Bill Ross

Marketing Alumni Event

Pictured L to R: Professor William Ryan, Outstanding Alumnus Stewart Lander and Interim Department Head Bill Ross at the reception.
Pictured L to R: William Ryan, Outstanding Alumnus Stewart Lander and Interim Department Head Bill Ross at the reception.

Marketing Alumni Event Makes an Impact on Students

On March 25, UConn marketing faculty, alumni, students, and professionals gathered in the Benton Art Museum for the annual Marketing Student and Alumni Networking Event to exchange ideas, experiences, and advice. Surrounded by a Husky Basketball exhibit, “In the Paint: Basketball in Contemporary Art,” delicious food, and good company, all attendees enjoyed conversation about careers, school, and the terrible spring weather. This event strengthens relationships between all involved, and provides students the opportunity to build relationships at UConn and beyond.

Keynote speaker Stewart Lander, class of 1980, challenged the group with the line: “If you skipped class, took off work, or stayed out instead of going home, would you be missed?” In essence, what sets you apart from others? Stewart stressed the importance of finding your passion, building quality and lasting relationships, pursuing lifelong learning, and providing service to those around you.

Lander, who earned his master’s degree from UConn, has more than 30 years of experience in selling and leading large sales teams in the financial services industry. Named the 2013-2014 Outstanding Alumnus by the Marketing Department, his involvement in the school and community reflects the foundation of his speech. His words resonated with both professionals and faculty, who have experienced the truth of his words, and with the students, who look to follow the framework as they enter new careers.

About the event, Lander noted that, “the networking events give me a chance to interact with students and hear their enthusiasm regarding their vision for their futures. Alumni have much to offer these students, and want to assist students, just as they were helped when they were students.”

Senior marketing student Paige Gregory agrees: “Networking is incredibly valuable, but it can also be somewhat stressful. Networking with UConn alum, however, takes off some of the additional pressure. These are people who have, quite literally, walked in our shoes and are eager to help in whatever way they can.”

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Addthis

“I’m Moral But I Won’t Help You” – The Distinct Roles of Empathy and Justice in Donations

Journal of Consumer Research, (forthcoming)

William T. Ross, Jr. Co-Authors: Saerom Lee, Karen Page Winterich

Americans tend to think of donating to charitable causes as a moral, prosocial behavior, but understanding what makes people donate is not well understood. Professor Bill Ross and his colleagues examine how moral identity, defined as “how important being a moral person is” affects prosocial behaviors. Usually having a strong moral identity increases how much prosocial behavior the person engages in. However, sometimes individuals with a strong moral identity make lower donations to charitable causes. Four studies demonstrate that someone high in moral identity gives less when those whom they would be helping, the recipients, are seen by the potential donor as personally responsible for their plight, for example if they have AIDS because they shared hypodermic needles while taking illegal drugs.

Further analyses reveal that empathy and justice underlie these effects. Specifically, people high in moral identity increase donations to recipients who they view as not responsible for their plight out of empathy and decrease donations to recipients who they see as responsible for their plight because of justice concerns. Additionally and interestingly, people who are high in moral identity will donate to recipients who are responsible for their plight if donors are made aware of their own immorality, as it causes them have greater fellow-feeling, or empathy, for these recipients. Study results indicate that moral identity, empathy, and justice in communication programs are likely to affect donations.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Addthis

2014 Marketing Faculty Awards

  • Nicholas Lurie, associate professor of marketing, received the School of Business 2014 Best Paper Award for his Journal of Marketing Research article, “Temporal Contiguity and Negativity Bias in the Impact of Online Word of Mouth,” co-authored with Zoey Chen, University of Miami.
  • Bill Ross, Voya Financial Global Chair and professor of marketing,  and coauthors Hang Thu Nguyen, Michigan State University, and Joseph Golec, University of Connecticut, received the Best Paper Award in the Branding Track at the 2014 American Marketing Association Winter Educators Conference for their paper titled, Acquisition Value Creation: The Role of Marketing Relationships in Uncertain Environments.
  • Girish Punj, professor of marketing, received the School of Business Graduate Teaching Award.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Addthis

Research Study by Professor Bill Ross Finds Charitable Giving Hinges on Perception of ‘Worthiness’

Charities assisting people perceived as responsible for their plight may have a difficult time attracting donations, says a new study.

With more than $200 billion donated to causes each year in the United States alone, consumers are inundated with donation requests from charities supporting an array of recipients. Contrary to the idea that people who fit the profile of “givers” are uniformly charitable, their donations may be based on information or preconceived notions about the beneficiaries.

“As consumers have limited financial resources to allocate to charitable giving, they may evaluate how ‘deserving’ the recipients are before making donations,” according to William T. Ross, Jr., ING Global chair and professor of marketing at University of Connecticut and the paper’s co-author. “It’s not only the characteristics of the giver that determine their likelihood of donating, but of characteristics they perceive in the recipient.”

The finding contradicts previous studies that have focused on characteristics of people with the option to give suggesting an important boundary particularly among the most charitable—those defined as having a strong moral identity.
Ross was part of a team of researchers led by Saerom Lee, a doctoral student, and Karen Page Winterich, assisting professor of marketing at the Pennsylvania State University. Their findings are published in the latest Journal of Consumer Research.

The team looked at the responses of 600 participants studied in four scenarios.

In one, researchers examined the response of participants who were given an amount of cash to donate to a real nonprofit organization, the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers.

Participants were asked to choose between donating to medical patients described alternately as having a low-level of responsibility for their situations and those having a high-level of responsibility. The recipients were described either as unable to pay for medical treatment because of “low-wage jobs with poor benefits due to economic conditions” or unable to pay for treatment because of inability “to hold a steady job due to their drug and alcohol abuse or gambling addiction.”

The findings indicate that charitable organizations marketing their causes need to be cautious when describing the beneficiaries that they support, particularly if the recipient could be perceived as responsible for their plight and, by extension, undeserving.

According to the researchers, even when charities do not specifically highlight the responsibility of their recipients, consumers tend to assign their own preconceived notions about beneficiaries in stigmatized groups. For example, the plight of the homeless or drug addicts is often attributed to their own behaviors.

The study was funded by a Smeal Small Research Grant from the Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University and is based on the dissertation by author Saerom Lee, which was the winner or the 2013 Society for Consumer Psychology Dissertation Proposal Competition.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Addthis

Bill Ross and Co-authors Receive Prestigious Lehmann Award

Bill Ross, ING Global Professor, and his colleagues, Sanjay Puligadda (Miami University) and Rajdeep Grewal (Penn State University) were awarded the coveted Lehmann Award for their article, “Individual Differences in Brand Schematicity,” Journal of Marketing Research (February 2012). The Lehmann Award (in honor of Donald R. Lehmann, Columbia University) is given annually to the best dissertation-based paper (within the past 2 years) in either of the two premier marketing journals, Journal of Marketing and Journal of Marketing Research. The article was Puligadda’s dissertation, which he completed at Penn State with Ross and Grewal as his advisers.

If you had decided to buy a camera, would you focus on which brands the store carried? Or, would you focus on the characteristics of the different cameras the store had in stock?

This paper suggests that if you are high in brand schematicity, you would be more likely to attend to the different brands the store carried, whereas if you were low in brand schematicity you would be more likely to attend to the characteristics of the cameras the store carried.

A schema is a set of expectations a person has about what will happen in a certain situation. Most folks, for example, have a schema for what they will experience in a fast food restaurant. Schematicity is the tendency on the part of consumers to process information using specific schema. People who are high in brand schematicity are likely to process products in terms of brands, not product characteristics, whereas people who are low in brand schematicity are likely to process products in terms of product characteristics not brands.

Don’t confuse brand schematicity with brand loyalty. Someone who is high in brand schematicity does not necessarily have a preference for a certain brand; instead, they have a preference to organize their thinking by brands.

In this article, Ross, Puligadda, and Grewal built a theoretical basis for brand schematicity and report on three studies that develop measures of brand schematicity; three studies that consider brand schematicity in the context of associated constructs and establish its predictive validity; and a final study that reveals that a consumer’s brand schematicity influences brand extension evaluations.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Addthis

Marketing Department Newsletter, Winter 2014


Marketing Department NewsletterAs 2014 enters with the BIG CHILL, we are excited to share news from Fall 2013!

On the faculty front, we bid farewell to Subhash Jain, who received the American Marketing Association’s 2013 Significant Contributions to Global Marketing Award, and retired in December. We welcomed three scholars with expertise in digital marketing and analytics. Jane Gu, Ph.D, works in digital marketing and distribution channels; Jane is teaching New Media Marketing Strategies. David Norton, Ph.D., is a recent graduate from University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business; Dr. Norton’s research focuses on consumer behavior in the digital marketing environment; he is teaching Introduction to Marketing Management. Hee Mok Park, Ph.D., a recent graduate of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, focuses on empirical modeling of marketing problems, and will be teaching Marketing and Data Analytics.

Our students continue to make us proud! Josh Lagan ’14 was named one of the Top 10 Student Sports Business Leaders, Caitlin Taylor ’14 shares her internship experiences in marketing and social media, and Pi Sigma Epsilon, our sales and marketing fraternity, hosted the 2013 Northeast Regional Conference!

Our alumni continue to be important partners! John Fodor, Executive Vice President of American Funds Distributors, Inc., Capital Research Management Company, was named our 2012-13 Outstanding Alumnus. John is our keynote speaker at the Department’s Student and Alumni Networking Reception on February 10(register at We hope to see you there! We greatly appreciate the creation of scholarship funds for our students and gifts to the Marketing and Business Law Endowment for Excellence.

Each newsletter highlights contributions of our faculty. Please read more about Bill Ross award winning article, “Individual Differences in Brand Schematicity” and Robin Coulter’s recent work on the effects of automatic color preference on consumer choice. At the 2013 American Business Law Conference, our Business Law faculty were revered, “their research, teaching, and service to the academy makes the UConn business law faculty one of the most prominent cohorts in the discipline,” and Mark DeAngelis was again honored as one of four national Master Teacher finalists for the Charles M. Hewitt Master Teacher Competition.

Our best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014!

Best regards,

Robin Coulter

Robin Coulter
Department Head
Professor of Marketing
Marketing Department

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Addthis

Marketing Department Fall 2013 Newsletter Now Available

Education takes many roads! In January, Professor Bill Ross led an MBA group to Lyon, France, and in June, Professor Robin Coulter led the Executive MBA Class of 2014 on their trip to Beijing, China (see the photos here). Both trips were filled with enriching academic and cultural experiences.

We are pleased to share these with you in our latest newsletter, along with exciting updates from our undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. programs here in Connecticut.

>>Access the Fall 2013 Marketing Department Newsletter (PDF)

In this issue, you’ll read about our undergraduate students who developed a promotional and advertising campaign for the Honda Civic sedan and graduate students who tackled marketing challenges for The Palace – Stamford Center for the Arts and News America Marketing.

You’ll find that we are also looking forward to some exciting research: Professors Hongju Liu, Nicholas Lurie, and Joseph Pancras received prestigious Marketing Science Institute grants for their proposals on mobile marketing.

View the full newsletter here to learn more. We are looking forward to a great 2013-14 academic year!

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Addthis

Ph.D. Student Teaching Awards 2013

On February 27, business PhD students and coordinators for the five Ph.D. concentrations celebrated student accomplishments during the last year at the sixth annual “Ph.D. Student Night of Appreciation.” School of Business Dean John Elliott was also in attendance, providing the doctoral students with an opportunity to chat with him informally.

At this event, we announced the winners of the school’s 2013 PhD Student Teaching Awards. Each of the five Ph.D. program concentrations gave a teaching award to a qualified student in their concentration. The coordinators of the five concentrations (John Phillips – ACCT, Joseph Golec – FNCE, Qing Cao – MGMT, Bill Ross – MKTG, and Jan Stallaert – OPIM) then decided as a group which of the winners of a teaching award in a concentration would receive this year’s School of Business teaching award. Dean Elliott made the announcement.

The winners of the 2013 teaching awards in each concentration are:

Accounting – Elizabeth Kohl

Finance – Tingyu Zhou

Marketing – Jeff Carlson

Management – Lauren D’Innocenzo

OPIM – Gang Wang

The winner of the 2013 School of Business Ph.D. Teaching Award (program-wide) is:

Management – Lauren D’Innocenzo

Please join us in congratulating these doctoral students for their superb performance in the classroom and as outstanding teacher-scholars.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Addthis

Ph.D. Student Teaching Awards

On March 22, the Ph.D. students and coordinators for the five Ph.D. concentrations met at Willington Pizza for a “BUS Ph.D. Student Night of Appreciation,” where we celebrated student accomplishments during the last year.

At this event, we announced the winners of the school’s 2012 Ph.D. student teaching awards.  Each of the five Ph.D. program concentrations gave a teaching award to a qualified student in their concentration.  The coordinators of the five concentrations (John Phillips – ACCT,  Joe Golec – FNCE,  Lucy Gilson – MGMT,  Bill Ross – MKTG, and Jan Stallaert – OPIM), along with the program director (Gary Powell), then decided as a group which of the winners of a teaching award in a concentration would receive this year’s School of Business teaching award.Continue Reading

Ph.D. Student Night of Appreciation

On March 24, the University of Connecticut School of Business Ph.D.  students and coordinators for School’s five Ph.D. concentrations met at Willington Pizza for a “BUS Ph.D. Student Night of Appreciation,” to celebrate student accomplishments during the last year.

The winners of the School’s 2011 Ph.D.  student teaching awards were announced at this event.  Each of the five Ph.D. program concentrations gave a teaching award to a qualified student in their concentration.  The coordinators of the five concentrations (John Phillips – ACCT,  Joe Golec – FNCE,  Lucy Gilson – MGMT,  Bill Ross – MKTG, and  Jan Stallaert – OPIM), along with the program director (Gary Powell), then decided as a group which of the winners of a teaching award in a concentration would receive this year’s School of Business teaching award.

The winner of the 2011 School of Business Ph.D. Student Teaching Award is Reilly White.

The winners of the 2011 teaching awards in the concentrations are:

Accounting – Erin Henry

Finance – Reilly White

Marketing – Hang Nguyen

Management – Michael Kukenberger

OPIM – Pantea Alirezazadeh

Pictured (left to right): Erin Henry, Pantea Alirezazadeh, Reilly White, Gary Powell, Hang Nguyen.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Addthis