20 Mar 2023

Professor Geoff Easton - RIP

Geoff Easton.jpg

It is with great sadness that we announce that Professor Geoff Easton passed away peacefully at home on Sunday 5th March 2023. Our thoughts are with his family at his very sad time.

Geoff moved to Lancaster University as Lecturer in Marketing in 1973 – where he spent the rest of his stellar academic career. He was Head of Department from 1987 to 1999, a leading figure in the Management School, and a leading light within the Industrial Purchasing and Marketing (IMP Group), which transformed the way industrial and business-to-business marketing was studied and understood. Best known for his work on industrial networks, Geoff was also a significant contributor to the British Academy of Management and the Society for Advanced Management Studies (SAMS). He was the first to bring a critical realist approach to understand industrial networks, using the case research method to reveal the everyday practices of managers working to build relations and business-to-business markets. His work has attracted thousands of citations and will continue to inspire researchers around the world.

Geoff’s generosity and public-spirited nature, especially as Head of Department, created an education and research culture that allowed others to thrive. As a scholar, Geoff listened, guided, and often provoked colleagues and doctoral students to question their assumptions and elaborate their arguments. Geoff’s supervision of doctoral students and support for early career researchers became legendary in Lancaster and further afield. Geoff’s generosity often extended to using his family home, in Lancaster, where he and Helen, his wife, welcomed and hosted colleagues, visitors and their families.

Geoff always understood that being an academic was a privilege. He made the most of every international trip, whether to examine a PhD thesis, attend an international conference or deliver a talk or lecture. He enjoyed his walks in the Lake District, climbing all of 214 of Wainwrights’ peaks, the largest of which, Scafell Pike, stands at 3210 feet. The highest peak in England was referred to by Geoff as a fell. He often gained inspiration for his academic work from these walks returning to the department with a contagious enthusiasm for innovative ideas and projects.

Professor Geoff Easton was an extraordinary academic and individual, who will be hugely missed by colleagues all over the world. The lives of countless academics were enriched for working, collaborating with, or simply having met him. A renowned scholar, a kind and most generous individual, and a true and loyal friend to many. May he rest in peace.


A remembrance service for Geoff will be held on Friday 31st March at 3 pm at Lancaster University Chaplaincy Centre. The family have requested no flowers please. Donations if desired would be respectfully received for the Bone Cancer Research Trust or the Alzheimer's Society. Following the service there will be refreshments at Lancaster House Hotel.

Further details including how to watch a live stream of the service of celebration are available on the funeral directors webpages.