The American Marketing Association has ranked Ravi Dhar, the George Rogers Clark Professor of Management and Marketing and director of the Center for Customer Insights, as the single most productive scholar publishing in premier marketing journals over the past five years.
The ranking of the top 50 marketing scholars, conducted in December by the AMA’s marketing doctoral student group, was among a series of citations that Dhar received in 2013. In November, Dhar’s alma mater, the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, honored him with a distinguished alumni award, and in March the Society of Consumer Psychology gave Dhar its Distinguished Scientific Research award.
Dhar credited the Center for Customer Insights at Yale SOM as a “good idea bank” for his research. At CCI, student teams partner with leading corporations, such as IBM, Google, and PepsiCo, to explore consumer questions that the businesses are confronting. “What we have is leaders in practice working with leaders in academia,” Dhar said. “The key is to make sure the problems we take on are asking important research questions. The focus is to help create new knowledge by meshing rigor and relevance.”
The consumer issues explored are often at the frontier of how business is changing today, Dhar said. As examples, he cited two recent CCI projects, one examining the effects of electronic multitasking (e.g., watching TV while browsing on a smartphone) on consumer attention span, and the other exploring strategies for encouraging people to engage in healthy behaviors.
From its inception eight years ago, CCI has had a clear mission, Dhar said: “We want to focus on the questions about consumer behavior that keep business and policy leaders awake at night. The research is problem-driven.”