profile image

Thomas Novak

Professor of Marketing

Denit Trust Distinguished Scholar

Co-Director, The Center for the Connected Consumer

  • Department: Marketing
  • Email: novak@gwu.edu
  • Phone: (202) 994-8042
  • Fax:
  • Office: Funger Hall, Suite 305 • 2201 G St. NW • Washington, DC • 20052
View Curriculum Vitae
Education:
  • AB, Oberlin College
  • MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bio


Thomas P. Novak is the Denit Trust Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Marketing at The George Washington School of Business in Washington, DC, which he joined in 2013. Professor Novak’s research since 1993 has focused exclusively on consumer behavior in online environments and digital marketing. His current research interests deal with using assemblage theory, anthropomorphism and topological data analysis (TDA) to understand consumer experience in the smart home and the Internet of Things.

Over the past two decades he co-founded and co-directed a series of research centers (Project 2000, eLab, and the Sloan Center for Internet Retailing) with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Paul Allen’s Interval Research Corporation and 40 other corporate sponsors including Walmart.com, Netscape, Procter & Gamble, and Hershey’s.

An internationally recognized academic researcher in Web-based commerce, Novak has published extensively on the subject in top academic journals in a range of scholarly disciplines. His work has had global impact with over 18,000 citations in Google Scholar. He has been awarded numerous prestigious research awards, including the Sheth Foundation/Journal of Marketing Award for long term contributions to the discipline of marketing, the Stellner Distinguished Scholar Award from the University of Illinois, the Robert D. Buzzell Marketing Science Institute Best Paper Award Honorable Mention. He has won research proposal competitions from the Marketing Science Institute, Google, and the University of Pennsylvania, and was named a finalist for the Paul D. Converse Award, for his lasting contributions to the marketing field.

Prior to joining the faculty at George Washington University, Novak served on the faculties of the University of California, Vanderbilt University, and Southern Methodist University. From 1995 through 1999, he spent summers as a visiting scholar at Paul Allen’s Interval Research Corporation, Palo Alto California, was a visiting scholar at Stanford University in the summers of 1997 and 2000, and was a visiting scholar at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in Fall 2010. Prior to joining academia he spent five years at Young & Rubicam, New York.

Novak received his A.B. in Psychology from Oberlin College in 1977 and his M.A. (1980) and Ph.D. (1984, in quantitative psychology with a formal minor in Biostatistics) from the L.L. Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He was recognized as a University of North Carolina Distinguished Graduate Alumni in 2002.


Selected Publications


Working Papers


Recent Presentations


Journal Publications

  • White, T., T. P, Novak and D. L. Hoffman (2014), “No Strings Attached: When Giving It Away Versus Making Them Pay Leads to Negative Net Benefit Perceptions in Consumer-Retailer Exchanges,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, 28 (August), 184-195.
  • Labrecque, L., Mathwick, C., vor dem Esche, J., Novak, T.P., and Hofacker, C. (2013), “Consumer Power: Evolution in the Digital Age,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, 27 (November), 257-269.
  • Hoffman, D.L. and T.P. Novak (2012), “Toward a Deeper Understanding of Social Media,” Journal of Interactive Marketing. (Editorial, Co-Editor, Special Issue on “Social Media”), 26(May), 69-70.
  • Giebelhausen, M. and T.P. Novak (2012), “Web Advertising: Sexual Content on eBay,” Journal of Business Research, 65(June) 840-842.
  • Hoffman, D.L. and Novak. T.P (2011), “Marketing Communication in a Digital Era,” Marketing Management, Fall, 20(3), 37-42, American Marketing Association. Cover article. (Invited article to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Marketing Science Institute.)
  • Hoffman, D., Kopalle, P., Novak, T. (2010) The “Right” Consumers for Better Concepts: Identifying Consumers High in Emergent Nature to Develop New Product Concepts,” Journal of Marketing Research, 47 (October).
  • Novak, Thomas P. (2010), “eLab City: A Platform for Academic Research on Virtual Worlds,” Journal of Virtual Worlds Research.
  • Neslin, S.A., T.P. Novak, K.R. Baker, and D.L. Hoffman (2009), “An Optimal Contact Model for Maximizing Online Panel Response Rates,” Management Science, 55 (May), 727-737.
  • Hoffman, D.L. and T.P. Novak (2009) “Flow Online: Lessons Learned and Future Prospects,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, 23(1), 23-34. Most cited article during the period 2007-2011.
  • Novak, T.P. and D.L. Hoffman (2009), “The Fit of Thinking Style and Situation: New Measures of Situation-Specific Experiential and Rational Cognition,” Journal of Consumer Research, 36 (June), 56-72.

Refereed Chapters in Books

  • Hoffman, D.L., T.P. Novak, and Y. Li (2015), “Online Consumer Behavior,” In Mansell, R. and Ang, P-H (Eds), The International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication and Society, Wiley-Blackwell-ICA Encyclopedias of Communication. Malden and Oxford: Wiley.
  • Hoffman, D.L., Novak, TP., Stein. R (2013), “Social Media,” in The Routledge Companion to Digital Consumption, Russell Belk and Rosa Llamas, Eds., Routledge.
  • Hoffman, D.L. and T.P. Novak (2012), “Social Media Strategy,” in Handbook on Marketing Strategy, eds., Venkatesh Shankar and Gregory S. Carpenter, Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd., 198-216.
  • Novak, Thomas P. (2012), “Quality of Virtual Life (QOVL)” in Transformative Consumer Research for Personal and Collective Well Being, Mick, D., Pettigrew, S., Pechmann C., and Ozanne, J. eds, New York: Taylor and Francis, 226-246.

Selected Presentations


Conference and Industry Presentations

  • Novak, T.P. and D.L. Hoffman (2015), “Using Topological Data Analysis to Explore Emergent Consumer Experience from Digital Interactions,” keynote presentation at the Center for Complexity in Business Annual Conference, Washington, DC, November 12-13.
  • Novak, T.P. and D.L. Hoffman (2015), “Exploring Emergent Consumer Experience: A Topological Data Analysis Approach,” Presented at IFTTT, San Francisco, CA, November 25.
  • Novak, T.P. and D.L. Hoffman (2015), “Using Topological Data Analysis to Explore Emergent Consumer Experience from Digital Interactions,” presented at the NYU Conference on Digital Big Data, Smart Life and Mobile Marketing Analytics, New York, NY, October 23.
  • Novak, T.P. (2015), “Is MTurk Sustainable for Consumer Research?” presentation in the roundtable  session “How and When to Ask the Turk: Tips for Using Amazon’s MTurk to Conduct Consumer Research,” 2015 Association for Consumer Research, New Orleans, October 1-3.
  • Hoffman, D. L. and T.P. Novak (2015), “Consumer Experience in the Connected World: How Emerging Technologies are Poised to Revolutionize Consumer Behavior Research,” presentation in the roundtable (Hoffman and Novak co-chairs), 2015 Association for Consumer Research, New Orleans, October 1-3.
  • Hoffman, D.L. and T.P. Novak (2015),”Consumer Experience in the Internet of Things: Conceptual Foundations,” paper presented in the plenary session “Future Consumer Worlds: How The Internet Of Things, Avatars, Robots, Cyborgs, And Human Enhancement Technologies May Change The Face Of Consumer Psychology- And Our Concept Of What It Means To Be “Human”.” 2015 Society for Consumer Psychology 2nd International Conference, June, Vienna, Austria.
  • Hoffman, D.L., T.P. Novak and H. Kang (2015), “Let’s Get Closer: How Regulatory Fit Drives Feelings of Connectedness in Social Media,” paper presented in the symposium “Social Media Experience: Implications for Well-Being, Word-of-Mouth and Brand Consumption,” 2015 Society for Consumer Psychology Conference, February, Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, AZ.
  • Hoffman, D.L. and T.P. Novak (2014), “The Gamification of Smart Devices: Some Preliminary Thoughts on Concepts and Constructs,” Winter AMA Pre-Conference Event on Games, Gaming and Gamification, Orlando, FL, February 21.
  • Hoffman, D.L. and T.P. Novak (2013), “The Social Life of Content: How Negative Motivations Can Lead to Positive Feelings in Social Media,” MSI Conference on Social Media and Social Networks: What Are They Good For, Boston, MA, December 3-4.
  • Hoffman, D.L. and T.P. Novak (2013), “Two Paths to Feeling Close and Connected in Social Media,” Advertising and Consumer Psychology Conference, San Diego, CA, June 13-15.
  • Novak, T.P. and D.L. Hoffman (2012), “Online Experience in Social Media: Two Paths to Connectedness,” Association for Consumer Research, Vancouver, BC, October 4-7.
  • D.L. Hoffman, T.P. Novak and R. Stein (2012), “Predicting Identification with Social Media Groups: Flourishing Independents or Languishing Interdependents,” Behavioral Decision Research in Management Conference, Boulder, CO, June 27-29.
  • D.L. Hoffman, T.P. Novak and R. Stein (2012), “Predicting Identification with Social Media Groups: Flourishing Independents or Languishing Interdependents,” ISMS Marketing Science Conference, Boston, MA, June 7-9.
  • T.P. Novak and D.L. Hoffman (2012), “Relatedness Need Satisfaction During Social Media Goal Pursuit: The Influence of Online Social Identity and Motivations,” Conference of the International Communication Association, Phoenix, AZ, May 24-28.
  • D.L. Hoffman and T.P Novak (2012), “Need Satisfaction from Interacting with People Versus Content: The Roles of Motivational Orientation and Identification with Social Media Groups,” Society for Consumer Psychology Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV, Feb 16-18.
  • D.L. Hoffman, T.P. Novak, and R. Stein (2012), “The Determinants of Online Social Identity,” Society for Consumer Psychology Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV, Feb 16-18.
  • D.L. Hoffman and T.P. Novak (2012), “Need Satisfaction During Social Media Goal Pursuit: The Role of Motivational Orientation and Identification with Online Social Groups,” Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, CA, January 26-28.
  • D.L. Hoffman and T.P. Novak (2011), “Beyond Facebook: Emerging Trends for a Post-Social Media World,” Marketing Science Institute Conference: Marketing in the Digital Age,” Claremont, CA, October 5.
  • D.L. Hoffman and T.P. Novak (2011), “Why People Use Social Media: How Online Social Identity and Motivations Influence the Experience of Being Connected.” Marketing Science 2011, Houston, Texas, June 9-11.
  • T.P. Novak and F. Massara (2010), “Recognition Accuracy: Content vs. Context Effects in Visual and Text-Based Environments.”ACR North American Conference, Jacksonville, FL., October 7-10.
  • Hoffman, D.L. and T.P. Novak (2010), “Retweet: A Digital Meditation on the Power of Twitter,” Video Essay, ACR North American Conference, Jacksonville, FL., October 7-10.
  • D.L. Hoffman and T.P. Novak (2010), “Roles and Goals: Consumer Motivations to Use the Social Web,” Marketing Science 2010, Cologne, Germany, June 16-19.
  • D.L. Hoffman and T.P. Novak (2010), “Are Brand Attitudes Contagious? Consumer Response to Organic Search Trends,” Marketing Science 2010, Cologne, Germany, June 16-19.
  • D.L. Hoffman, T.P. Novak and J. Silva-Risso (2010), “Validating Brand Tracking Data against Organic Brand Search Trends,” Marketing Science 2010, Cologne, Germany, June 16-19.
  • F. Massara and T.P. Novak (2010), “Context-specific Information Processing: Investigating Circumstances that Improve the Retention of Message Content,” Marketing Science 2010, Cologne, Germany, June 16-19.
  • Hoffman, D.L. and T.P. Novak (2009), “Are Brand Attitudes Contagious: Consumer Response to Organic Search Trends,” Paper presented at the Google/WPP Marketing Research Awards, November 3.
  • Hoffman, D.L. and T.P. Novak (2008), “Emergent Consumers Can Help Develop Successful Future Ideas,” Discussion Paper presented at the NSF GENI Opt-In Workshop, Charles Hotel, July 20-21, 2008.

Awards

Academic Honors and Awards

2012 University of Pennsylvania Future of Advertising Center/Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative “Innovative Approaches to Measuring Advertising Effectiveness” Winner for proposal “Crowdsourcing Ad Effectiveness: Can Emergent Segments Produce the Most Effective Online Ads? ($7,500)

2012 Marketing Science Institute Ideas Challenge Winner for proposal “Idea Wars: Developing a Collaborative Research Agenda for the Gamification of Marketing” ($10,000)

2012 Finalist, Paul D. Converse Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Science of Marketing.

2011 National Science Foundation Grant # IIS-1114828, “Motivations, Expectations and Goal Pursuit in Social Media,” Co-PI ($413,756 for two years)

2011 Marketing Science Institute “Challenges of Communications and Branding in a Digital Era” research proposal competition winner ($8,750)

Grants ($3.5 million total funding 1993-2013)

Foundation, Institute and Government Grants (since 2008)
2012. University of Pennsylvania Future of Advertising Center/Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative “Innovative Approaches to Measuring Advertising Effectiveness” Winner for proposal “Crowdsourcing Ad Effectiveness: Can Emergent Segments Produce the Most Effective Online Ads? ($7,500)

2002. Marketing Science Institute Ideas Challenge Winner for proposal “Idea Wars: Developing a Collaborative Research Agenda for the Gamification of Marketing” ($10,000)

2011. National Science Foundation Grant # IIS-1114828, “Motivations, Expectations and Goal Pursuit in Social Media,” Co-PI ($413,756 for two years, 2011-2013).

2011. Marketing Science Institute “Challenges of Communications and Branding in a Digital Era” research proposal competition winner ($8,750)

Corporate Funding ($932,000 Project 2000/eLab; $450,000 Sloan Center for Internet Retailing).

CDnow, Daimler-Chrysler, FedEx, the Freedom Forum, Digeo, Financial Services Technology Consortium, First Horizon, Focalink, Gaylord Entertainment, HotWired Ventures LLC, Hewlett-Packard, Ingram Entertainment, Interval Research Corporation, iVillage, J.C. Bradford, Land’s End/Sears, NCR Knowledge labs, Neomodal, Netscape, Nielsen Media Research, O’Reilly & Associates, Pitney Bowes, Roche-Diagnostics, Rouse Company, SBC, Shop at Home, Sprint, Sterling Commerce, Sun Microsystems, Vulcan Ventures, VF Corporation, Walmart.com, Yankelovich Partners.

Foundation and Government Grant ($565,000)

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, American Association for Advancement of Science, The Aspen Institute, The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, Marketing Science Institute, John and Mary R. Markle Foundation, National Science Foundation.

University Grants ($1,075,000)

Vanderbilt University Central Administration, Vanderbilt University Research Council, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Corporate Gifts (UCR Sloan Center for Internet Retailing)

Global Market Insite (In-kind 12/2007 ), GSI Commerce ($5,500 12/2007), Procter & Gamble ($5,000 9/2008), Miller Coors ($10,000 9/2008)