Allan Shocker

ALLAN D. SHOCKER (1938-2015)
Allan D. Shocker was a distinguished scholar and teacher.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University. He served as a faculty member at several leading universities, including Cornell University, the University of Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt University, the University of Washington, the University of Minnesota, and San Francisco State University.

Publishing in many prestigious journals including the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Research, Marketing Science, Management Science, and Marketing Letters, Shocker authored many award-winning and influential articles. He sustained excellence in scholarship and published in top journals for more than thirty years, from Psychometrika in 1973 to the Journal of Marketing in 2004.

Shocker has endowed the “Allan D. Shocker Distinguished Professorship in New Product Development” at the Tepper School of Business, Carnegie-Mellon University.

Seenu Srinivasan, ISMS Fellow and Adams Distinguished Professor of Management (Emeritus), Stanford University, Shocker’s co-author on several papers, and close friend, has this to say about Shocker's significant contributions: "Allan Shocker was known for his passion for scholarly research, his talent for seeing the big picture in marketing ideas and concepts, and his keen instinct for topics that provoke broad interest. He made important contributions to a variety of subjects such as market structure analysis, conjoint analysis and other research methods, brand equity, and new product development. He was also deeply invested in doctoral education and successfully mentored several doctoral students.”  Rajendra (Raj) Srivastava, Novartis Professor of marketing and strategy at Indian School of Business and the first doctoral student of Shocker celebrates Shocker’s curiosity and interests, “The one thing that I have learned from Allan is to always ask the question “why?” which he felt was far more important than “how?”.  His work, spanning product development, brand management and consumer decision making has left a lasting impact. Most of this work was collaborative with people he guided, persuaded and inspired to do their best.”

Ratti Ratneshwar, Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri, and Raj, both doctoral students of Shocker, reflect fondly on Shocker’s wonderful disposition and demeanor. Ratti recollects, "An effective collaborator and caring and warm-hearted friend, Shocker was exceptionally generous with his time, help, and advice. Before the days of social media, Shocker was the repository of up-to-date information about marketing academic colleagues. His vibrant personality, booming voice, and infectious enthusiasm for travel, good food, classical music, and conversation truly brightened the lives of his friends and colleagues."

Gurumurthy Kalyanaram (G.K.), a student and colleague of, and co-author with Frank Bass, a doctoral alumnus of MIT, and a junior faculty member in 1990s recalls this with gratitude: "Allan Shocker was most open and welcome to all members of the community: junior or senior, celebrated or rising.  He was an egalitarian. I always appreciated his access, and his wonderful insights. He was staggeringly well informed. There are many contributions of Al that are impactful.  The two papers on product concept development and ideation with Seenu Srinivasan (see Journal of Marketing Research, 1979, 16(2), 159-180 and Management Science, 1974, 20 (6), 921-937),  and the consideration paper with Ben Akiva, Bruno Boccara and Parkash Nedungadi (see Marketing Letters, 1991, 2 (3), 181-197)  are foundational."

Raj summarizes these sentiments poignantly, “Allan took tremendous joy in mentoring his students. He had a big heart and always found ways to help others across the world. He has left many students, colleagues, co-authors globally who got to know each other through Allan. We, to this date talk, fondly of him when we run into each other. He lives on in our hearts today.”

Composed by Gurumurthy Kalyanaram (G.K.)
Dated: June 2021