Mays Business School professors Venkatesh Shankar, Duane Ireland and Mike Hitt have been recognized among the most frequently cited economics and business researchers. All three were selected as 2014 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers.

Inclusion on the list is based on having the most articles cited in the top 1 percent of their field between 2002 and 2012. In other words, the lists feature authors whose published work in their specialty areas has consistently been judged by peers to be of particular significance and utility.

Shankar is the Coleman Chair in Marketing at Mays. Ireland and Hitt are both University Distinguished Professors in Management. Ireland is the Conn Chair in New Ventures Leadership and president of the Academy of Management. Hitt is the Joe B. Foster ’56 Chair in Business Leadership.

Seven other professors on the list are from Texas A&M University, in the disciplines of agricultural sciences, chemistry, computer science, engineering and mathematics.

Categories: Faculty, Staff

Mark Houston
Mark Houston

Mark B. Houston has joined Mays Business School’s Department of Marketing as department head, professor and the Blue Bell Creameries Chair in Business. Houston is the inaugural holder of the chair, which was created in 2009.

Prior to joining Texas A&M University in 2014, Houston served on the faculties of TCU (chaired full professor), University of Missouri (endowed professorship), Saint Louis University and Bowling Green State University.

Houston received his PhD from Arizona State, his MBA from the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Baptist University.

Houston also maintains active research affiliations with Arizona State University’s Center for Services Leadership and the University of Münster (Germany). His award-winning research on channels, movies and innovation strategy has been published in Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, and Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, among others.

He is associate editor of Journal of Service Research. He has served as President of the AMA Academic Council (2012-2013), and has co-chaired the AMA Summer Educators’ Conference (2005) and the AMA/Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium (2010). His teaching has received awards at the national (Academy of Marketing Science), university (University of Missouri) and college levels (TCU’s Neeley School of Business; Saint Louis University’s Cook School of Business). He has conducted research, consulting and/or executive education activities with many firms, including AT&T, Caterpillar, Dell, IBM, INGAA, and WellPoint.

Houston said he was attracted to Mays because of its reputation as a college that encourages research, and he looks forward to working with PhD students again.

“Also, it is a great opportunity to be a part of a nice community and to lead a group of great colleagues,” he said. “I am looking forward to it.”

Categories: Departments

This was the question posed in a recent editorial in The Wall Street Journal commenting on United States tax policy.Within the past month, Medtronic agreed to acquire a rival medical-device manufacturer (Covidien) for $42.9 billion. Pfizer’s offer of $119 billion to acquire biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca was rejected. These large transactions raise the normal questions about the purpose of an acquisition, which can include filling gaps in product or service offerings, exploiting operating synergies and bringing products and services into new markets. Now, it appears a fourth incentive for an acquisition has emerged: establishing legal residencies overseas in an effort to reduce taxes.

These inversions (situations where an acquiring company assumes the legal domicile of the acquired company) provide two potential tax benefits. First, the United States corporate rate of 35% is among the highest in the world, and there is little optimism that Congress will reduce this rate in the near future. Second, U.S. tax laws assess an additional tax on profits earned outside of the United States that are returned for use in the United States. Several companies with large cash balances (most notably, Apple) have issued debt to fund dividends and stock repurchases rather than pay the additional taxes on foreign profits.

Consider the case of Medtronic, which earned $4.2 billion prior to taxes in 2013. Using a U.S. tax rate of 40% (35% corporate rate and state and local taxes), the tax bill would be $1.7 billion. Based on Covidien’s Ireland domicile and 12.5% corporate tax rate, the taxes on this would be $525 million, a savings of almost $1.2 billion. The average European Union rate of 21% or average Asia rate of 22% are almost one-half of the U.S. rates. The answer is simple: The United States needs to engage in serious corporate tax reform to be competitive with the rest of the world or watch companies, jobs and investments move to more tax-friendly havens.

Categories: Deanspeak

Startup Aggieland was named the recipient of The Research Valley Commercialization Rising Star Award at the Bryan Rotary Newman 10 Business Performance Awards luncheon.

Celebrating outstanding business innovation, the award is sponsored by The Research Valley Partnership to recognize an individual or group’s entrepreneurial spirit and introductory work in taking ideas to the marketplace.

Startup Aggieland is a business accelerator connecting enterprising students with an ecosystem that encourages small venture development and entrepreneurial learning opportunities.
The initiative launched in 2012 as a national model for student-led entrepreneurship within institutions of higher education.

More than 100 student ventures have launched from Startup Aggieland, which is managed by Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship and operated on the Texas A&M campus by students for students of every major who are seeking to turn innovative ideas into innovative businesses. Startup Aggieland is a commercialization resource and springboard for meeting the shared entrepreneurial objectives of Texas A&M University and the Bryan/College Station communities.

Small businesses play a crucial role in the U.S. economy and entrepreneurs advancing forward are among the most important elements in economic vitality. Exclusively designed to promote and encourage student entrepreneurial experiential learning and education, Startup Aggieland received seed investment funds from the university to respond in a cohesive way to the nation’s growing entrepreneurial evolution and provide an ecosystem to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit. An integral part of Startup Aggieland’s success is the involvement of a collaborative network of university faculty and professionals in the business community who serve as mentors, advisors and service providers to the student companies and the incubator student staff.

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Centers

2014 Retail Sponsor Forum

When the Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School hosted the 2014 Retail Sponsor Forum on May 22, it moved to a new location: CityCentre in Houston, where Mays offers Professional MBA and Executive MBA programs and various events.

More than 30 attendees represented companies including H-E-B, Walgreens, Pizza Hut, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Toys”R”Us, Stage Stores, PetSmart, AT&T, BDO, Kalypso, Gardere, Mondelez International and Love Advertising. The Sponsor Forum gave executive retail leaders the opportunity to discuss shared industry challenges and possible solutions.

Guests were then treated to hearing from Steven Hunter, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Stage Stores; Peter Vogel, Partner at Gardere; and Amy Messersmith, Chief People Officer at Pizza Hut.

Each of the larger group sessions expanded on the topics of eCommerce, cyber security and how to develop an authentic employee culture tailored for millennials.

Steven Hunter began by sharing the journey of Stage Stores’ company transition into a more personalized online storefront. By seeking help from outside specialists, the company developed an effective eCommerce strategy. The “new customer experience” that was eventually established included a search engine of the company’s product assortment, the ability to showcase featured brands, and integration of customer loyalty incentives.

In addition to networking, the Sponsor Forum also allowed for smaller breakout sessions to develop key takeaways that could be implemented back at their home company, as well as for individuals to highlight team accomplishments and share innovative ideas.

This year’s conversation included:

  • The Integration of Selling
  • Speed of Innovation
  • Inventory Optimization

These discussion groups were led by Bryan McCormick, Vice President of HR for PetSmart; Bill Ennis, SVP of HR for Academy Sports + Outdoors; and, Carlos Garza, Vice President of eCommerce Supply Chain for H-E-B.

Following the breakout sessions, Peter Vogel presented an in depth overview of cyber security, an especially timely topic given recent cyber breaches in retail. He also provided great insight on the importance of cloud computing services, particularly Amazon Web Services, which hosts Netflix, reddit and Adobe, among many others. With increasing use, companies must now turn their attention to protecting information and confidentiality, eDiscovery requirements and backup of data in the event of an IT emergency or disaster.

The afternoon concluded with a keynote by Amy Messersmith, sharing what it means to be the “heart of the [Pizza] Hut” brand. Not only does Yum! emphasize teamwork and inspiration in developing its employees, but also places an enormous focus on internal recognition. The investment of this authentic culture creates leaders from within by teaching core values of the company. By establishing engaged employees, the positive customer experience will then be spread across the frontline of customer engagement at each store. Messersmith also highlighted the importance of learning from other companies to evaluate and improve the power of your brand.

At the end of the day, guests enjoyed a farewell reception on-site.



The Retail Sponsor Forum provides Center for Retailing Studies partner companies with exclusive executive education symposium to interact with leading campus academics and industry thought leaders. The intimate gathering also fosters relationship building among partner companies.


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.



Categories: Centers

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