Michael L Ray

John G. McCoy-Banc One Corporation Professor of Creativity and Innovation and of Marketing, Emeritus

Phone: (650) 723-2762

Email: ray_michael@gsb.stanford.edu

Academic Areas: Marketing

Professor Ray has published in the fields of marketing, the behavioral science approach to marketing communication, consumer information processing, and new paradigm business. His current focus is on individual and organizational experiences in developing creativity, innovation, and generative leadership within sustainable organizational and world environments.


Michael L. Ray is a social psychologist with extensive experience in marketing communication and in developing generative work environments for companies and individuals. He has produced over 100 publications including 10 books, among them two of the first books in the field of consumer information processing and two that helped establish and develop inquiry into new paradigm business. His best-selling Creativity in Business (with Rochelle Myers) was named, one of the nine “Greatest Business Books Ever Written” by Inc. magazine. The Path of the Everyday Hero (with Lorna Catford) garnered the title of the best business self-help book of the year, and The Creative Spirit (with Daniel Goleman and Paul Kaufman) was the companion book to the PBS series of the same name, which was inspired by his Stanford course, Personal Creativity in Business. His most recent book, The Highest Goal: The Secret that Sustains You in Every Moment received a Fast Company Reader’s Choice Award. He is at work on Conversations on the Basics in collaboration with teachers of his creativity course. He lectures and consults to organizations and groups worldwide and has served as a director of a major retailer, a food company, a catalog company, a start-up airline, a national cable systems company, an advertising agency, and four nonprofit organizations.

Academic Degrees

PhD, 1967 Northwester Univ., MA, 1965, MS, 1962, BS, 1961.

Professional Experience

At Stanford since 1967.

Visiting Professor, Australian Graduate School of Management, 1980; Visiting Research Associate, Marketing Science Institute, 1972-73; Visiting Associate Professor, Harvard University, 1972-73; Instructor, Northwestern University,1963-67; Special Projects Research Supervisor, Foote, Cone & Belding, Inc., 1961-65; Associate to Product Managers, Topco Associates Inc., 1960-61; Advertising Production Manager and Assistant to Sales Representatives, Patterson Publishing Co., 1958-59.

Selected Publications

  • The Highest Goal: San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2004
  • Social Creativity as an Heroic Path in World Crisis: Social Creativity, Vol. II: Hampton Press, 1999
  • The New Entrepreneurs: Coeditor, Sterling and Stone, 1994
  • The New Paradigm in Business: Putnam, 1993
  • The Creative Spirit: Coauthor, Dutton, 1992
  • The Path of the Everyday Hero: Tarcher, 1991
  • Creativity in Business: Doubleday, 1986

Working Papers

  • 83: A Behavioral-Laboratory-Model-Field Study Of Alternative Message Strategies In Competitive Advertising Situations
  • 171: Consumer Initial Processing: Definitions, Issues and Applications
  • 479: Effects Of A Crowded Television Environment: The ANA/MSI Clutter Study
  • 661: Emotion and Persuasion in Advertising: What We Do and Don't Know About Affect
  • 180: Marketing Communication And The Hierarchy-Of-Effects
  • 229: Attitude as Communication Response
  • 230: Three Learning Theory Traditions and Their Application in Marketing
  • 231: Involvement and Political Advertising Effect: An Exploratory Experiment
  • 232: Cognitive Responses to Mass Communication: Results From Laboratory Studies and a Field Experiment
  • 244: The Advertising Pretest as Part of a Multimeasure, Multimethod, Multisituation Validation and Application Research System
  • 318: Advertising-Selling Interactions
  • 662: Operationalizing Involvement as Depth and Quality of Cognitive Response
  • 710: How Advertising Works at Contact
  • 720: Identifying Opportunities for Repetition Minimization
  • 81: Unobtrusive Marketing Research Techniques
  • 480: Effects of Name Calling and Small Requests on Receptivity to Direct-Mail Appeals
  • 481: The Critical Need for a Marketing Measurement Tradition: A Proposal
  • 511: A Plan for Consumer Information System Development, Implementation and Evaluation
  • 604: Advertising Situations: The Implications of Differential Involvement and Accompanying Affect Responses
  • 617: Applications of a Marketing Communication Research System
  • 622: Communication Research Guidelines for Corporate Communication
  • 95: Psychological Theories and Interpretations of Learning
  • 13: Prospects For Management-Behavioral Science Interaction In Media Modeling
  • 135: A Decision Sequence Analysis of Developments in Marketing Communication


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