On Debts Due: Presentation of ACR Fellow-In-Consumer-Behavior Awards

Jerome B. Kernan, George Mason University
[ to cite ]:
Jerome B. Kernan (1992) ,"On Debts Due: Presentation of ACR Fellow-In-Consumer-Behavior Awards", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 19, eds. John F. Sherry, Jr. and Brian Sternthal, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 7-8.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 19, 1992      Pages 7-8



Jerome B. Kernan, George Mason University

It is my great pleasure to introduce this year's FELLOWS IN CONSUMER BEHAVIOR -- Paul E. Green and Joseph W. Newman. Each of them has contributed significantly and over a number of years to our discipline and to our organization. We are proud to add their names to the pantheon of ACR Fellows.


Paul Green is the S.S. Kresge Professor of Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, where he has been since 1962, and from which he received his A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. degrees. Previously, he worked for Sun Oil, Lukens Steel, and duPont.

To say that Paul is a researcher is to allow that Nolan Ryan can throw a baseball. For more than 30 years, we have witnessed a prodigious stream of his books, monographs, chapters, articles, technical reports, and conference papers. He produces ideas quicker than most of us can digest them and it's no surprise that he's at the top of everyone's most-cited list. All consumer researchers have learned from him; indeed, if you've ever struggled with perceptions, preferences, measurement techniques, or quantitative analysis, it's likely that you've consulted Paul Green's work. Or you're from another planet.

But Paul is far more than his bibliography, overwhelming as that is. His direct imprint is on a galaxy of Wharton Ph.D.s and he has guided any number of other budding researchers as a fixture at the annual AMA doctoral consortium. He sits on more editorial boards than most of us can contemplate, yet his reviews read like tutorials. Add guest lecturing and consulting requests to everything else and we see one very busy person. Yet he always has time for even the least-connected among us and he invariably gives us words of encouragement. Indeed, if you're ever tempted to feel arrogant, just hang around Paul for a while; he'll show you what sincerity and humility are all about. And such a sense of humor!

Little wonder that Paul has received virtually every accolade on the horizon -- the Alpha Kappa Psi award, the Converse, Parlin, and O'Dell prizes and, earlier this year, the AMA/Irwin Distinguished Educator award. He's been elected to the Attitude Research Hall of Fame and he is a Fellow of the American Institute of Decision Sciences, the American Statistical Association, and now, I'm happy to proclaim, the Association for Consumer Research.

Paul's plaque names him an ACR Fellow "... for his legacy of contributions in consumer perceptions and preferences--as researcher, teacher, and mentor." I'm honored to present this award to a giant among us, who happens to be a wonderful person as well. And a dear friend.


JOE NEWMAN is Professor of Marketing Emeritus at the University of Arizona's Eller School of Management. He received his B.S. and M.S. from Kansas State and, after WWII service in the Navy, his MBA and D.C.S. from Harvard. Prior to his appointment as department chair at Arizona, Joe served on the faculty at Michigan, Stanford, and Harvard. He also worked as a newspaper man, sports information director, and media analyst.

One of the responsibilities of the Fellows' Committee is to evaluate nominees' contributions in perspective and, in the case of Joe Newman, that is especially important. His resume contains all the expected achievements--a fist-full of books, a score of papers; editorial-board membership for the JOURNAL OF MARKETING, JMR, and JCR; a legacy of Ph.D. students; significant consultancies; and distinguished service to both ACR and AMA. But we need to peel back that veneer of line-items to understand why Joe Newman is being honored today.

Here is a man whose career has spanned four decades. That's significant because, when Joe began his consumer research, the discipline didn't exist. Many of you remember or have heard about the skepticism we faced during the late '60s regarding the academic integrity of consumer behavior--the frustration that led to the formation of ACR in 1969. Just imagine how much worse it was in the '50s! There was no ACR; no JCR; not even a JMR; nothing to legitimize what we believed to be reasonable scholarship. Hostility was everywhere; the best we could expect was to be patronized. But then, as in all happy stories, we were rescued. We found our deliverance in 525-page book published in 1957 by the Harvard Business School. MOTIVATION RESEARCH AND MARKETING MANAGEMENT, which was based on Joe's doctoral dissertation, gave us respectability. People you might recognize had been working in qualitative research--Steuart Britt, Sid Levy, Burleigh Gardner, Pierre Martineau, Ernest Dichter, Darrell Lucas, to name a few--but all these people were associated with the advertising business; none of them was a university professor. As a result, it was easy for those so inclined to dismiss these efforts as the legerdemain of HIDDEN PERSUADERS. The preface to Joe's book advised us "... to get better acquainted with the behavioral disciplines, which are devoted to ... what man is and how he lives." He then went on to illustrate not only why, but how qualitative research yielded deep understanding of consumer behavior. Well, that was all we needed-- here was an academic scholar, whose message had a Harvard Business School imprimatur. Even the most stubborn academic administrator couldn't resist that combination. Joe was our hero and we were on our way. Momentum has never subsided and the rest, as they say, is history.

Joe Newman is a quiet man, who works away from the limelight. But don't be misled by his self-effacing manner; in innumerable ways that few of us will ever know, he knocked down a lot of professional obstacles and showed us the path, as the consumer-behavior discipline came into being. So the next time you're doing qualitative research, remember--Joe Newman paved the way. Or when you research consumer-decision processes, realize that Joe's pioneering work in that genre dates from the early '70s. We're here to recognize our intellectual and professional debts to a man who has such personal grace and integrity that he's embarrassed by all this.

This plaque acknowledges Joe's pioneering investigations of consumer motivation and decision making--as researcher, teacher, and mentor--but in a larger sense, it confirms our longstanding debt to a gentleman who's made our field a lot more exciting and humane. I present this to you, Joe, with our deep appreciation and affection.