Stephen A. Greyser

Emeritus Professor

Stephen A. Greyser is Richard P. Chapman Professor (Marketing/Communications) Emeritus, of the Harvard Business School, specializes in brand marketing, advertising, corporate communications, the business of sports, and nonprofit management.  A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, he has been active in research and teaching at HBS since 1958.  He was also an editor at the Harvard Business Review and later its Editorial Board Secretary and Board Chairman.  He is responsible for 16 books, numerous journal articles, several special editions of journals, and over 300 published HBS case studies. Recent publications are Revealing the Corporation with John Balmer (on identity, reputation, corporate branding, etc.) and co-authored articles on “Monarchies as Corporate Brands,” Heritage Brands (a concept he co-created), “Aligning Identity and Strategy” (CMR lead article 2009), a 2011 Journal of Business Ethics article on ethical corporate marketing and BP, “Building and Maintaining Reputation Through Communications”, and a book chapter on “Corporate Communication and the Corporate Persona” (2013).  He wrote the award-winning “Corporate Brand Reputation and Brand Crisis Management” in his co-edited “Corporate Marketing and Identity,” a special 2009 issue of Management Decision.  He is co-author of a book on arts administration and editor of one on cultural policy.  At HBS, he developed the Corporate Communications elective, creating over 40 cases and articles on issues management, corporate sponsorship, relations among business-media-publics, etc.  His current research (co-authored) and most recent (2015) article is on the branding and identity of The Nobel Prize.

He created and teaches Harvard’s Business of Sports course, is a member of the University’s Faculty Standing Committee on Athletics, has served on the Selection Committee for the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, is on the board of The Sports Museum, and has authored numerous Business of Sports cases and articles.  The latter include “Winners and Losers in the Olympics” (2006) and several on sponsorship, most recently (2012) on Sponsorship-Linked Internal Marketing (co-author), and an HBS case on Bank of America’s Sports Sponsorship. He also published HBS faculty commentaries on the Sochi Olympics. Two HBS working papers (2013) examined NBC and the 2012 London Olympics and how MLB clubs have commercialized their Japanese top stars. He has organized seminars on Fifty Years of Change in Intercollegiate Athletics, the Business of the Olympics, Sports in China, and “Fenway Park Comes to HBS,” on the business of Fenway Park for its 2012 Centennial.  His comments on the meaning of the Olympics for China were seen by tens of millions in China on CCTV after the 2008 Opening Ceremonies.  At Doha GOALS 2012 he moderated a private conference session of global sports leaders (including Lord Coe) on improving the Olympics. He has recently written an analysis of  “Nation-Branding via Big Sports.” He received the American Marketing Association’s 2010 Sports Marketing lifetime achievement award for “distinguished career contributions to the scientific understanding of sports business.”

He is past executive director of the Marketing Science Institute and the charter member of its Hall of Fame, and also an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Advertising for career contributions to the field.  He received the Institute for Public Relations 2009 special award for “lifetime contributions to public relations education and research,” and Lipscomb University’s 2011 MediaMasters award for a “body of [communications] work that stands as a model and inspiration for the next generation.” He was recognized by IE University (Spain) for his pioneering work in corporate communication. He twice was a public member of the National Advertising Review Board for U.S. advertising self-regulation.  He has served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards.    He is a trustee of the Arthur W. Page Society, and he was the first academic trustee of the Advertising Research Foundation and of the Advertising Educational Foundation. He is a past national vice chairman of PBS and an overseer at WGBH and at the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), where he was the founding chair of its Trustees Marketing Committee.  He served as Alumni Association president of Boston Latin School, America’s oldest school (1635), and conducted its 350th and 375th Founder’s Day ceremonies as magister eventuum; he received its 2005 Distinguished Graduate Award.  He is an Honorary Fellow (2012) of Brunel University, where he has been a Visiting Professor and a member of its Business School’s Advisory Board.

Known as "the Cal Ripken of HBS," in over 45 years of teaching at Harvard he has never missed a class.                                                                                                                  

  1. Corporate Reputation

    by Stephen A. Greyser

    Stephen A. Greyser is undertaking an empirical analysis of corporate reputation based on interviews conducted by Opinion Research Corporation with more than four thousand executives in nineteen countries. His study is examining public awareness of, familiarity with, and overall favorability towards, corporations, as well as a variety of specific image attributes and 'maintaining and enhancing' behaviors-support for a company in difficult times, willingness to invest, receptivity to business alliances. Efforts are also being made to link positive and negative corporate reputations to financial performance. A discussion of the concept of corporate reputation and explanation of its components is provided in the paper 'Corporate Reputation: Aid to Growth and Shield.' 'Environmental Behavior and Corporate Reputation,' a related paper published in 1995, reported and interpreted attitudes of the U.S. public towards corporate environmental responsibility.
  2. Marketing and Advertising and Society

    by Stephen A. Greyser

    Stephen A. Greyser is continuing to write on and conduct research into the role of marketing and advertising in society. He analyzed in 'Marketing and Public Policy' the evolution of legal and consumer-based issues over recent decades and, for a Stanford University conference on the value of marketing, historical critiques of marketing and advertising. Greyser's assessment of cause-related corporate do-gooding was presented at an AMA conference in the winter of 1995.
  3. The "New" Corporate Communications

    by Stephen A. Greyser

    Stephen A. Greyser continues to explore the issues and problems organizations face as they attempt to communicate effectively with a variety of constituencies. Greyser's work and the course to which it contributes are structured around the business-media-publics model, wherein companies, industries, and business as a whole communicate through general or specialized media to opinion leaders, the financial community, government, employees, and the general public. Topics include: developing public relations and media relations philosophies, strategies, and tactics; identifying relevant audiences; dealing with activists, crises, and media attacks; understanding how the media work; influencing public opinion; maintaining good investor relations; and developing company image, identity, and reputation. Numerous case studies (many inside the board room) and noncase teaching materials are being developed from the research findings.