Paul Green

PAUL E. GREEN (1927-2012)

Paul E. Green was a distinguished scholar, a dedicated teacher and an engaged mentor.  He is the pioneer of application of decision statistics and measurement tools in marketing, most impactful of them being the “Conjoint Analysis.”  Green got his Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral degrees from University of Pennsylvania, and then he taught, researched and mentored at University of Pennsylvania for over 40 years. 

Paul Green was “all University of Pennsylvania and Wharton.”  Yoram (Jerry) Wind, The Lauder Professor Emeritus, Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School, a long-time colleague and friend of Paul Green amplifies this, “Paul had major impact on the Wharton Marketing Department, its culture and values, the faculty it recruited and its accomplishments.”

Paul Green was that exemplary scholar who moved between the worlds of academe and practice effortlessly.  He worked for almost twelve years – Sun Oil, Lukens and Du Pont --  after his Bachelor’s degree before he arrived in Wharton in 1962 for a life-long pursuit of teaching, research and mentoring. He earned his doctoral degree even as he was working.  Accordingly, Green’s interest and innovations in marketing research are rooted in the world of practice. He brought decision statistics, Bayesian decision theory and psychometric measurement applications into marketing research domain. Of the world of practice and academe, Green himself once observed, “Sometimes these two motivations—the theoretical and the pragmatic—will merge and lead to a high-impact result, that is, an idea that is both intellectually exciting and appealing to the practitioner.”  As a par excellent scholar-practitioner, Paul Green as Jerry Wind observes, “valued the collaboration between industry and academia and it is no wonder therefore that together with Wroe Alderson they convinced Tom McCabe to create the Marketing Science Institute.”

Seenu Srinivasan, ISMS Fellow and Adams Distinguished Professor of Management (Emeritus), Stanford University, Green’s co-author of the seminal paper on Conjoint Analysis, calls Paul Green “a giant in the field of marketing research” and affirms that “there was no close second.” Seenu then goes on to describe more specifically thus: “Paul’s contributions to the field of marketing research are immense, starting with Bayesian Analysis of market research decisions, to multidimensional scaling, and most importantly, conjoint analysis. Many of us were introduced to marketing research by his excellent book, Research for Marketing Decisions."  Echoing Seenu Srinivasan, Jerry Wind calls Paul Green “one of the most prolific researchers,” whose “natural curiosity led him to explore many disciplines outside marketing (such as mathematical psychology) and bring them to marketing,” and “who published hundreds of articles, 15 books and 10 monographs (many with software) and a classic textbook on marketing research.”

Eric Bradlow, The K.P. Chao Professor of Marketing, who contributes in many ways to institution building (Vice Dean of Analytics at Wharton and Chairperson, Wharton Marketing Department) and scholarhip (also Professor of Economics; Professor of Education; Professor of Statistics and Data Science), identifies Paul’s contributions as “very significant” in “Bayesian Decision Theory, MDS, Segmentation, and Conjoint.”

Paul Green was, of course, a scholar of immense imagination and impact, but he was also a man of great empathy who related to colleagues and friends instinctively.  That empathy endowed him with a sense of authenticity and humility.  Green’s colleague, Josh Eliashberg, ISMS Fellow and Sebastian S. Kresge Professor of Marketing (Emeritus) at Wharton, has this to say, “Paul was a kind gentleman. Never said anything negative about anyone else. He used to treat junior colleagues as equals among equals and made them feel very comfortable in addressing professional as well as personal issues.”

Paul Green epitomized intellect, empathy and a great work-ethic.  Josh says “Paul Green was a role model to many of us in terms of his dedication, the impact of his research, and his value system. He used to come to his office very early in the morning and stay until early evening.”  Jerry Wind adds that Paul Green was “one of the best mentors for doctoral students and Junior faculty,” and his contributions to the community was extensive including his “service as a conscientious and constructive reviewer to most scholarly journals.”

Paul Green’s inaugural doctoral student, Vithala Rao, Deane W. Malott Professor (Emeritus) at Cornell University, and ISMS and AMA Fellow, is effusive and grateful in recollecting Green’s mentorship, generosity and high-mindedness: “Paul Green was a great mentor to me. For example, he took me along to CMU in Pittsburgh to present a paper and gave me a chance to present a major portion of our paper. Such a gesture helped me in establishing my independent credentials. Incidentally, that exposure at CMU led some CMU faculty and the Dean to recommend me to a faculty position at Cornell University! As an advisor, Paul was admirable. He read my thesis chapters almost overnight and offered suggestions for improvement. Now I emulated him in this regard in my work with my students and collaborators. Paul was truly generous. He did not think twice offering to share his office in case I could not get office space in the Marketing Department in the Steinberg-Dietrich Hall for my sabbatical at Wharton some years back.”  With much gratitude, Vithala Rao dedicated his book “Applied Conjoint Analysis, Springer 2014” to his teacher and mentor, “To the memory of esteemed Professor Paul E, Green, founder of conjoint analysis methods, a revered scholar, a wise advisor and dear friend.”

Eric echoes Vithala’s observations on Paul’s extra-ordinary generosity.  “Paul’s generosity with ideas was legendary.  Paul would always feel comfortable giving away research problems noting that he could always think of others.   He also had the fastest turnaround time: “If you gave Paul something to read, his work went on the backburner and yours went to the top of his pile.” 

Gurumurthy Kalyanaram (G.K.), a doctoral student at MIT in the mid-1980s, and a composer of this profile recollects this, “1970s was an important decade in the development of research and scholarship.  There were many seminal papers, including John Little’s Models and Managers paper in 1970 in Management Science, Frank Bass’ paper on Theory of Stochastic Preferences and Brand Switching in 1974 in Journal of Marketing Research (winner of O’Dell Award), and Glen Urban-Al Silk paper on ASSESSOR model in 1978 in Journal of Marketing Research (winner of O’Dell Award).  To this group belongs the 1978 Conjoint Analysis Review paper by Paul Green and Seenu Srinivasan in Journal of Consumer Research. This paper as described Paul himself "structures the field in terms of a schematic that laid out various steps considered in conjoint studies and the specific and potential research areas associated with these steps.” In partnership with Jerry Wind, Paul provided imaginative leadership to the marketing group at Wharton for decades."

For many his many contributions, Paul Green has been recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Marketing Association, the INFORMS Impact Prize for lifetime achievement and the Inaugural Buck Weaver award.  He was elected as a Fellow of American Statistical Association and American Marketing Association.  The Journal of Marketing Research has established the Paul E. Green Award for the best article in the journal.  As a teacher, he was recognized as the “Outstanding Marketing Educator” Award.

Green’s sustained impact on scholarship, teaching and service to the community was universally recognized.

INFORMS in its citation in 2004 called Green the “father of Conjoint Analysis.”  That sums it up eloquently.  He is that and more. “He was one of the preeminent marketing research scholars in the field, contributing significantly both to the academic community as well as to practice,” as Josh observes.

Jerry Wind reflects thus, “We miss him. But his impact is forever on the marketing discipline, on Wharton and Wharton Marketing Department and on all of us who were lucky to have known him.  He was an ideal colleague and coauthor, and an amazing friend.”


Gurumurthy Kalyanaram (G.K.)
Dated; July 2021