Omura focuses his research and consulting on creating and growing markets, particularly as driven by emerging technologies. He directs the AMA Global Entrepreneurship and Marketing Research Interface. He has won numerous awards for teaching quality, including being named an “Outstanding Marketing Professor” by Businessweek. Omura earned his PhD at Ohio State, where he studied with the authors of the first textbook on consumer behavior.
Associate Dean Glenn Omura’s loyalty to MSU to long-established: He holds a bachelors’ degree in marketing from the university and met his future wife in one of the dorms.
Omura, who started out studying industrial engineering, became interested in marketing while enrolled in a course with Thomas Staudt, who would later be Chevrolet’s executive vice president of marketing. A class on psychology added another layer to his new area of focus.
“There was no such field as consumer behavior,” Omura says. “I decided to minor in psychology and major in marketing. My senior year, I found a Ph.D. course on consumer behavior, and I talked the professor into letting me take the course.”
After graduation, Omura headed to Ohio State to study with the three authors of the first textbook on consumer behavior. He earned his MBA and Ph.D. there, and worked as research assistant for one of the authors.
Soon after completing his doctorate, he joined the faculty at MSU. Today he teaches marketing for MBA students and is acting associated dean.
Omura says his students’ success has been the crowing achievement of his many years at MSU.
“That’s the hope of every professor, is how do you touch the lives of your students,” he says. “I’ve been lucky enough to teach a number of students who have been successful.”
Among Omura’s students was Manog Saxena, who sold two start-ups for several million dollars, then joined IBM as general manager for the Watson Division. Today Saxena is a founding general partner of the Entrepreneur’s Fund IV; he has come back to speak at MSU and has donated stocks of his company to the university.
“My message to students is one of creativity and innovation,” Omura says. “If you want to be differentiated in the marketplace, if you come to MSU, you’ll be able to say you’ve been trained in creativity and innovation as well as the traditional analytic approach you want in a MBA program.”