Louis W. Stern is the John D. Gray Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University. Professor Stern joined the Northwestern faculty in 1973.
Prior to that, he was Professor of Marketing at The Ohio State University. He was appointed to the Ohio State faculty in 1963 after having spent two years at the industrial research firm Arthur D. Little, Inc., Cambridge, Mass. From January 1965 until June 1966, he served as a principal economist for the National Commission on Food Marketing in Washington, D.C., and during the 1969-70 academic year, he was a visiting associate professor of business administration at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1977 to 1980, he served as Chairman of the Department of Marketing at Northwestern, and from 1983 to 1985, he was Executive Director of the Marketing Science Institute, Cambridge, Mass. During the 1984-85 academic year, he was the Thomas Henry Carroll Ford Foundation Visiting Professor at Harvard Business School. From 1998 to 2001, concurrent with his position at Northwestern, he was appointed a visiting scholar at the Haas School of Business at The University of California, Berkeley. From 2004 to 2006, he was designated the Dorinda and Mark Winkelman Distinguished Scholar at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a Senior Fellow of the Wharton School, and co-director of Wharton’s Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative, positions he held in addition to the John D. Gray professorship at Kellogg.
Professor Stern’s research efforts have focused on issues related to designing and managing marketing channels and on antitrust issues. His articles have appeared in a wide variety of marketing, legal, and behavioral science journals. Among the books he has co-authored are Marketing Channel Strategy (Taylor & Francis Group, 9th Ed., 2020), Management in Marketing Channels (Prentice-Hall, 1989), and Legal Aspects of Marketing Strategy: Antitrust and Consumer Protection Issues (Prentice-Hall, 1984). His article "Distribution Channels as Political Economics: A Framework for Comparative Analysis” (with Torger Reve) was named the best article on marketing theory to appear in the Journal of Marketing during 1980.
In 1986, he received the Paul D. Converse Award from the American Marketing Association for “outstanding contribution to theory and science in marketing.” In 1989, he was named “Marketing Educator of the Year” by Sales and Marketing Executives-International, and in 1990, he received the same honor from the Sales & Marketing Executives of Chicago. In 1992, he was voted “Outstanding Professor of the Year” by the students at Kellogg, and, in 1993, he was the recipient of the Alumni Choice Faculty Award. He received six times the “Outstanding Professor Award for Electives” from Kellogg’s Executive Masters Program. In 1994, he was selected as the recipient of the American Marketing Association/Irwin Distinguished Marketing Educator Award, which is designed to be “the highest honor a marketing educator can receive.” Also in 1994, he was named as one of the twelve best teachers in U.S. business schools by Business Week magazine. In 1999, his Kellogg classroom was purchased and named in his honor by his former students, friends, clients, and family. And, in June 1999, he was the first recipient of Kellogg’s newly created Special Lifetime Achievement Award for Teaching Excellence.
Professor Stern has participated in distinguished lecturer/visitor series at numerous universities. He taught at the Hernstein Institute in Vienna and at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration in Bergen, and was a faculty associate at the Management Centre Europe in Brussels.
Professor Stern served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Research, and Marketing Letters. He was on the Board of Directors of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. from 1978 to 1983 and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Massachusetts. From 2007 to 2017, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving student achievement in chronically failing urban schools. Since 1986, he has been a member of the Executive Directors Council of the Marketing Science Institute.
Among the numerous business firms for which he has consulted are IBM, Ford, Hewlett Packard, S.C. Johnson, Brunswick, Roche Laboratories, Steelcase, ExxonMobil, Xerox, Boise Cascade, Johnson & Johnson, and Motorola. He also served as a consultant to the Federal Trade Commission and as an academic trustee of the Marketing Science Institute.
AB, Economics, Harvard College (1957); MBA, Wharton Graduate Division of the University of Pennsylvania (1959); PhD, Marketing, Northwestern University (1962)