Vithala R. Rao

Vithala R. Rao

  • Deane W. Malott Professor of Management Emeritus
  • Editor, Customer Needs and Solutions

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Interdisciplinary Theme

Faculty Expertise

  • Marketing


Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Cornell Directory Entry


Vithala R. Rao is the Deane Malott Professor Emeritus of Management and professor emeritus of marketing and quantitative methods at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. He holds master's degrees in mathematical statistics from the University of Bombay and in sociology from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in applied economics and marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Rao has published over 145 papers on several topics including conjoint analysis and multidimensional scaling, pricing, bundle design, brand equity, market structure, corporate acquisition, and linking branding strategies to financial performance. His current work includes competitive bundling, diffusion of attribute information for new products, and trade promotions. His papers have appeared in the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Management Science, Journal of Marketing, and Journal of Consumer Research, among others.

Rao received Johnson's 2000-2001 Faculty Research Award and the 2005 Robert D. Buzzell Award for the Best Paper by the Marketing Science Institute. He received the 2008 Charles Coolidge Parlin Marketing Research Award presented by the American Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association Foundation recognizing his "outstanding leadership and sustained impact on advancing the evolving profession of marketing research over an extended period of time." Rao was elected the ISMS Fellow in 2012 and inducted as an AMA Fellow in February 2016. Technometrics recognized his book, Applied Conjoint Analysis, in 2016. He was awarded the 2017 Churchill Award by the American Marketing Association's Marketing Research Special Interest Group for his lifetime contributions in marketing research.

In addition to his 2004 book, Applied Conjoint Analysis, Rao is the co-author of Applied Multidimensional Scaling, Decision Criteria for New Product Acceptance and Success, and Analysis for Strategic Marketing. He also edited a volume of research papers entitled, Handbook of Pricing Research in Marketing. He published a book, Pricing Strategy and Analytics in 2023. He serves on the editorial boards of Customer Needs and Solutions (as a senior editor), Journal of Marketing (as a reviewer), Journal of Marketing Research (as a reviewer), and Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing (as a reviewer). He is also an ad hoc reviewer for several journals, including Management Science. He was the chair of the Marketing Strategy Committee of INFORMS in 2010-2012.

Rao has taught at several other schools, including the Fuqua School of Business of Duke University, Columbia Graduate School of Business, and the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Currently, he serves as a Mentor to the Business Analytics Area faculty of the Jagdish Sheth School of Management, Bengaluru, India.

Selected Publications

Awards and Honors

  • Gilbert A. Churchill Award for Lifetime Contributions to Marketing Research (2017) American Marketing Association
  • 2016 Ziegel Award (2016) Technometrics, ASA
  • Charles Coolidge Parlin Marketing Research Award (2008) American Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association Foundation

Academic Degrees

  • PhD The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 1970
  • MA University of Michigan, 1962
  • MS University of Bombay, 1956
  • BS Andhra University, 1954