Anne Coughlan
Anne Coughlan

Polk Bros. Chair in Retailing
Professor of Marketing

Print Overview

Anne Coughlan holds the Polk Brothers Chair in Retailing, and is a Professor of Marketing, 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 optimal management of multi-level marketing distribution channels; sales force diversification and optimal group incentive payments; drivers and management of sales force turnover; measuring compliance, monitoring, and enforcement of MAP policies; and wardrobing and optimal open-box retail sales.  Her work on "Direct Selling Distributors: Why Do They Stay or Leave?" won the best doctoral-student paper award at the 2017 Global Sales Science Institute conference; it is joint research with Prof. Manfred Krafft of University of Muenster and Julian Allendorf, a Ph.D. student at University of Muenster.

Dr. Coughlan is a co-author of the book, A Field Guide to Channel Strategy: Building Routes to Market (with Sandy Jap), and was the lead author of Marketing Channels (a Prentice-Hall textbook) through its seventh edition.  She serves on the Senior Advisory Board of the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, and is Editor in Chief of the SSRN Marketing Research Network and of its Quantitative Marketing e-Journal and the Marketing Science e-Journal.  She is a Research Fellow of the Direct Selling Educational Foundation and an Institute of Marketing Research Fellow of the University of Muenster, Germany.  She has served as an Associate Editor and editorial board member of the journal Marketing Science, and on the editorial boards of Journal of Marketing and Journal of Retailing.

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
Pricing Strategy
Sales Force Management

Print Vita
PhD, 1982, Economics, Stanford University
BA, 1977, Economics, Stanford University, Honors and Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa

Academic Positions
Polk Bros. Chair in Retailing, and Professor of Marketing, Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2014-present
John L. & Helen Kellogg Professor of Marketing, Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2009-2014
Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2007-present
Visiting Professor, INSEAD, 1997-1998
Tenured Associate Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1990-2007
Associate Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1988-1990
Assistant Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1985-1988
Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Management, University of Rochester, 1981-1985

Honors and Awards
Best Doctoral Student Paper Award, Global Sales Science Institute, 2017
Institute of Marketing Research Fellow, University of Muenster, Germany, 2016 - present
Research Grant, Direct Selling Educational Foundation, Direct Selling Educational Foundation, 2015-2017
Research Fellow, Direct Selling Educational Foundation, 2017 onward
Co-Chair, Conference on Best Practices in Teaching and Research in Channel Strategy and Sales Management, 2017
Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Co-Chair, annual Doctoral Consortium, American Marketing Association Doctoral Consortium
Quantitative Marketing & Economics Conference Academic Committee, Quantitative Marketing and Economics journal
Outside Evaluator, Marketing Department, NYU-Stern School of Business, NYU Stern School of Business
Academic Member, Incentive Compensation Advisory Board, Sales Management Association, 2010
Selling and Sales Management Special Interest Group's Excellence in Research Award, AMA, 2010
Executive Masters' Program Teacher of the Year Award, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, 2003
Executive MBA Program Outstanding Teaching Awards, Kellogg School of Management, 2002, 1996
Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2000-2001
Executive Masters' Program Teacher of the Year Award, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, 1996

Editorial Positions
Editor in Chief, SSRN Quantitative Marketing eJournal, 2016
Editor in Chief, SSRN Marketing Science eJournal, 2016
Senior Advisory Board, Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 2015
Editor in Chief, SSRN Marketing Research Network, 2013
Advisory Board, The Sales Management Association, 2010-present
Associate Editor, Marketing Science, 2007-2016
Guest Editor, Journal of Retailing, 1995-1995
Co-Editor, Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, 1998-2005
Editorial Board, Journal of Marketing, 1996-2002
Editorial Board, Journal of Marketing Research, 1991-1993
Associate Editor, (Associate Book Review Editor) Journal of Marketing Research, 1991-1994
Editorial Board, Journal of Retailing, 1992-2001
Editorial Board, Marketing Science, 1984-2016
Editorial Review Board, (Member of Editorial Selection Committee) Marketing Science, 1987-1988
Editorial Board, Review of Marketing Science (ROMS)
Editor, OPER Marketing Science eJournal
Co-Editor, Quantitative Marketing Research Network

Print Research
Research Interests

Channels of distribution, distribution channel governance, channel pricing strategies, sales force management and compensation, direct selling, competitive strategy, international applications of research in these areas

Israeli, Ayelet, Eric T. Anderson and Anne Coughlan. 2016. Minimum Advertised Pricing: Patterns of Violations in Competitive Retail Markets. Marketing Science. 35
Coughlan, Anne, Manish Kacker, Rajiv P Dant and Jamie Emerson. 2016. How Firm Strategies Impact Size of Partner-Based Retail Networks: Evidence from Franchising. Journal of Small Business Management. 54: 506-531.
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, Chan S 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 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.
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 & Service Operations Management (M&SOM) . 11(4): 577-594.
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.
Caldieraro, Fabio and Anne Coughlan. 2007. Spiffed-Up Channels: The Role of Spiffs in Hierarchical Selling Organizations. Marketing Science. 26(1): 31-51.
Choi, Chan S and Anne Coughlan. 2006. Private Label Positioning: Quality vs. Feature Differentiation from the National Brand. Journal of Retailing. 82(2): 79-93.
Coughlan, Anne and David Soberman. 2005. Strategic Segmentation Using Outlet Malls. International Journal of Research in Marketing. 22(1): 61-86.
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, 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 and Murali K. Mantrala. 1992. Dynamic Competitive Pricing Strategies. International Journal of Research in Marketing. 9(1): 91-108.
Coughlan, Anne. 1992. Retail Pricing: Does Channel Length Matter. Managerial and Decision Economics. 13(3): 201-214.
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. 1989. On Credible Delegation by Oligopolists: A Discussion of Distribution Channel Management. Management Science. 35(2): 226-239.
Coughlan, Anne and Subrata K. Sen. 1989. Salesforce Compensation: Theory and Managerial Implications. Marketing Science. 8(4): 324-342.
Coughlan, Anne. 1987. Distribution Channel Choice in a Market with Complementary Goods. International Journal of Research in Marketing. 4(2): 85-97.
Coughlan, Anne. 1987. International Market Entry and Expansion Via Independent or Integrated Channels of Distribution. Journal of Marketing. 51(1): 71-82.
Coughlan, Anne. 1985. Competition and Cooperation in Marketing Channel Choice: Theory and Application. Marketing Science. 4(2): 110-129.
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. 1983. Measuring the International Marketing Productivity of US Semiconductor Companies.
Working Papers
Coughlan, Anne. 2016. Multi-Level Marketing Business Opportunities: Analyzing Net Economic Return and Avoidable Economic Loss to Distributors.
Coughlan, Anne, Manfred Krafft and Julian Allendorf. 2016. Join, Stay, Leave: A Study of Direct-Selling Distributors.
Coughlan, Anne and Ahmed Timoumi. 2015. Wardrobing: Is It Really All That Bad?.
Coughlan, Anne, Yi Qian and Vidya Kamate. 2014. Brand Value and Stock Markets: Evidence from Trademark Litigations.
Coughlan, Anne and Jeffrey D. Shulman. 2010. Optimal Reverse Channel Structure for Consumer Product Returns. Marketing Science. 29: 1071-1085.
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, Dawn Iacobucci and Adam Duhachek. 2005. A Robust Variance Estimate of Coefficient Alpha: Analytical and Empirical Evidence 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. 2010. "Marketing Channel Design and Management." In Kellogg on Marketing, edited by Alice Tybout and Bobby Calder, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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..
Coughlan, Anne. 2010. "Marketing Channel Design and Management." In Kellogg on Marketing, Second Edition, 232-257. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2.
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 Allia, 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 and Sandy Jap. 2017. A Field Guide to Channel Strategy: Building Routes to Market. Evanston, IL: Anne T. Coughlan and Sandy D. Jap, 1.
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. 2016. Airline Ticket Sales: From Distribution to Retailing with New Distribution Capability (NDC).
Coughlan, Anne. 2005. Guarantee Mutual.
Coughlan, Anne. 2008. CEMEX Targeting the Low-End Housing Market in Mexico.
Coughlan, Anne and Erica Goldman. 2004. Mary Kay Corporation: Direct Selling and the Challenge of Online Channels. Case 5-104-009 (KEL034).
Coughlan, Anne. 2017. Airline Ticket Sales: From Distribution to Retailing with New Distribution Capability (NDC). Case 5-117-002.
Coughlan, Anne. 2016. Sondologics: Product Diversion and MAP Violations in Internet Channels. Case 5-416-753 (KEL977).
Coughlan, Anne and Benjamin Neuwirth. 2015. d.light Design: Marketing Channel Strategies in India. Case 5-214-255 (KEL876).
Coughlan, Anne. 2001. Verklar Austria. Case 5-104-007 (KEL037).
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).

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests

Channels of distribution, pricing through the distribution channel, sales force management and compensation, competitive strategy, pricing strategies

Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Marketing Channel Strategies (MKTG-451-0)
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.

Quantitative Marketing: Analytic Modeling (MKTG-550-0)
In this course you will learn what analytic models are, their purposes, and how to build and analyze an analytic model to provide insight into an applied research problem. Analytic models in Marketing are used in many substantive areas, including competitive marketing strategy, pricing, product design, distribution channel design/management, and sales force compensation. They provide insight into the impacts of market forces, competitive actions, consumer segmentation characteristics, and firms’ own choices on outcomes such as profit, sales, and welfare. The course uses these literatures as well as exercises to both give you broad information on these topics, and equip you to use analytic modeling in your own work. This course builds on prior course content in the Economics core coursework.

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.

Executive Education
Consumer Marketing Strategy

Learn how to win in today’s hypercompetitive marketplace by gaining and translating insights about consumers’ goals, beliefs and behaviors into an effective marketing strategy. Go home equipped to segment, reach and convert customers more effectively.

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Distribution Channel Management

For senior leaders who have responsibility for distribution strategy and channel management in virtually any business model, this rigorous, one-of-a-kind learning experience delivers a practical approach to the challenges of creating highly effective go-to-market growth strategies.

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Operations Management Week

This sequential combination of two programs — The Science of Lean Operations and Supply Chain Management — provides an executive-level learning experience focused on the same innovative operations management approach taught in Kellogg’s world-class MBA programs. When taken together, these programs are offered at a discounted fee.

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Supply Chain Management

Revolutionize your operations with the latest tools, techniques and models for efficient — and effective — supply chain management. The experts will show you how to meet the complex challenges of managing facilities, inventories, transportation, information, outsourcing, strategic partnering and more.

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