value from B2C and B2B perspectives. It focuses on how management of relationships and processes across the value chain contribute to the delivery of value to stakeholders, including shareholders, customers, and community members. The course provides insight into marketing strategies and actions that disrupt the marketplace, society, and sustainability. 1 Credit.

MB8018 Capstone Project – International or Canadian Experience
This capstone option allows students to gain an understanding of a specific cultural, business, political and economic environment impacting businesses. They will meet with business executives and with community stakeholders. Under the guidance of a faculty member, students will work with a community group or business to transfer knowledge or solve a problem. Students will attend pre-travel training and bootcamp sessions prior to departing to select destinations. In the host countries/communities, students will gain first-hand experience and an understanding of a unique business culture directly from industry experts. Students will visit local companies and participate in cultural activities.

Teaching in 2019-2020:
RMG 917 Experiential Learning: International Study
RMG 922 Retail 2.0 Social Media Marketing
Prior Courses Taught:
RMG 302
Retail Consumer Insight
RMG 500 Retail Strategy
RMG 821 Research and Analytics in Social Media
RMG 907 Relationship Marketing
RMG 914 Sector Studies, Fashion