University of ArizonaNorton School of Family and Consumer Sciences

Anita D. Bhappu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
CESI Co-Director & TJLC Research Fellow
Retailing and Consumer Sciences
650 N Park Ave
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0078
(520) 621-5948

As a child growing up in Karachi, Pakistan, I was always aware of my social status as a minority because people often made judgmental comments about my religious heritage, especially the fact that my parents practiced different faiths (Roman Catholic and Zoroastrian). But, as a teenager who immigrated with my family to Tucson, AZ, it was my ethnicity — Hispanic and Asian — that became socially salient. People were generally curious about my cultural background, and I struggled to answer their common question, “Where are you from?” because my identity was in transition.

Today I am very comfortable stating that I am from Tucson, AZ. I feel a deep sense of connection to both the place and the people, especially The University of Arizona, which has been a psychological home for me even when I lived elsewhere. And having lived and traveled all over the world, I am personally committed to forwarding world peace and interfaith understanding through social interaction. From time to time, I facilitate spiritual explorations for small groups of Tucsonans who are interested in worshipping and breaking bread with different faith communities in town.

Areas of expertise: 

Consumer adoption of technology

Service delivery

Effectiveness of work teams

Organizational diversity

Research Focus: 

It was my work experience at Procter & Gamble as a product development engineer that led me to pursue graduate studies in organizational behavior and initially inspired my research on enhancing the team performance. My other stream of research — on customer interactions in service delivery — blossomed during a survey methods course in graduate school. My research in both these domains continues to flourish, with each new study that I undertake generating more intriguing questions for me to explore. I am especially energized by the opportunity to collaborate with students on research, which I find to be a very rewarding experience.

Current Projects: 
  • Diversity and communication media in work teams

  • Expectations for conflict in diverse teams

  • Consumer adoption of digital coupons

Subjects Taught: 
  • Consumer Behavior (RCSC 340)

  • Consumers, Environment & Sustainable Consumption (RCSC 150 B2)

  • Introduction to Retailing (RCSC 214)

  • Senior Capstone — Consulting (RCSC 498)

Select Publications: 

Please contact Dr. Bhappu if you are unable to locate one of the publications listed below:

Giambatista, Robert C. & Bhappu, Anita D.  Diversity’s harvest: Interactions of diversity sources and communication technologies on creative group performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, March 2010.

Zellmer-Bruhn, Mary E., Maloney, Mary M., Bhappu, Anita D., & Salvador, Rommel.  When and how do differences matter? An exploration of perceived similarity in teams. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, November 2008.

Bhappu, Anita D. & Schultze, Ulrike.  The role of relational and operational performance in B2B customers’ adoption of self-service technology.  Journal of Service Research, May 2006.

Schultze, Ulrike & Bhappu, Anita D.  Incorporating self-service technology into co-production designs.  International Journal of E-Collaboration, October 2005.

Tel: Main Office 520.621.1075 Norton School Student Services 520.621.1295
Mailing Address: 650 N. Park Ave Tucson, Arizona 85721-0078 (Map to McClelland Park)
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