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Baba Shiv

Baba   Shiv
Professor, Marketing
Contact Info
Sanwa Bank, Limited, Professor of Marketing
Director of the Strategic Marketing Management Executive Program
Director of The Innovative CIO Executive Program
Faculty Director of Stanford go•to•market program
Academic Area: 

Research Statement

Baba Shiv's research expertise is in the area of neuroeconomics, with specific emphasis on the role of neural structures related to emotion and motivation in shaping decisions and experiences. His recent work examines the interplay of the brain’s "liking" and "wanting" systems and its implications for marketing, innovation, leadership and decision making. The nature of the issues that he examines are: Does being denied something make people pursue it more hotly but also simultaneously like it less? Does a wine's price tag price affect the pleasure one experiences? In the past few years, he has also focused his attention onto the neuroeconomics behind innovation and entrepreneurship leadership in companies small and large, from silicon valley tech startups to Fortune 500 companies Baba Shiv teaches courses at the GSB that build on his research interests. Examples of some of the courses that he teaches include, "The Frinky Science of the Mind," "Scaling Design Thinking Globally," and "Collaborating with the Future." He frequently hosts executives from around the world in executive education programs at Stanford on strategic marketing management, design thinking and customer-focused innovation.


Baba Shiv is the Sanwa Bank, Ltd., Professor of Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  He has done extensive work on the emotional brain, documenting its powerful role in shaping decisions and experiences. His work includes the application of neuroeconomics to the study and practice of innovation and entrepreneurial leadership in companies, from Silicon Valley startups to Fortune 500 companies, as well as countries including India, Malaysia and New Zealand. He frequently consults with and is on the advisory boards of several start-ups. His work has been featured in a variety of media outlets including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, CNN, Economic Times, Fox Business, Financial Times, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Radio Lab. Baba Shiv teaches courses at the GSB and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, including “The Frinky Science of the Mind,” “Scaling Design Thinking Globally,” and “Crafting Interventions for Massive Change.” He frequently hosts executives from around the world in executive education programs at Stanford on strategy, entrepreneurial leadership, and customer-focused innovation.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Duke University, 1996
  • MBA, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, 1988
  • BE, College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai, 1983

Academic Appointments

  • Sanwa Bank, Limited, Professor of Marketing, Stanford GSB, 2010-present
  • Professor of Marketing, Stanford GSB, 2008-2010
  • Associate Professor of Marketing (with tenure) and Ormond Family Faculty Fellow for 2006-2007, Stanford GSB, 2005-2007
  • Associate Professor (with tenure) and Henry B. Tippie Research Fellow, Department of Marketing, University of Iowa, 2002-2005
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing, University of Iowa, 1996 - 2002
  • Instructor, Markets and Management Program, Duke University, 1994-1995

Professional Experience

  • Vadilal Enterprises Limited, Bombay, India (product launch of their ice cream in South India)
  • Blow Plast Limited, India (sales and new product introductions)
  • Larsen & Toubro Limited, India (Caterpillar Tractors and Poclain Hydraulic Excavators)

Awards and Honors

  • R. Michael Shanahan Faculty Fellow, Stanford GSB, 2013-2014
  • “Faculty of the year” for seven consecutive years, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa, 1999-2005
  • “Outstanding Faculty” in the Business Week Guide to the Best Business Schools, 6th, 7th, and 8th Editions (McGraw-Hill), Marketing Science Institute, 1990


Journal Articles

Jing Wang, Rui (Juliet) Zhu, Baba Shiv. Journal of Consumer Research. April 2012, Vol. 38, Issue 6, Pages 1116-1128.
Sarah G. Moore, David T. Neal, Gavan J. Fitzsimons, Baba Shiv. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. January 2012, Vol. 117, Issue 1, Pages 168–178.
Baba Shiv, Zakary Tormala. Journal of Consumer Research. 2012, Vol. 38, Issue 5, Pages 846-859.

Courses Taught

Degree Courses


The exponential growth in our understanding of the workings of the human brain has led to a rather startling and maybe embarrassing (even depressing) conclusion. While the human brain is unique among species in its ability to strategize,...

This course is offered for students requiring specialized training in an area not covered by existing courses. To register, a student must obtain permission from the faculty member who is willing to supervise the reading.

This course is elected as soon as a student is ready to begin research for the dissertation, usually shortly after admission to candidacy. To register, a student must obtain permission from the faculty member who is willing to supervise the...

Doctoral Practicum in Teaching

Doctoral Practicum in Research


The exponential growth in our understanding of the workings of the human brain has led to a rather startling and maybe embarrassing (even depressing) conclusion. While the human brain is unique among species in its ability to strategize,...

In recent years, the study of innovation has been dominated by a school of thought that advocates starting with the customer¿discovering solutions being sought by customers and designing for these solutions. Stated differently, the thrust with...

This course is designed to prepare new marketing PhD students for conducting rigorous, independent research. In this course, the student will work closely with a faculty member in collaborative research activities and will become familiar with...

Driving innovation at large global organizations is extremely challenging. As organizations establish and become successful, the culture and processes calcify and resisting changes becomes the norm. As a result, organizations fail to reframe big...


Why is it so difficult to change human behavior? Why is it that more than 80% of individuals who sign up for fitness classes drop out within a few weeks, even a few days? Why is it that despite the dramatic increase in devices and apps that are...

The exponential growth in our understanding of the workings of the human brain has led to a rather startling and maybe embarrassing (even depressing) conclusion. While the human brain is unique among species in its ability to strategize,...

Stanford Case Studies

The Knight Management Center | RE135
Kathleen Kavanaugh, Jake Kraft, Baba Shiv2010

Stanford University Affiliations

Service to the Profession


  • Editor, Journal of Consumer Research
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Consumer Psychology
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Marketing Research

In the Media

TEDx, June 1, 2012
In a TEDx Stanford talk, the Stanford GSB's Baba Shiv explains why ceding control can sometimes be the best course of action.

Insights by Stanford Business

May 7, 2014
A group of scholars show why what you see isn’t always what you get.
October 15, 2013
What neuroscience tells us about getting the best out of yourself, your colleagues, and the boss.
September 14, 2012
New research shows that seeing all your options at once makes you happier with the choice you make.
August 27, 2012
Professor Baba Shiv discusses how you can coax risk-averse managers to innovate.
August 16, 2012
The simple things your brain needs to perform at its creative best.
December 15, 2011
People who are lonely prefer products outside the mainstream, but only in private.
November 12, 2011
Baba Shiv's research reveals why hypothetical questions aren't as innocent as they seem.
June 1, 2011
Researchers say news about a company or product blemish may actually strengthen consumers’ positive impressions.
March 1, 2011
Research says how people approach failure can be key to their success.
January 1, 2011
New research says people are more likely to achieve a goal if it’s sketched out in vague terms than if it’s set in stone with a specific target.
August 1, 2009
Rejection increases people’s motivation to pursue that elusive objective. But there’s a catch.
March 1, 2008
Studies show that subjects report a medicine less effective when it doesn't cost as much.
January 1, 2008
A study shows that cost doesn't merely interfere with perceived quality, it actually affects real quality.
September 1, 2005
Research shows that how we feel can be the key to our success.
September 1, 2005
Researchers explore how feelings about mortality affect our self-esteem.

School News

April 9, 2015
Information session for innovators with ready-to-launch business ideas will be held May 27.
January 31, 2011
Structured trips provide intellectual and emotional experiences with other cultures for Stanford MBA students learning to lead in a global economy.
May 1, 2009
School's MBA, PhD and master's students recognize three faculty members for their innovative teaching methods, enthusiasm and personal attention.
September 1, 2005
Three senior professors — in accounting, organizational behavior, and marketing — have joined the Stanford GSB faculty, along with six junior faculty.