Liwu Hsu

How did you become interested in your field? Was there a specific moment when you knew it was the right field for you?

I can’t remember if there was a specific moment when I knew marketing was the right field for me, but I do know that I enjoy doing research in marketing areas.

I am interested in understanding behaviors: the behaviors leading to purchasing, the behaviors leading to word-of-mouth, the behaviors leading to loyalty, the behaviors leading to satisfaction, the behaviors leading to risk-seeking or risk-averse, etc. Marketing is so dynamic, energetic and relevant that I never feel bored to observe and understand people, more importantly, understand myself.

Why did you go into teaching and what do you hope students take away from your class?

I knew I would enjoy teaching since I was in elementary school. When I worked as a tutor and teaching assistant later on, it confirmed my interests. I enjoy discussing questions with my students. The moment when they understand the topics always inspires me.

People tend to misunderstand what marketing truly is, so I tell my students that the key takeaway from my class is the definition of marketing. Even if they are not majoring in marketing, we are all consumers so marketing is highly relevant to all of us. Furthermore, for marketing students, marketers heavily rely on the data to understand the market and consumer behavior so specializing in analytics is more and more important to them.

What do you enjoy most about your students?

I enjoy hearing about my students’ work experience and how our course materials can be applied. In general, I teach principles of marketing each semester which is mandatory for all business school students, so I have the unique opportunity to learn their different perspectives from various disciplines and backgrounds and listen to the students’ work experience in different industries.

Liwu Hsu receiving Excellence Award

What research are you working on?

Broadly, my current research interest lies in the interface between marketing strategy and firm performance. Working to understand the impact of various marketing strategies in different contexts, my research examines multiple dimensions of marketing strategy and their differential impact on firm value.

The shareholder perspective of marketing activities and intangible assets is a burgeoning field, and many interesting research questions remain unanswered. I see this cross-disciplinary research stream having implications for how managers and the investment community make attributions of firm performance for marketing activities and assets.

Going forward, I see myself continuing to examine the effects of marketing strategy on firm performance contributing to theory-building in this emerging body of literature.

What would you like your research to achieve?

Academic research is to contribute to the theory and knowledge. However, more importantly, I hope my research can help companies and consumers make better decisions, leading to a positive outcome. My ideal researchers are Dr. Daniel Kahneman and Dr. Richard Thaler, 2002 and 2017 Nobel Memorial Prize laureates in Economics, respectively. They not only contribute to the theories significantly in their specific areas but also change the way we think about thinking, being aware of biases, and seeking solutions to make better decisions.

What do you like to do aside from teaching and research?

I used to play badminton twice a week when I joined UAH in 2012. But since the birth of my son, I stopped playing badminton (or simply just getting old). My baby boy is now 3-years old and I like to spend time with him after work and during the weekend. We like to go to the parks, botanical gardens, Nashville or Birmingham zoos, explore hiking trails, and attend many kinds of activities and workshops during the weekend.

What would students be surprised to learn about you?

When I was undergraduate, I was selected for the varsity bowling team. My highest bowling score was 279, and I still hope to achieve 300 one day. I also once loved to play the board game Ticket to Ride. My best record in Ticket to Ride’s online gaming community, with over thousands of players playing tens of thousands of games online every day, was third overall in the world ranking and #1 in the multi-player world ranking.