Harvard Business School Prof. Emeritus Al Silk Receives Honorary Degree

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The FINANCIAL — Alvin J. Silk, a renowned marketing expert and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration Emeritus at Harvard Business School, received an honorary degree (Doctor of Laws) on June 5 from the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey Business School.

Silk, who earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from Western in 1959, was recognized as “an influential scholar and educator in the field of marketing…internationally recognized for his research on models and measurement systems to support marketing decision making and the economics of the advertising and marketing services industry.”

A visiting professor at Harvard Business School in 1987-88, Silk joined the permanent HBS faculty in 1988 after two decades at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he was also deputy dean from 1981 to 1987. At HBS, he was also co-chair of the Marketing Unit from 1994 to 1998. Earlier in his career, he taught at the University of California, Los Angeles (1963-66) and the University of Chicago (1966-68).

Silk introduced “Brand Marketing” as an elective in the Harvard MBA Program and taught the course “Research Design and Measurement” in the School’s Doctoral Programs. His research interests also focus on the development and management of advertising campaigns and decision support systems in marketing.

He is the author of numerous publications, including journal articles, working papers, book chapters, and case studies. In 1978, he co-edited Behavioral and Management Science in Marketing (Ronald Press), according to Harvard Business School.

Silk has been a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, Current Issues and Research in Advertising, International Journal of Research in Marketing, and Marketing Science, as well as a member of the policy board of the Journal of Consumer Research. From 2001 to 2012, he was co-editor of the Social Science Research Network’s Quantitative Marketing Abstracts and director of its Marketing Research Network.

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A member of the American Academy of Advertising, the American Economic Association, and the American Marketing Association, from 1983 to 1996 Silk was a trustee of the Marketing Science Institute, and from 2001 to 2007, he served on its Research Review Committee.

Silk received his MBA (with distinction) in 1960 and his Ph.D. in 1968, both from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.


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