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Michael Houston

Associate Dean, Ecolab-Pierson M. Grieve Chair in International Marketing


  • BS
    Commerce Univ. of Illinois

  • MS
    Marketing Univ. of Illinois

  • Ph.D.
    Marketing Univ. of Illinois


  • Branding
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Global marketing and branding
  • Cultural effects in marketing

Michael J. Houston, Ecolab-Pierson Grieve Chair in International Marketing, currently serves as Associate Dean of Global Initiatives at the Carlson School of Management. In that capacity he oversees the Carlson Global Institute. He also served as Academic Director, Center for International Business Education and Research. He previously served as Interim Dean, Associate Dean of Faculty and Research, and Chair, Department of Marketing.  He was the founding academic director of the Carlson Brand Enterprise, a consultancy that partners top MBA students with insightful faculty on real-world brand projects. He holds a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Illinois, and has been a member of the faculty at the Carlson School since 1986.  Teaching with both the MBA and Ph.D. programs has allowed Houston to share his marketing knowledge in Carlson School programs around the world, including Vienna, Warsaw, and Singapore.  His research specializes in global branding and cultural differences in consumer behavior.   He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, International Journal of Research in Marketing, and the Asian Journal of Marketing.  His publications appear in several of those journals. He is also a past editor of the Journal of Marketing Research.  Professor Houston is a 2012 recipient of the University of Minnesota Global Engagement Award.

Selected Works

"Building Brand Knowledge Structures: Elaboration and Interference Effects on the Processing of Sequentially Advertised Brand Benefit Claims," Susan E. Heckler, Kevin Lane Keller, Michael J. Houston, and Jill Avery, Journal of Marketing Communications (April 2009).
"Field Dependency and Brand Cognitive Structures," Sharon Ng and Michael J. Houston, Journal of Marketing Research (April 2009).
"On the Malleable Nature of Product Meaning in China," Giana M. Eckhardt and Michael J. Houston, Journal of Consumer Behavior (December 2008).
"On the Distinction Between Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychological Approaches and Its Significance for Consumer Research," Giana M. Eckhardt and Michael J. Houston. In Review of Marketing Research, Vol. 3, N. Malhotra (ed.), (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe), 2007.
"Fading Optimism in Products: Temporal Changes in Expectations about Performance," Ashwani Monga and Michael J. Houston, Journal of Marketing Research (November 2006).
"Exemplars or Beliefs? The Impact of Self-View on the Nature and Relative Influence of Brand Association," Sharon Ng and Michael J. Houston, Journal of Consumer Research (March 2006).
"Beyond the Bamboo Curtain: Initial Results of a Large-Scale Asian Consumer Behavior Study," Yi Hwai Lee, Swee Hoon Ang, Ah Keng Kau, and Michael J. Houston, Asian Journal of Marketing (2003).
"Cultural Paradoxes Reflected in Brand Meaning: McDonald's in Shanghai, China," Giana M. Eckhardt and Michael J. Houston, Journal of International Marketing (2002).
"The Effects of Brand Name Suggestiveness on Advertising Recall," Kevin Lane Keller, Susan E. Heckler, and Michael J. Houston, Journal of Marketing (January 1998).

Current Activities

Administrative Appointments

  • Associate Dean of Global Initiatives

Current Research

  • Culture and consumer behavior

Editorial Appointments

  • Editorial Board, International Journal of Research in Marketing

Scholarly Service

  • Vice president of publications, American Marketing Association, 2000-2004

  • Doctoral consortium faculty, American Marketing Association

  • Editor, Journal of Marketing Research, 1988-91

  • Director, Association for Consumer Research