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Bert Rosenbloom, Ph.D., Rauth Chair

I am highly honored to hold the J. Donald Rauth Distinguished Chair in Business Management at Drexel University.  This endowed chair was established in 1983 by Martin Marietta Corporation, Lockheed Martin’s predecessor company, on the occasion of Mr. Rauth’s retirement as chief executive officer.  After graduating from Drexel in 1940 with a degree in mechanical engineering, Mr. Rauth spent his entire 43-year career with the company.  Mr.  Rauth was also a leader at Drexel.  He served on the board of trustees from 1964-86 and was its chairman from 1980-84.

The financial support provided by the Rauth Chair has been of great value to my teaching, research and scholarly activities at Drexel University.  For most of my academic career, which has spanned almost four decades, my teaching, and research have focused primarily on the areas of marketing channels and distribution systems.  This is the marketing institutional structure that enables billions of people around the globe to have access to millions of products and services.  During this period, I have authored eight editions of the leading college textbook in this field:  Marketing Channels:  A Management View (Thomson/Southwestern).  The 8th edition was published in 2012.  What I think is especially interesting about this 700-page textbook is that it is participating in the very phenomenon it addresses – the technological transformation that has occurred in distribution as a result of the Internet and electronic commerce.  So, the textbook is now available to students in electronic format via Kindle, iPads and iPhones in additions to hard copy.  Globalization, another major force affecting marketing channels and distribution systems, has been addressed by the international edition of Marketing Channels published last spring.  Further, this summer, the book will be available in several different languages including Chinese.

The rapid technological changes and globalization affecting marketing channels have created a metamorphous in distribution systems.  Staying abreast of such dramatic and rapid changes has become more challenging than ever.  The financial support provided by the Rauth Chair has helped greatly in this regard.  Funds from the chair have provided support for hardware and software technology, purchase of data for research, graduate assistant support, research in scholarly journals, the development of case studies, as well as travel to national and international conferences, seminars, workshops, and panels.  Some examples follow: 

  • My graduate research assistant has done extensive research on comparative distribution systems in many countries around the world.  Purchase of the data needed to conduct the studies was provided by the Rauth Chair.
  • My graduate research assistant was able to present her research at prestigious national and international conferences such as the Academy of Marketing Science, American Marketing Association, and the International Management Development Association, with support from the Rauth Chair.  She will be defending her Doctoral Dissertation this April and will graduate with her doctorate in June!
  • I served on Special Panel sessions dealing with changes in marketing institutional structure at the Annual Conference of the Academy of Marketing Science in New Orleans and at the Bi-Annual World Marketing Congress in France.
  • I have been invited to join another distinguished Special Panel of scholars from around the globe that will address structural changes in distributive institutions at Uppsala University in Sweden this summer.
  • For the fourth year in a row, I was selected to serve as chair of the track “Marketing Channels, Distributions Systems, and Supply Chain Management” for the International Management Development Association annual conference to be held in Taipei. In my role as track chair, I have solicited and managed the flow of research papers produced from international scholars doing research on distribution channel strategy and structure. 
  • As the author of a major textbook, I was honored by Drexel University along with other Drexel book authors this past February at the “Celebrate the Drexel Book Authors for 2012” event hosted by the Provost and President of Drexel University.
  • Research supported by the Rauth Chair has resulted in a number of recent publications dealing with new forms of distribution channels in the global environment .  These include:  “Consumer Knowledge and Pre-Purchase Search:  A Meta-Analysis of the Evidence,” Research in Consumer Behavior;  “The Marketing Mix Paradigm and the Systems Perspective of Marketing,” Journal of Historical Research in Marketing;  “Transformational Leadership:  Managing the 21st Century Salesforce,” Psychology and Marketing;  “Standardization vs. Adaptation in Global Markets:  Is Channel Strategy Different,” Journal of Marketing Channels; “Six Classic Distribution Paradigms:  Implications for Global Marketing Strategy,”  Symphonia Review; “Understanding Cultural Frames in the Multicultural Sales Organization:  Prospects and Problems for the Sales Manager,” Journal of Transnational Management; “Wholesalers as a Global Marketers,” Journal of Marketing Channels.
  • Case studies of real companies help to bridge the gap between academic study and the real world of contemporary business.  I have recently written a number of case studies dealing with channel strategies that incorporate new technologies and globalization including “ J.C. Penney:  Facebook as a Marketing Channel,” “Best Buy:  Online vs. Big Box Channels,” and “Nespresso:  Direct Global Channel Strategy.”  These cases will help students all over the world to better understand and deal with rapidly changing distribution channel systems.
  • As alluded to earlier, I have prepared an international version of my textbook Marketing Channels:  A Management View 8th.  This international edition of the textbook makes it available to thousands of students at hundreds of universities all over the world including a number of emerging nations where primitive and poorly managed distribution channels constitute a major impediment to economic growth.
  • I serve on the editorial board of five scholarly journals:  Psychology and Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Marketing Channels, Journal of International Consumer Marketing, and Journal of Transnational Management.  I believe that the prestige associated with the Rauth Chair has played an important role in my being invited to serve on these editorial boards.
  • The Center for Corporate Reputation Management for which I serve on the Advisory Board is housed in the Marketing Department.  The Center is planning several events dealing with corporate reputation and branding for this fall to coincide with the opening of the new LeBow College of Business building.  These events which  will be publicized soon, may be of interest to executives from Lockheed Martin because the events will address leading edge thought and research on the important topics of corporate identify and reputation

It is a great honor to serve as the holder of the J. Donald Rauth Distinguished Chair in Business Management at Drexel University.  The funds from this endowed position have made a significant difference to my career as an educator, scholar, and researcher with its positive impact extending to my students and colleagues in the LeBow College of Business.  I look forward to continuing Mr. Rauth’s legacy of leadership and service at Drexel University.  Thank you very much.


Bert Rosenbloom