spirit of Kellogg: research and teaching
Ward Professor of Marketing Lakshman
Krishnamurthi discusses the strengths of Kellogg as both
a teaching and research environment.
World: Kellogg has traditionally been known as a Marketing
powerhouse, but that academic area is certainly no longer
the schools only strength.
Lakshman Krishnamurthi: Kellogg has been in the top three
business schools for the last 12 or 14 years. You can never
be ranked at that level without being really exceptional everywhere.
The Marketing department can only reflect so much of this
a school has to be balanced throughout the organization to
earn top rankings?
across the board, Kellogg is a high-powered organization.
Wharton and the University of Chicago you can say are finance-driven,
while Harvard is known for its general management curriculum.
Stanford is often considered more entrepreneurial in its bent.
These labels may serve to give an identity to the institution,
but by and large schools cannot be reduced to their label.
From Kelloggs perspective, the departments here that
are very, very well regardedboth in terms of overall
reputation and research impactinclude Finance, Marketing,
Management and Organizations, and Management and Strategy.
accounts for the legendary status of Kelloggs Marketing
we are so well known in Marketing is because of the early
leadership books written, even before Phil Kotlers groundbreaking
work. This goes back a way. Its helpful to visit the
Marketing departments Web page to learn the history
of the department as well as obtain a perspective on our early
are some of the differences, from a research perspective,
between some of the early marketing studies and what we see
then has a much broader focus, a more macro aspect to it.
A lot of the institutional knowledge of how marketing functions
came from Kellogg researchers. We had our share of marketing
leaders. Of course Phil Kotler joined us in the mid-1960s.
He was not a marketing expert at that time, but came, I believe,
from an economics background.
in the life cycle of a discipline, when its just starting
to grow, a person from the outside can come in and make an
impact, even if they have not been formally training in the
discipline. More or less this is what happened with Phil Kotler.
When the disciplines are more mature, its harder to
do this. You cannot have an economist coming in and teaching
marketing, at least not so easily.
accounts for Kelloggs ability to develop such strong
programs and curricula across a variety of disciplines?
in some sense a dominant player in a particular discipline
you tend to attract high quality people, and that helps you
get better. We call it the virtual cycle effect: the strong
attract the strong. Clearly, over time we attracted some very
as a discipline has, of course, grown much more deep and broad
since those early days. Its grown into three basic areas.
One is the managerial side, one is the behavioral sidewhere
a lot of ideas come from psychology and anthropologyand
one is the quantitative side, which involves more economic,
statistics and operations research. If you look at our Marketing
department over the last seven years, weve hired high-quality
individuals in each of these areas. Many of us have written
cutting edge articles that have won major awards.
kind of acknowledgment is one highly visible manifestation
of the knowledge capital at Kellogg.
right. Prof. Greg Carpenter has twice won the ODell
Award given by the American Marketing Association. This award
is given to the person responsible for writing the article
that has had the most impact over a five-year period. Hes
done this twice. [Ed. note: Prof. Krishnamurthi has also
been a finalist for this award.]
Little Award is given for the top paper in Marketing in a
given year. Dean Jain, Prof. Robert Blattberg and myself have
all won this award for different papers that were published
in the highly prestigious Marketing Science journal. Weve
have people in our department serve as president of the Association
of Consumers, the parent association that publishes the Journal
of Consumer Research, among other things. Prof. John Sherry
was the most recent president.
impressive. Sounds like everyone is interacting with one another
here, each benefiting from the other great minds and talent.
How does this fact impact the research conducted here?
process is one that, as a faculty member, you think about
a lot as you work to develop your ideas. But you also need
good, quality people to work with. One of the things that
happens in an academic institution is that quality faculty
attract quality students, including PhD students. Look at
the history of this department. We have graduated more students
who, in totality, have won more awards than any other school.
Our winning these awards says something about the quality
of the program here, and of the Kellogg faculty.
would you say tends to make Kellogg stand apart from its peers?
the hallmarks of our tradition here is collaboration. Yes,
we all have to compete and were all evaluated based
on our production and the caliber of our research, but we
all have a very close relationship with our students. PhD
students in particular come to seem part of your family. As
a professor, you are helping them achieve, but they are enhancing
your skills too. Our close relationship with our students
is noteworthy. We work closely with them when they are here,
and after they leave. I think that collegiality, that sense
of trust and respect in the student, those qualities really
help in creating a very nurturing and professional climate
keeps you excited about teaching and research?
just gotten better at doing it. In the last five years Ive
gotten much better at being a teacher, and that makes it exciting.
I live and breathe this business: I teach, I research, I read
all the time, I consult. These are not independent activities;
theyre all connected in some fashion. When youre
in the classroom teaching, you are on stage for three hours
and the high comes when you make a connection with the students.
Teaching is very hard, especially in a place like Kellogg
where the expectations of the administration and students
are very high. Teaching is a personal kind of relationship,
a connection. It involves imparting structure and flexibility
in the classroom. Theres a lot that goes into it.