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Morgan Ward

Assistant Professor of Marketing

Ph.D - University of Texas at Austin

Fincher 314


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Consumer Behavior

Fundamentals of Marketing

Integrated Marketing and Communications


My research examines how individuals make product choices that reflect important aspects of their self-concepts and in so doing, affirm important relationships or their social standing within their in-groups. Thus, my research lies at the intersection of the fields of marketing, social psychology and anthropology. As a consumer behavior researcher, my work examines these phenomena in a diverse set of contexts, including luxury products, gift giving, and vintage products. Furthermore, my research looks at many different kinds of relationships including friendships, membership in aspirational in-groups and customer-service provider relationships.


Ward, Morgan and Susan M. Broniarczyk "Ask and You Shall (Not) Receive: Relationship Signaling Results
in Registry Rejection and Worse Gift Choices," Conditionally accepted at Journal of Marketing Research.

Ward, Morgan K., Darren W. Dahl (2014), "Should the Devil Sell Prada? Retail Rejection Increases
Aspiring Consumers' Desire for the Brand," Journal of Consumer Research, 41 (3), 590-609.

Ward, Morgan K., Joseph K. Goodman, Julie R. Irwin (2013), "The Same Old Song: The Power of
Familiarity in Music Choice," Marketing Letters, 1- 11.

Ward, Morgan K., and Susan M. Broniarczyk (2011) "It's Not Me, It's You: How Gift Giving Creates Giver
Identity Threat as a Function of Social Closeness," Journal of Consumer Research, 38(1), 164-81.

Berger, Jonah and Morgan K. Ward (2010) "Subtle Signals of Inconspicuous Consumption," Journal of
Consumer Research, 37 (4), 555-69.

Morgan Ward, a Marketing professor at the Cox School of Business at SMU, researches topics relating to luxury consumption and gift giving and has published articles on these topics in top-tier academic journals. Popular accounts of her work have appeared in media outlets like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Business Week and The Atlantic. Dr. Ward has also worked as consultant on projects for various retailers (e.g. Coke, Proctor & Gamble, Ben & Jerry's) and as an expert witness in legal cases relating to the use of trade dress.