Stephen A. Greyser

Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus

Stephen A. Greyser is the Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration (Marketing/Communications) Emeritus at Harvard Business School, where he specializes in brand marketing, advertising/corporate communications, sports management, and nonprofit management. A graduate of Harvard College, he received his MBA and DBA degrees from HBS, where he was the Chirurg Advertising Fellow. Since 1958, he has been active in research and teaching in marketing at HBS. His longtime association with the Harvard Business Review included five years as an editor and research director, and subsequently as Editorial Board Secretary and as Board Chairman. At Harvard College, he is a Trustee of WHRB, a Faculty Associate of Winthrop House, and a past director of the Harvard Alumni Association; he was also a member of the Harvard Professional Sports Panel advising Harvard undergraduates considering professional sports careers. He is a Hauser Center Faculty Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School. He delivered the invited 2003 Commencement Day address, “A Look at Your Inner Mirror” for Harvard’s Extension School.  For eight years (to 1981) he was also Executive Director of the Marketing Science Institute, a nonprofit research center which he continued to serve as a Trustee and now on the Executive Directors Council; he is the charter member of MSI's Hall of Fame.  In 2005, Boston Latin School, the nation's oldest (1635) public school, named him its Distinguished Graduate of the Year, an honor previously bestowed (among others) on Leonard Bernstein, Theodore White, Sumner Redstone, and Cardinal John Wright; he delivered part of his speech in Latin.

He is responsible for sixteen books and monographs; is a frequent contributor to journals on marketing, advertising, and business/consumer attitudes (including 15 HBR articles and two lead articles in the Journal of Advertising Research), and has published some 300 Harvard case studies. His views on corporate advertising were the subject of full-page ads in The Wall Street Journal's 1996-97 advertising campaign. He was named one of marketing's "outstanding thought leaders" in a 1975 poll for the American Marketing Association's Marketing News. In 1990 he was selected as the university-wide annual Harvard lecturer in India by the Harvard Clubs of India, the first HBS professor so honored. In 1993 he was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Advertising, honoring his career-long contributions to advertising and advertising education. In 2009, the Institute for Public Relations honored him with its award for “lifetime contributions to public relations education and research” for his work in corporate communications.  In 1996, he delivered an invited address on corporate reputation at the House of Lords, and in 1998 delivered the first Lord Goold Memorial Lecture in London, on "Advancing and Enhancing Corporate Reputation," published in Corporate Communications (1999).

His co-authored California Management Review articles with John Balmer explored "The Multiple Identities of the Corporation" (2002) and “Aligning Identity with Strategy” (2009).  He wrote "Learning from Reputational Crises" (2005), “Insights into Brand Crises” (2007), and “Corporate Brand Reputation and Brand Crisis Management” (2009). He and Balmer co-authored Revealing the Corporation (2003) on corporate identity, image, and corporate branding, and a comprehensive overview of corporate marketing (European Journal of Marketing, 2006). They also co-edited “Corporate Marketing and Identity: Reflections and Directions, “a special issue of Management Decision (2009). With Balmer and Mats Urde, he co-authored a pioneering research report on “Monarchies as Corporate Brands” (2004), and subsequent articles on corporate communications for monarchies (European Journal of Marketing, 2006), and branding for monarchies (Journal of Brand Management, 2006), for which they interviewed the Royal Family of Sweden.  They also published "Corporate Brands with a Heritage" (Journal of Brand Management, 2007), developing a new category of brands.

Professor Greyser's marketing and advertising books include Advertising in America: The Consumer View (with Raymond A. Bauer), a study of the public's attitudes toward advertising; three editions of Cases in Advertising and Communications Management; several casebooks and other volumes in marketing; and the co-authored Managing Cooperative Advertising: A Strategic Approach, the first managerially-oriented treatment of this topic. He also developed the HBR reprint series Advertising: Better Planning, Better Results. He co-edited Improving Advertising Budgeting (1999). He has conducted major surveys of executive opinions on advertising and on consumerism for articles in HBR. He has also published on new technologies in advertising, irritation in advertising, comparison advertising, and a monograph on "tombstone" ads. In addition, he has been a leading commentator on advertising's public policy dimensions, having twice been invited to address the Federal Trade Commission on advertising's social impacts. His papers include "Some Reflections on The Evolution of Marketing and Public Policy" (1993), "The Information Superhighway: Big Vision, Small Lens" (1993), "Historical Perspective on the Critique of Marketing" (1994) at The Value of Marketing Conference, "Assessing Cause-Related Corporate Do-Gooding" (1995), "Janus and Marketing: The Past, Present, and Prospective Future of Marketing" (1997), and the published and videotaped 20th anniversary interview with Theodore Levitt on “The Globalization of Markets” (2004).  His public service in the advertising field includes two terms as a public member of the National Advertising Review Board, the industry's self-regulatory vehicle. He served on the Advertising Hall of Fame Selection Committee, and was a member of the board of judges for ARF's Ogilvy Award for excellence in advertising research.  His 2005 paper for ARF interpreted the roles of research on the effectiveness of Ogilvy Awards’ marketing communications campaigns.

Professor Greyser has worked for over 30 years interpreting consumerism's impacts on marketing for both the business and public policy communities.  Two Mobius articles treated the continuing challenges of consumerism and consumer issues of the '90s. Earlier, he co-directed the Sentry study of Americans' attitudes on consumerism and edited the HBR volume Understanding and Meeting Consumerism's Challenges.

He conceived and developed the HBS elective course on the "new" Corporate Communications, exploring business efforts to influence its many external constituencies, particularly through the media. This has involved over 40 new case studies and articles on business-media relations, crisis/issues management, corporate identity and images, investor relations, changing roles for public relations/public affairs, sponsorship, and corporate reputation (the topic of his 1992 invited presentation to the Arthur W. Page Society and of a 1995 article in Reputation Management.) He co-developed the Strathclyde Statement on Corporate Identity (1995), an international academic-practitioner initiative on the subject.  His presentations on “Authenticity and Reputation” (2008) and “On Authenticity, Trust, and Reputation” (2009) built on the Page initiative on corporate authenticity.

In his role as MSI's Executive Director, his commitment to bringing together business and academic research in marketing was reflected in several articles on making academic research more effective for marketing management. He also co-authored Marketing Research and Knowledge Development: An Assessment for Marketing Management, based on the AMA Commission study (which he co-chaired) of this topic. A subsequent book chapter revisited knowledge development in conjunction with an AMA re-examination of the subject.

Professionally he has been active with many organizations in the marketing field. He has served as a national Director of the American Marketing Association and Chairman of its Publications Board, on the Advisory Council of the Association for Consumer Research, and as Past President and Chairman of the American Academy of Advertising, the national association of advertising educators. He was the first academic on the board of the Advertising Research Foundation, and the first academic to serve as a director of the Advertising Educational Foundation, for which he also chaired its Academic Advisory Committee. He was a trustee of the SOCAP Foundation, and is a member of the Market Research Council. In addition, he has been a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Marketing, of Marketing and Public Policy, of the AMA management and application journal, Marketing Research, of the AMA's Marketing Management, and the European-based Marketing Management and International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship. He twice served as chairman of the Penney Consumer Issues Forum and chaired the Senanque Marketing Seminar (France).

Professor Greyser is a longtime contributor to the nonprofit management field. He was a founding faculty member and research director of Harvard's Institute in Arts Administration.  He co-authored Cases in Arts Administration, edited a Harvard University Press collection of international perspectives on Cultural Policy and Arts Administration, and wrote several articles on better marketing of the arts and social programs. He was founding chairman of the Trustees Marketing Committee for the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) of which he is an Overseer, and has served on the Getty Trust's Advisory Committee for the Museum Management Institute. He has spoken to the Association of Art Museum Directors on leadership training, and to the Museum Trustee Association. He was also an Overseer of WGBH, and is a Trustee of The Sports Museum (Boston).  He has co-chaired the HBS Executive Education leadership seminar for nonprofit CEOs/COOs.

Professor Greyser has served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards. He is past national vice-chairman (1991-3) and a director of the Public Broadcasting Service (the U.S. non-commercial television system), for which he chaired the Public Television Task Force on Future Funding in 1991. Until their sales, he also sat on the boards of Doyle Dane Bernbach, Restaurant Associates, Gruntal & Co., Opinion Research Corporation, and Tonka (toys). His consulting and executive teaching activities include work both in the U.S. and overseas in marketing, advertising, public relations, publishing and broadcasting, sports management (including relationships with the NBA and the Boston Red Sox) and the management of nonprofit organizations. He spoke on nonprofit governance for the NACD in Boston.  He is also alumni association past president of the Boston Latin School; he chaired its 350th anniversary celebrations.  For his Harvard class he has been responsible for nine published reunion class reports, and has co-authored forty years of quinquennial surveys of classmates’ attitudes and behaviors, and the 2006 essay “Oh The Changes We’ve Seen,” comparing the Harvard classes of 1856, 1906, and 1956.  He has co-authored analogous surveys for HBS ’58 reunions.

He conceived and developed the HBS MBA elective course "The Business of Sports," reflecting his lifelong fandom and longtime business involvement in sports. The course has generated over 25 new cases. He is co-author of a cases and text volume on The Business of Sports (2006).  In March 2006, HBS Working Knowledge published his “Winners and Losers at the Olympics,” a treatment of Olympics-based marketing and endorsements.  He also organized 2006 seminars on “The Business of Olympics” and “Fifty Years of Change in Intercollegiate Athletics.”  He co-authored an article on ambush marketing (Journal of Advertising Research, 2005), and on internal company use of sponsorship (HBR, 2007).  For Harvard China Review, he organized, moderated, and spoke at 2006 and 2008 seminars on “Sports in China,” and presented “The Branding of China: Beijing 2008” (the role of the Olympics in branding a nation).  He has also been on the selection committee for the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, and wrote their 30th anniversary souvenir pamphlet for "The Impossible Dream" 1967 pennant-winners.  He was a board member of the BoSox Club, a Red Sox booster organization. He is a former sports broadcaster of three sports, and a radio-TV producer, including a Red Sox pregame fan quiz program for seven years.

He is a frequent speaker, television panelist, and commentator on advertising, consumer marketing, sports management, crisis communications, and consumer issues both in the U.S. and abroad.  His views on the meaning of the Olympics for China were seen by millions in China on CCTV after the 08/08/08 Opening Ceremonies.

His most recent HBS MBA teaching assignments included electives on Corporate Communications and The Business of Sports. He also has taught executive education sessions in the two HBS nonprofit management and governance seminars, and in "Managing Brand Meaning," as well as at Harvard Divinity School on branding for faith-based entities and at the Education School’s Media and American Democracy program on the impacts of media ownership on content.  He supervises HBS MBA field studies and is faculty advisor to its Business of Sports Club.  He teaches the Business of Sports at Harvard's Extension School and formerly in Harvard Law School Professor Weiler's Sports and the Law course. Known as "the Cal Ripken of HBS," in over 40 years of teaching, he has never missed a class.

Copyright©2008 President and Fellows of Harvard College

  1. Stephen A. Greyser: Received the 2009 Pathfinder Award from the Institute for Public Relations. The award is given for significant contribution to the body of knowledge and practice of corporate communications and public relations through scholarly research.

  2. Stephen A. Greyser: Received the 2010 Sports Marketing Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Marketing Association in recognition of his distinguished career contributions to the scientific understanding of sports business.