Anne Coughlan
Anne Coughlan

Polk Bros. Chair in Retailing
Professor of Marketing

Print Overview

Anne Coughlan holds the Polk Brothers Chair in Retailing at the Kellogg School of Management. She joined the faculty in 1985. Dr. Coughlan’s main research interests are in the areas of distribution channels, sales force management and compensation, and pricing. Current research projects include modeling optimal restocking fees in returns management and how this affects consumer behavior and optimal pricing; measuring compliance, monitoring, and enforcement of MAP policies; wardrobing and optimal open-box retail sales; sales force diversification and optimal group incentive payments; optimal management of multi-level marketing distribution channels; and an international study of how taxation policies and job challenge interact in the setting of sales compensation in several European countries.

Dr. Coughlan was the lead author of Marketing Channels (a Prentice-Hall textbook) through its seventh edition. She serves as Associate Editor and member of the editorial board of the journal Marketing Science, as Editor in Chief of the SSRN Marketing Research Network and of its Quantitative Marketing e-Journal and the Marketing Science e-Journal.

For her excellence in teaching, Dr. Coughlan was the recipient of the school’s Executive Master’s Program Teacher of the Year Award for the best elective course in 1996 and again in 2003, as well as receiving the Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award in 2000-01. She teaches classes on distribution channel strategies at the MBA and executive MBA levels, and on quantitative models in marketing at the doctoral level.

Coughlan received her Ph.D. in Economics at Stanford University. Prior to her appointment at Kellogg, she was a professor at the business school of the University of Rochester; she was a Visiting Professor of Marketing at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France in 1997-98.

Areas of Expertise
Direct Marketing
Distribution Channels
International Marketing
Marketing Strategy/Planning/Policy
Pricing and Price Perception
Sales Force Management
Print Vita
PhD, 1982, Economics, Stanford University
BA, 1977, Economics, Stanford University, Honors and Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa

Academic Positions
John L. & Helen Kellogg Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2009-present
Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2007-2009
Associate Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1988-2007
Visiting Professor, INSEAD, 1997-1998
Assistant Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1985-1988
Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Management, University of Rochester, 1981-1985

Grants and Awards
Selling and Sales Management Special Interest Group's Excellence in Research Award, AMA, 2010
Academic Member, Incentive Compensation Advisory Board, Sales Management Association, 2010
Executive MBA Program Outstanding Teaching Awards, Kellogg School of Management, 2002, 1996
(EMP52 (Electives) 2002, EMP34 (Electives) 1996)
Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2000-2001

Editorial Positions
Advisory Board, The Sales Management Association, 2010-present
Co-Editor, Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, 1998-2005
Editorial Board, Journal of Marketing, 1996-2002
Editorial Board, Journal of Retailing, 1992-2001
Associate Editor, (Associate Book Review Editor) Journal of Marketing Research, 1991-1994
Editorial Board, Journal of Marketing Research, 1991-1993
Editorial Board, Marketing Letters, 1988-1993
Editorial Review Board, (Member of Editorial Selection Committee) Marketing Science, 1987-1988
Guest Editor, Journal of Retailing, 1995
Area Editor, Marketing Science, 1989-1994, 2007-present
Editorial Board, Marketing Science, 1984-1989, 2000-present
Editor, OPER Marketing Science eJournal
Co-Editor, Quantitative Marketing Research Network
Editorial Board, Review of Marketing Science (ROMS)
Editor, SSRN (Social Sciences Research Network)
Co-Editor, SSRN (Social Sciences Research Network)

Print Research
Research Interests
Channels of distribution, sales force management and compensation, competitive strategy, international applications of research in these areas

Shulman, Jeffrey D., Anne Coughlan and R. Canan Savaskan-Ebert. 2011. Managing Consumer Returns in a Competitive Environment. Management Science. 57(2): 347-362.
Coughlan, Anne, R. Canan Savaskan-Ebert and Jeffrey D. Shulman. 2010. Optimal Reverse Channel Structure for Consumer Product Returns. Marketing Science. 29: 1071-1085.
Coughlan, Anne, S. Chan Choi, Wujin Chu, Charles A. Ingene, Sridhar Moorthy, Paddy Padmanabhan, Jagmohan S. Raju, David Soberman, Richard Staelin and Z. John Zhang. 2010. Marketing Modeling Reality and the Realities of Marketing Modeling. Marketing Letters. 21(3): 317-333.
Coughlan, Anne, Dominique Rouzies, Erin Anderson and Dawn Iacobucci. 2009. Determinants of Pay Levels and Structures in Sales Organizations. Journal of Marketing. 73: 92-104.
Caldieraro, Fabio and Anne Coughlan. 2009. Optimal Sales Force Diversification and Group Incentive Payments. Marketing Science. 28(6): 1009-1026.
Shulman, Jeffrey D., Anne Coughlan and R. Canan Savaskan-Ebert. 2009. Optimal Restocking Fees and Information Provision in an Integrated Demand-Supply Model of Product Returns. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management. 11(4): 577-594.
Coughlan, Anne and Greg Shaffer. 2009. Price-Matching Guarantees, Retail Competition, and Product-Line Assortment. Marketing Science. 28(3): 580-588.
Bradlow, Eric and Anne Coughlan. 2009. Editorial: Analytical Transparency. Marketing Science. 28(3): 403-404.
Caldieraro, Fabio and Anne Coughlan. 2007. Spiffed-Up Channels: The Role of Spiffs in Hierarchical Selling Organizations. Marketing Science. 26(1): 31-51.
Shulman, Jeffrey D. and Anne Coughlan. 2007. Used Goods, Not Used Bads: Profitable Secondary Market Sales for a Durable Goods Channel. Quantitative Marketing and Economics. 5(2): 191-210.
Choi, S. Chan and Anne Coughlan. 2006. Private Label Positioning: Quality vs. Feature Differentiation from the National Brand. Journal of Retailing. 82(2): 79-93.
Duhachek, Adam, Anne Coughlan and Dawn Iacobucci. 2005. Results on the Standard Error of the Coefficient Alpha Index of Reliability. Marketing Science. 24(2): 294-301.
Coughlan, Anne and David Soberman. 2005. Strategic Segmentation Using Outlet Malls. International Journal of Research in Marketing. 22(1): 61-86.
Coughlan, Anne, Sanjog Misra and Chakravarthi Narasimhan. 2005. Salesforce Compensation: An Analytical and Empirical Examination of the Agency Theoretic Approach. Quantitative Marketing and Economics. 3(1): 5-39.
Coughlan, Anne and Vithala R. Rao. 2003. Recruiting Rookie Faculty: School, Candidate, Competition. Asian Journal of Marketing. 9(1)
Coughlan, Anne and Kent Grayson. 1998. Network Marketing Organizations: Compensation Plans, Retail Network Growth, and Profitability. International Journal of Research in Marketing. 15(5): 401-426.
Coughlan, Anne and Murali K. Mantrala. 1994. Dynamic Competitive Retail Pricing Behavior with Uncertainty and Learning. Managerial and Decision Economics. 15(1): 3-20.
Coughlan, Anne. 1992. Retail Pricing: Does Channel Length Matter. Managerial and Decision Economic. 13(3): 201-214.
Coughlan, Anne and Murali K. Mantrala. 1992. Dynamic Competitive Pricing Strategies. International Journal of Research in Marketing. 9(1): 91-108.
Coughlan, Anne and Chakravarthi Narasimhan. 1992. An Empirical Analysis of Salesforce Compensation Plans. Journal of Business. 65(1): 93-122.
Coughlan, Anne. 1991. New Technology Adoption in an Innovative Marketplace: Micro- and Macro- Level Decision Making Models. International Journal of Forecasting. 7(3): 257-270.
Coughlan, Anne and Subrata K. Sen. 1989. Salesforce Compensation: Theory and Managerial Implications. Marketing Science. 8(4): 324-342.
Coughlan, Anne. 1989. On Credible Delegation by Oligopolists: A Discussion of Distribution Channel Management. Management Science. 35(2): 226-239.
Coughlan, Anne. 1987. International Market Entry and Expansion Via Independent or Integrated Channels of Distribution. Journal of Marketing. 51(1): 71-82.
Coughlan, Anne. 1987. Distribution Channel Choice in a Market with Complementary Goods. International Journal of Research in Marketing. 4(2): 85-97.
Coughlan, Anne. 1985. Executive Compensation, Managerial Turnover, and Firm Performance: An Empirical Exploration. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 7(1-3): 43-66.
Coughlan, Anne. 1985. Competition and Cooperation in Marketing Channel Choice: Theory and Application. Marketing Science. 4(2): 110-129.
Coughlan, Anne. 1983. Measuring the International Marketing Productivity of US Semiconductor Companies.
Working Papers
Coughlan, Anne and Ahmed Timoumi. 2013. Wardrobing: Is It Really All That Bad?.
Coughlan, Anne, Kissan Joseph, Jide Wintoki and Duane Myer. 2011. Sales Force Size Changes and Firm Stock Price Performance: An Event Study.
Coughlan, Anne and Charles A. Ingene. 2011. Product-Line Pricing: Its Impact on Horizontal and Vertical Externalities in Distribution Channels.
Caldieraro, Fabio and Anne Coughlan. 2009. State-Dependent Sales Force Compensation: The Case of Pharmaceutical Detailing.
Duhachek, Adam, Dawn Iacobucci and Anne Coughlan. 2005. On the Behavior of the Reliability Index Coefficient Alpha and its Variance: Analytical Results for One and Two Samples.
Coughlan, Anne and Manish Kacker. 2004. Linking Structure and Coordination Decisions in Franchise Systems.
Coughlan, Anne and David Soberman. 2004. A Survey of Outlet Mall Retailing: Past, Present, and Future.
Alvarado, Ursula and Anne Coughlan. 2001. Alliance Structure and Success in the Global Airline Industry: An Empirical Investigation.
Book Chapters
Coughlan, Anne and Kissan Joseph. 2012. "Sales Force Compensation: Research Insights and Research Potential." In Handbook on Business-to-Business Marketing, edited by Gary L. Lilien and Rajdeep Grewal, 473-495. Gloucestershire, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.
Coughlan, Anne. 2011. "Marketing Channel Strategy." In Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing, edited by Robert A. Peterson and Roger A. Kerin, vol. Volume 1, 133-142. West Sussex: UK: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. .
Coughlan, Anne and Jeffrey D. Shulman. 2010. "Creating Superior Value by Managing the Marketing-Operations Management Interface." In Kellogg on Marketing, edited by Alice Tybout and Bobby Calder, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Second Edition.
Coughlan, Anne. 2010. "Marketing Channel Design and Management." In Kellogg on Marketing, edited by Alice Tybout and Bobby Calder, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Second Edition.
Dant, Rajiv P., Manish Kacker, Anne Coughlan and Jamie Emerson. 2006. "A Cointegration Analysis of the Correlates of Performance in Franchised Channels." In Economics and Management of Networks: Franchising Networks, Cooperatives, Joint Ventures and Alliances, edited by G. Cliquet, G. Hendrikse, M. Tuunanen, J. Windsperger, 169-190. Europe: Springer.
Anderson, Erin and Anne Coughlan. 2002. "Channel Management: Structure, Governance, and Relationship Management." In Handbook of Marketing, edited by Barton A. Weitz and Robin Wensley, 223-247. Sage Publications.
Coughlan, Anne and Louis Stern. 2000. "Marketing Channel Design and Management." In Kellogg on Marketing, edited by Dawn Iacobucci, 247-269. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Coughlan, Anne. 1993. "Salesforce Compensation: A Review of MS/OR Advances." In Handbooks in Operations Research and Management Science: Marketing, edited by Gary L. Lilien and Jehoshua Eliashberg, Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Coughlan, Anne. 1988. "Pricing and the Role of Information in Markets." In Issues in Pricing: Theory and Research, edited by Timothy M. Devinney, 59-62. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
Coughlan, Anne, Erin Anderson, Louis Stern and Adel El-Ansary. 2006. Marketing Channels. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 7th edition.
Coughlan, Anne, Erin Anderson, Adel El-Ansary and Louis Stern. 2001. Marketing Channels. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 6th edition.
Coughlan, Anne. 2008. CEMEX Targeting the Low-End Housing Market in Mexico..
Coughlan, Anne. 2005. Guarantee Mutual..
Coughlan, AnneJulie Hennessy and Andrei Najjar. 2004. Invisalign: Orthodontics Unwired. Case 5-104-008 (KEL032).
Coughlan, Anne and Lindsay M Plegza. 2004. Michael's Craft Stores: Integrated Channel Management and Vendor-Retailer Relations. Case 5-104-010 (KEL036).
Coughlan, Anne and Erica Goldman. 2004. Mary Kay Corporation: Direct Selling and the Challenge of Online Channels. Case 5-104-009 (KEL034).
Coughlan, Anne. 2001. Verklar Austria. Case 5-104-007 (KEL037).

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Channels of distribution, sales force management and compensation, competitive strategy, international applications of research in these areas
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Marketing Management (MKTG-430-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Marketing, Marketing Management

This course takes an analytical approach to the study of marketing problems of business firms and other types of organizations. Attention focuses on the influence of the marketplace and the marketing environment on marketing decision making; the determination of the organization's products, prices, channels and communication strategies; and the organization's system for planning and controlling its marketing effort.

Marketing Channel Strategies (MKTG-451-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Marketing, Marketing Management

Marketing channels are analyzed as systems of interrelated and interdependent organizations engaged in making goods and services available for consumption by industrial, institutional and household consumers. This course emphasizes the means by which effective and efficient distribution networks (comprising manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, transportation firms and other actors in the distribution process) can be constructed. Particular attention is given to examining the behavioral dimensions of channel relations, the roles of channel members, their use of power, the conflicts that arise among them and their communication procedures. Government and other constraints on channel activities are also examined. Cases are used for illustrative and analytical purposes.

Marketing Models: Analytic Modeling (formerly MKTG-520-7) (MKTG-550-0)
This course covers the topic of modeling in marketing. Journal articles on analytic economics-based modeling, and field experimental modeling, of a variety of marketing problems will be assigned. The articles will be discussed it terms of their major modeling characteristics and structure, their assumptions and findings, and their impact on the literature in their fields.

Executive MBA
Marketing Channels (MKTGX-451-0)
Marketing Channels analyzes marketing channels from economic, social and political viewpoints. Topics include the management of relationships within and among organizations in a distribution system, the formation of channel systems and methods of channel coordination, power and conflict among channel members, and the management of certain channel system forms.