Kathleen J. Kennedy

Associate Professor of Practice
Retailing and Consumer Sciences
650 N Park Ave
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0078
(520) 621-1928

Kathleen’s career in marketing, strategy, and consumer research successfully spans both the academic and business worlds. Kathleen is currently an Associate Professor of Practice in the Retailing and Consumer Sciences program at the University of Arizona and teaches retail and marketing strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship, digital retailing, and sustainable consumption courses.

In 2017, Kathleen focused her academic and research efforts on retailing and consumer buying behavior, with a focus on retail innovation, the integration of AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning) retail services in shopping and consumer decision-making, and how retail innovation can increase the efficiency of the marketplace advancing sustainable consumption. Her current research is on understanding the role and effect of intelligent, self-learning AI/ML systems in shopper-retailer relationships and the underlying consumer buying process.

Kathleen is the faculty adviser for the 2019 Global Retail Competition academic team and for the Retail Entrepreneurship Club (REC). She is actively engaged in developing applied learning course experiences and received an Experiential Design Learning Incubator grant (2019-2020) to develop and pilot a community-engaged learning course initiative, RCSC 150B1 Consumers, the Economy, and Sustainable Consumption, and a Norton School Strategic grant (2019-2021) supporting student development and operations of a fully-functioning E-Commerce store within RCSC digital retailing courses. Kathleen is committed to community education and professional development in data sciences and co-organized the 2019 WiDS (Women in Data Science) Tucson conference.

Prior to joining the University of Arizona, Kathleen was on the Marketing faculty at The University of Akron (2011-2017). She concurrently served as Executive Director of the Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing (2011-2012) and as Research Director of the Suarez Applied Marketing Research Laboratories (2011-2015) where she led a 5-year initiative to advance innovative marketing research methods, and to apply consumer neuroscience methods in brand response, user experience, and ad testing research. She also was Executive Director of the Center of Innovative Entrepreneurship (2005-2006).

Kathleen previously was a senior marketing and e-commerce executive at Office Depot, Federated Department Stores (Macy’s Inc.), and other major retailers. She was also Managing Partner and Director of the Customer Centre for Loyalty Excellence at OgilvyOne Worldwide. Kathleen co-founded four successful marketing services businesses including Mindnav LLC, a leading-edge marketing research company developing consumer research and customer experience applications that enable insights not possible through traditional market research methods.

Her publications include “Research in reverse: Ad testing using an inductive consumer neuroscience approach” in the Journal of Business Research and “Measuring consumer neural activation to differentiate cognitive processing of advertising: Revisiting Krugman” in the European Journal of Marketing.

Kathleen received a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Miami (FL) in 2004 and is currently a Postgraduate Research Candidate in the Doctor of Business Administration programme at The University of Manchester (UK), Alliance Manchester Business School. 

She lives and work in Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Areas of Expertise

Retailing and marketing strategy, digital commerce, retail technology (R-Tech), innovation and entrepreneurship, new product development and circular economy design approaches/sustainable consumption systems, marketing research methods, and consumer neuroscience.

Research Focus

Kathleen's research focus is on  the integration of AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning) retail services in shopping and consumer decision-making, and how retail innovation can increase the efficiency of the marketplace advancing sustainable consumption. Her current research is about customer facing AI applications of AI in the retailing sector. Specifically, she is focused on understanding the role and effect of intelligent, self-learning systems in shopper-retailer relationships, the underlying consumer buying process, and how consumers are incorportating their consumption needs, desires, and values into the use fo these shopping tools.

Current Projects

Current work includes "Retail Digitalization: Two Emerging Omnichannel Model," which examines how digitalization is transforming retailing and enabling buiness model innovation and sales channel integration, generally referred to as omnichannel retailing. In addition, Kathleen is engaged in a major research study of the use of AI/ML in retailing at the Univerversity of Manchester (UK).

Subjects Taught

Retailing and Marketing Strategy, Omnichannel Retailing, Digital Retailing, Retail Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Services Retailing, Fundamentals of Marketing, Retail Promotion and Visual Merchandizing, Retail Business Analysis & Decision Making, MS Excel and Retail Business Analysis, and Consumers, the Environment, and Sustainable Consumption.

Select Publications

Daugherty, T., Hoffman, E., Kennedy, K., & Nolan, M. (2018). “Measuring consumer neural activation to differentiate cognitive processing of advertising: Revisiting Krugman.” European Journal of Marketing. 52(1/2), 182-198

Kennedy, Kathleen.(2018) “Evaluating Emotional Response to Positive and Negative Political Advertising”
Special research project supporting “Informed Citizen Akron,” a collaboration of the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at The University of Akron, the Jefferson Center, and consortium of Ohio newspapers and media organizations.

Daugherty, T., Hoffman, E., & Kennedy, K. (2016). “Research in reverse: Ad testing using an inductive consumer neuroscience approach.” Journal of Business Research, 69(8), 3168-3176.

McCarthey, Kevin and Kathleen Kennedy (2005), “The Economic Value of Innovative Entrepreneurship” prepared for the Kaufman Foundation, supported by two grants totaling $296,000.

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Institutes and Centers

The University of Arizona