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Biography

Stanford Graduate School of Business
Associate Professor of Marketing

Research Statement

Professor Huang’s research focuses on consumer motivation. Her work in this area has been programmatic, documenting how consumers have different concerns in different stages of goal pursuit, and thus derive motivation in very distinct ways. Professor Huang uses experiments to tightly examine causal processes, and field studies to test these findings in the real world, such as launching loyalty programs with local restaurants and conducting charity campaigns with nonprofit organizations. Her new projects examine consumer motivation in social settings, such as shared goal-pursuit groups (e.g., Weight Watchers) and pro-social behaviors (e.g., motivation behind donations).

Research Interests

  • Consumer motivation
  • Self-regulation
  • Social interactions in goal pursuit
  • Prosocial Behaviors

Teaching Statement

I believe that education in Business School is a transformational process to create strategic thinkers. Students are encouraged to take a critical approach when analyzing real-world executions rather than merely accepting companies’ current practices as absolute truth. Along this line, I also believe that great education in Business School takes place when course materials are related to the real world. Thus, I strive to have students work on real-world projects, conduct real consumer research (no matter how small the scale is), and provide strategic analyses and suggestions that can actually be applied in the real world, under a practical budget constraint. Lastly, I believe that students learn best through active participation, and that intense discussion leads to transformation in thoughts.

Bio

​Szu-chi Huang is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. She received her PhD in Marketing and a Master’s degree in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds two Bachelor’s degrees from the National Taiwan University in Business Administration and in Business/Financial Law. Prior to her academic career, Professor Huang worked at JWT Advertising Agency as an Account Manager. While at JWT, she managed global brands such as Unilever and Estee Lauder. 

Professor Huang’s main research interest is consumer motivation. Her research has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Her findings were featured in the popular press, including Harvard Business Review, Inc., Men’s Health, Inside Marketing, Chief Executive, Quartz, and The Huffington Post. She has been awarded prestigious fellowships and awards, including the American Marketing Association (AMA) Consumer Behavior Special Interest Group’s Rising Star Award (2013), AMA-Sheth Distinguished Faculty Fellow (2017), and Marketing Science Institute (MSI)’s Young Scholar (2017). Professor Huang was named one of Poets & Quants’ Best 40 Under 40 Professors in 2017.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D. in Marketing, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, 2013
  • MA in Advertising, University of Texas at Austin, 2008
  • BS in Business Administration (summa cum laude), National Taiwan University, Taiwan, 2002
  • BS in Economical and Financial Laws (summa cum laude), National Taiwan University, Taiwan, 2002

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Marketing, Stanford GSB, 2017-present
  • Assistant Professor of Marketing, Stanford GSB, 2013-2017

Professional Experience

  • Account Director, J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency, 2003-2006
  • Marketing and Research Specialist, Tetra Pak Taiwan Ltd., 2001

Awards and Honors

  • GSB Trust Faculty Scholar, 2018-2019
  • GSB Trust Faculty Scholar, 2017-2018
  • Best 40 Business School Professors under 40, Poets & Quants, 2017
  • AMA-Sheth Distinguished Faculty Fellow, 2017
  • Marketing Science Institute (MSI)'s Young Scholar, 2017
  • Stanford GSB All Star (recognition of teaching/advisory excellence for STEP), 2016-2017
  • Discovery Award, Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, 2015
  • Spence Faculty Scholar Award, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2014-2015
  • Faculty Fellowship Award, Stanford Center at Peking University (SCPKU), 2014-2015
  • Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative Grant, ”Measuring Skill Level and Optimizing Player-Matching Algorithms in Online Games,” 2014
  • Science of Philanthropy Initiative (SPI) Partnership Grant, 2014
  • Rising Star Award, American Marketing Association Consumer Behavior Special Interest Group(AMA CBSIG), 2013
  • William Powers, Jr. Presidential Graduate Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin, 2012-2013
  • Dean's Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin, 2009-2011
  • AMA-Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium Fellow, 2011
  • Continuing Endowed David & Mary Miller Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin, 2011
  • Doctoral Consortium Fellow, AMA-Sheth Foundation, 2011
  • Morris Hite/Tracy Locke Endowed Presidential Scholarship, University of Texas at Austin, 2007-2008
  • Best Presenter of the Year, J. Walter Thompson(JWT), 2006
  • Top Team Award, J. Walter Thompson(JWT), 2006

Teaching

Degree Courses

2018-19

GSBGEN 598: Stanford-Tsinghua Exchange Program

This course is open only to students participating in the Stanford-Tsinghua Exchange Program and is required of those students. Requirements include researching and reporting on companies to be visited, attending lectures in preparation for the...

2017-18

GSBGEN 598: Stanford-Tsinghua Exchange Program

This course is open only to students participating in the Stanford-Tsinghua Exchange Program and is required of those students. Requirements include researching and reporting on companies to be visited, attending lectures in preparation for the...

MKTG 575: Consumer Behavior

Contemporary approaches to marketing emphasize the importance of adopting a consumer focus, from determining consumers'' wants and needs, understanding their motivation, to shaping their attitudes and ensuring their loyalty. This course provides...

MKTG 622: Behavioral Research in Marketing III: Consumer Behavior Classics

The purpose of this seminar is to provide PhD level coverage of the major research work carried out in consumer behavior. For each topic considered, a selection of articles with a specific focus on "early classics" will be distributed and...

2016-17

GSBGEN 598: Stanford-Tsinghua Exchange Program

This course is open only to students participating in the Stanford-Tsinghua Exchange Program and is required of those students. Requirements include researching and reporting on companies to be visited, attending lectures in preparation for the...

MKTG 575: Consumer Behavior

Contemporary approaches to marketing emphasize the importance of adopting a consumer focus, from determining consumers'' wants and needs, understanding their motivation, to shaping their attitudes and ensuring their loyalty. This course provides...

Executive Education & Other Non-Degree Programs

  • Executive Program for Growing Companies Discover business growth strategies and build a stronger company designed to sustain progress, scale management, and facilitate market expansion.

In the Media

2017 Best 40 Under 40 Professors

Poets & Quants, March 26, 2017

Insights by Stanford Business

writtenThe Power of Telling It Like It Is

September 7, 2018

In Panama, a new study finds that kids are more likely to drink healthier beverages if you speak the truth — subtly.

writtenWhy Do We Avoid Information Right When We Need It Most?

February 13, 2018

Comparing ourselves to others can help us meet goals — especially if the timing’s right.

writtenWhat to Read over the Holidays

December 5, 2017

15 Stanford business professors recommend books for those long winter nights.

writtenFocus on Small Steps First, Then Shift to the Larger Goal

May 17, 2017

Research shows that incremental achievements are good early motivators, but their effect wanes as the finish line nears.

audioPodcast: Szu-chi Huang Shares Tips for Sticking with Goals

March 16, 2017

A marketing professor says support from friends can help you meet goals.

writtenWhat Makes Us Slow Down When We’re Ahead in the Race?

February 15, 2017

Scholars reveal how to beat the thinking that causes late-stage motivation to flag.

writtenSzu-chi Huang: Pursuit of a Mutual Goal Can Turn Friends into Foes

October 14, 2014

Marketing research finds that peer support in programs such as Weight Watchers fades as members near the target.

writtenResearch: Too Many Choices Can Derail Success

November 26, 2013

Stanford marketing professor Szu-chi Huang finds that what motivates people to achieve a goal changes along the journey.

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