Professor Tracy Harwood

Job: Professor of Digital Culture

Faculty: Technology

School/department: Institute of Creative Technologies

Research group(s): Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT)

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 207 8028




Personal profile

Twitter @tgharwood | @ioct_dmu | @ArtAIfestival
Skype Tracy.Harwood

Research group affiliations

Institute of Creative Technologies

Publications and outputs 

  • Trust and its predictors within a cyber-physical system context
    Trust and its predictors within a cyber-physical system context Garry, Tony; Harwood, Tracy This research aims to provide empirically derived insights into trust and its predictors within a cyber-physical system context of a household service. The methodology comprises an innovative mixed methods design encompassing a videographic animated film portraying a potential ‘slice of life’ household service system scenario that was subsequently incorporated into a quantitative survey. A total of 400 responses were then used to examine trust dimensions and their hypothesized predictors. Findings suggest trust is two dimensional with 'online networking competency', 'perceptions of risk', 'propensity to trust technology in general' and 'concerns about security' being significant predictors. Surprisingly, 'concerns about privacy' does not have a significant effect. The contribution of this research is twofold. Firstly, from a theoretical perspective, the paper offers empirical insights into trust and its predictors within a cyber-physical system context of a household service. Secondly, and from a pragmatic perspective, the model derived from this study may aid practitioners in developing trust strategies and trust management systems within such contexts. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Technological disruptions in Services: lessons from Tourism and Hospitality
    Technological disruptions in Services: lessons from Tourism and Hospitality Buhalis, Dimitrios; Harwood, Tracy; Bogicevic, Vanja; Viglia, Giampaolo; Beldona, Srikanth; Hofhacker, Charles Purpose – Technological disruptions such as the Internet of Things and autonomous devices, enhanced analytical capabilities (artificial intelligence) and rich media (virtual and augmented reality) are creating smart environments that are transforming industry structures, processes and practices. This paper explores critical technological advancements using a value co-creation lens to provide insights into service innovations that impact ecosystems. The paper provides examples from tourism and hospitality industries as an information dependent service management context. Design/Methodology/Approach - The research synthesizes prevailing theories of co-creation, service ecosystems, networks and technology disruption with emerging technological developments. Originality – Guest experiences in tourism and hospitality by definition take place in hostile environments that are outside the safety and familiarity of one’s own surroundings. The emergence of smart environments will redefine how customers navigate their experiences. At a conceptual level, this requires a complete rethink of how stakeholders should leverage technologies, engage and reengineer services to remain competitive. The paper illustrates how technology disrupts industry structures and stimulates value co-creation at the micro and macro-societal level. Societal Implications – Technological disruptions impact all facets of life. A comprehensive picture of developments here provides policymakers with nuanced perspectives to better prepare for impending change. Limitations – Tourism and hospitality services prevail under varying levels of infrastructure, organization and cultural constraints. This paper provides an overview of potential disruptions and developments and does not delve into individual destination types and settings. This will require future work that conceptualizes and examines how stakeholders may adapt within specific contexts.
  • Practising creativity to develop students in marketing
    Practising creativity to develop students in marketing Liu, Wen-Ling; Harwood, Tracy This paper presents the findings of a ‘client-based’ experiential learning innovation introduced into the curriculum of a postgraduate marketing and advertising programme at a UK higher education institution. Based on interview data from current and former students, academic staff and industry participants (representing an evaluation of up to five years post-implementation), and this research sought to offer empirically generated understanding of student engagement with creative problem-solving. Students worked in small groups to synthesize their prior learning of the subject in order to devise and competitively present an advertising campaign to a client firm. Findings highlighted the important role of realism in the approach adopted that led to the development of creative skills and resilience among the cohort. This paper concludes that whilst students place emphasis on skills that make them more flexible in the application of creative problem-solving, firms appear to value their fluency and ability to elaborate on their decision-making. With the increasingly prominent feature of experience in contemporary business and marketing programmes today, this paper therefore contributes to an understanding of the process and value of such experiential project-based teaching and learning approaches.
  • Convergence markets: Virtual Corpo[reality]
    Convergence markets: Virtual Corpo[reality] Harwood, Tracy; Garry, Tony; Belk, Russell open access article
  • Art-AI Festival website
    Art-AI Festival website Harwood, Tracy A website developed to support the Art-AI Festival - led by Harwood, the festival was a collaboration with Phoenix, Highcross and Luba Elliott, sponsored by #DMULocal. The festival events took place at Phoenix and Highcross between 30 April and 13 May 2018. The Festival was supported by social media account @ArtAIFestival and Instagram ArtAIFestLeics.
  • Value transformation in the lets play gaming sub-culture
    Value transformation in the lets play gaming sub-culture Harwood, Tracy; Boomer, Jason; Garry, Tony Let’s play is a globally significant phenomenon in creative online content generation that has evolved from gaming culture. Little is understood about the behavior and motivations of community participants to generate creative content or the values they associate with their creative work. This research explores the processes let’s play players engage in to transform and extract value from content generation, and the roles of firms in its development. Drawing on Bourdieu’s (1989) frames of capital, this research identifies four types of value (social, cultural, economic and symbolic) and examines the processes for content creation and sharing. Findings identify a complex interplay between the forms of value together with the paramount aim of creating symbolic value for delayed economic gain. This has implications for how firms involved in developing partnership propositions (such as platforms, game asset producers, games publishers) develop and extract future economic value. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
  • Robot relationships within communal/exchange service contexts: working paper
    Robot relationships within communal/exchange service contexts: working paper Garry, Tony; Harwood, Tracy Emergent technologies are rapidly transforming the nature of services and service experiences. One particular area predicted to have a significant impact on these is the integration of robots into service systems. However, extant literature on service provider-user encounters and their consequential relationships implicitly assumes that the key social agents involved are primarily human. This proposed research will address this gap by investigating the extent to which robot anthropomorphization/animacy influences user perceptions of competence/professionalism and/or social cognition. It considers the impact of these on provider-user relational trust within contrasting service contexts. Specifically, using an innovative methodological approach, it will examine the extent to which ‘communal’ and ‘exchange’ contexts are influential on relational development intention and the type of relationship sought by service users.
  • States of consciousness: performing sensory perceptions
    States of consciousness: performing sensory perceptions Stone, Sarah; Harwood, Tracy; Jones, Martin This conference discussion paper outlines the potential impacts of our emerging scientific understanding of the breadth of human (and non-human) sensory perceptions on the future of theatrical performance. We examine how sensory perspectives may be taught and learned by performers and audiences.
  • Cyborgian encounters in relationship marketing contexts
    Cyborgian encounters in relationship marketing contexts Harwood, Tracy; Garry, Tony The paper discusses the theoretical development and concepts that may apply to a new class of human-robot relationship for marketing contexts. The presentation will discuss the preliminary findings into how firms/brands may integrate cyborgian service actors into their propositions.
  • Creative Technologies and The City
    Creative Technologies and The City Harwood, Tracy The presentation was delivered as part of a themed panel on the roles of creative technologies in future smart cities. The session outlined how creative technologies have the capacity to transpose and transform traditional cities into new digital spaces, which are spatially and digitally literate. Creative and Cultural Industries Research Group

Click here for a full listing of Tracy Harwood‘s publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

Professor Harwood's research is transdisciplinary, working across computer science, arts, design, health and marketing subjects. Current projects relate to the application of emerging technologies to business and consumer contexts, including AI, Internet of Things, VR and AR. She has a management background in practice, with a PhD in negotiation behaviour, and is also manager of the university’s Usability Lab (see She is a specialist in mixed methods research and has taught on post-graduate and research development programmes on this approach, latterly focussing on practice-based research. She has published in leading marketing and digital creativity journals, including Journal of Services Management, Journal of Service Marketing, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Leonardo, Digital Creativity and Journal of Visual Culture. She is Area Editor for the European Innovation Alliance's Endorsed Transactions on Creative Technologies and a Programme Committee Member of the IEEE International Conference on Creative Lifestyle Computing.

Areas of teaching

Creative Technologies

Digital Culture

Creative Industries 

Marketing and consumer behaviour

Research methods

Courses taught

MA Digital Arts

MA/MSc Creative Technologies

MSc Creative Industries Management 

Practice-Based Research Doctoral Training Programme

Honours and awards

De Montfort University Teacher Fellow, 2003 

HEA National Teacher Fellow, 2004

Membership of professional associations and societies

Fellow, Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Higher Education Academy National Teacher Fellow (NTF)

Fellow, Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (FRSA)

Fellow, National Conference of University Professors (FNCUP)

Consultancy work

Usability and User Experience (UX) - see

Creative Industries

Digital Economy

Creative Technologies and Smart Cities

Current research students

Archer, Ben, Digitizing the Trinity Chapel font, De Montfort University (First)

Kokil, Uttam, Comparative study of two user experience models and their application in computer gaming (First).

Frize, James, New solutions to wicked problems: design processes for technology within music (Second).

Uwins, Michael, Immersive soundscapes for retail performance management (Second).

Completed –

Almakky, Abeer (2017), Safety-critical medical devices, changing patterns of interaction with insulin pump: an analytical framework (Second).

Lataifah, Mohammad (2015), Using design thinking to facilitate information technology service (First). 

Chang, Jimmy Man Tsun (2007), The impact of strategic partnering on performance in garment manufacturer-supplier relationships in the Hong Kong garment manufacturing industry (Second).

Externally funded research grants information

2018 InnovateUK Audiences of the Future (PI: Sophy Smith), £205,528 (total project £6.58M): Immersive performances of the future (partners: Royal Shakespeare Company, The Philharmonia Orchestra, Punchdrunk International, Manchester International Festival (MIF), Jingo Juice Ltd t/a Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF), Magic Leap, Intel, Epic Games, NESTA, i2 media, Goldsmiths University, Uni Portsmouth, Arts Council England, The Space, Phi Centre Montreal)

2017 InnovateUK Knowledge Transfer Partnership Scheme (KTP010965): Serendipity Artists Movement Limited, business development, £109,948

2017 University of Otago (PI Dr Tony Garry) Cyborg and relationship marketing research project development, NZ$20,000

2015 InternetNZ (PI Dr Tony Garry) Compromising Privacy for Convenience and Wellbeing on the Internet of Things, NZ$30,224

2014 University of Otago (PI Dr Tony Garry) Compromising Privacy for Convenience and Wellbeing on the Internet of Things, NZ$5,000

2014 AHRC Cultural Values Project (AH/L014203/1): Machinima: an investigation into the contribution of participatory user-generated machine-cinema to cultural values, £47,563.

2009 Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Scheme: Phoenix Square digital arts centre (KTP007720), international audience development for digital arts, £125,445.

2009 Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Scheme: Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People (KTP007325), social media development strategy, £93,319. 

2008 Arts and Humanities Research Council Catalyst Scheme: Creative Skills Workshops, £16,706.

Internally funded research project information

2018 De Montfort University, ART-AI Festival (May), Leicester, £4,000 (plus in kind support from partners Hammerson, Phoenix and Elliott)

2016 Confucius Institute and #DMULocal: Creative Technologies in the Public Realm, conference (with Dr Sophy Smith)

2011 HEIF5: Usability Lab 

2010 HIEF4: Creative Industries Supply Chains

Professional esteem indicators

Area Editor, European Alliance for Innovation’s Transactions on Creative Technologies

Programme Committee member: IEEE International Conference on Creative Lifestyle Computing

Current editorial review board memberships –

Journal of Creativity & Human Development (; Netdreamer Publications

Reviewer for –

Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Journal of Consumer Research, Management Decision, Journal of Marketing Communications, Direct Marketing, Convergence, Creativity & Human Development International, Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Packaging Technology and Science; and conferences: Academy of Marketing, European Marketing Academy, Australia & New Zealand Marketing Academy, CIGCHI Creativity & Cognition, Eye-Tracking South Africa annual conference, Higher Education Academy Annual Conference, Digital Arts and Culture Annual Conference, ISEA, International Conference on Computer Science & Application Engineering (CSAE 2018)

Usability Lab


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