H. Rao Unnava
Dean and Professor
Research expertise: advertising, brand management, promotions, international marketing and consumer behavior
Dean and Professor H. Rao Unnava’s research focuses on issues related to brand loyalty, consumer response to advertising and sales promotions and consumer memory. His work has appeared in the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Marketing Letters, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of International Consumer Marketing and Advances in Consumer Research. He is on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Consumer Research and Journal of Consumer Psychology.
Unnava’s teaching experience includes courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including marketing management and strategy, marketing research, consumer behavior, promotional strategy, human memory processes and international marketing. He was named Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher by the student chapter of American Marketing Association seven times, won the Westerbeck Undergraduate teaching award twice, and was awarded the Bostic-Georges service award in 2014.
Unnava joined the Graduate School of Management in June 2016 following 32 years at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, where he earned his Ph.D. and most recently served as the W. Arthur Cullman professor of marketing. At the Fisher College of Business, Unnava also served as the associate dean of undergraduate programs, associate dean of executive education, and director of doctoral programs in business.
Unnava is also one of the founders of Angie’s List. He is on the board of directors of the American Marketing Association, and serves on the board of the Bay Area Council, the largest business-centric public policy organization in the San Francisco region
Unnava earned his Ph.D. in business administration from The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, his Post Graduate Diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, and his B.Tech. in electronics engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University.
UC Davis joins other MBA programs with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) designation, thus making graduates eligible for as much as three years’ employment without a visa.
New partnership with Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis to develop leadership curriculum for nursing innovators, funded by a $37.5 mil. grant.
Dean H. Rao Unnava is collaborating to ensure that entrepreneurship and private sector investment grow and thrive in Aggie Square in Sacramento.
Dean’s Big 3 Video for May
Dean H. Rao Unnava shares the exciting finals of our 19th annual Big Bang! Business Competition
Our Big 3 for May 2019: Startups win $110+K at 19th Big Bang! Competition; Tech Management minors team up with Costa Rican engineers; and MBAs in Switzerland to help future-proof tech giant Logitech.
UC Davis is expanding its nationally ranked business school to include an online-only MBA program, making it easier for working professionals or other nontraditional students to earn a degree.
The University of California Davis is looking at a large expansion of its Graduate School of Management as the university enters the market for online degrees.
Dean’s Big 3 Video for April
Dean H. Rao Unnava shares big news this month, including the launch of our first Online MBA program.
Dean H. Rao Unnava shares our Big 3 stories this month: launch of the first online MBA program in UC system; MBA student trip to Chile, and our 24-hour UC Davis Hackathon in San Francisco.
With spring quarter around the corner, Dean H. Rao Unnava shares our Big 3 stories for the month: Ignite Conference fuels tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, Food & Ag Industry Immersion grows talent and our top 50 MBA ranking by U.S. News.
A study by Rao and Vasu Unnava, dean and an adjunct assistant professor at the School respectively, shows how coffee improves group performance.
Dean Unnava and alumna Kristen Parker MBA 18 discuss UC Davis’ innovative industry immersions courses and how the cross-disciplinary approach helps prepare students for future opportunities.
Dean Unnava shares a recap of the UC Davis Big Bang! Business Competition, along with new developments for innovation hub Aggie Square and MSBA’s inaugural 24-hour Data Hack in San Francisco.
Drinking Coffee Might Make You More Likable, According To Science — So No One Can Judge You For Your Third Cup
A new study done by the University of California, Davis, and published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that drinking coffee before any group activity or conversation might help you be more social, self-confident, and engaged.
Dean Unnava has joined the board of Magilla Loans, an innovative search engine for loans that connects borrowers to banks without requesting personal information.
As if we needed more reasons to love our coffee, UC Davis researchers have discovered that people work better together under the influence of coffee.
In both studies, the researchers found that the group that ingested caffeine enjoyed their tasks more. The participants that ingested caffeine also found others in the group to be more receptive to their ideas. In the second study, researchers found that the caffeinated group was more focused on the task at hand. The results of the study show that a moderate amount of caffeine positively affects participation in a group discussion and makes participants feel better about themselves and their peers.
UC Davis researchers say it can “focus group discussion and boost involvement.”
A new study from UC Davis finds that drinking coffee before group discussions or activities could help you be more sociable, self-confident and engaged.
Adjunct Assistant Professor Vasu Unnava co-authored the study “Coffee with Co-workers: Role of Caffeine on Evaluations of the Self and Others in Group Settings” with her husband, Rao Unnava, dean of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.
Coffee with Coworkers Is More Productive and Feels Better, UC Davis Study Finds
First research on the effects of caffeine on group work
New research finds that caffeine increases group focus, encourages participation and delivers satisfaction.
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Rao Unnava, dean of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, shares his Big 3 stories of the month: 1) Our Industry Immersions are bringing together MBAs and campus researchers to solve executives’ live case studies. 2) Twenty UC Davis MBA students met Warren Buffett in Omaha, volunteering time there at Girls, Inc. 3) Why are there so few women in finance? Professor Brad Barber’s research show three reasons why.
What’s ahead in the New Year? Impacts of #MeToo movement, wrongdoing handled in C-suites, Disney/Fox and AT&T/Time Warner mergers, online shopping trends and the sharing economy.
Dean Unnava shares his Big 3 stories of the month, including how the GSM is shaking up the traditional MBA curriculum, a trip to Burning Man and faculty research on why the poor pay more for consumer basics.
Dean Rao Unnava shares his Big 3 stories of the month: 1) Kick off of our annual Big Bang! Business Competition, fanning the flames of entrepreneurship 2) Dean’s Distinguished Speaker – organic food industry trailblazer and UC Davis alumnus John Foraker, former president of Annie’s Inc. 3) INFORMS ISS honors Professor Hemant Bhargava as a 2017 Distinguished Fellow for his leadership and contributions to information technology research and best practices.
Dean Unnava shares our Big 3 stories of the month: our recent grads’ new careers, a new online program in partnership with EduMind and our faculty advising CalPERS on environmental, social and governance factors.
Dean H. Rao Unnava shares insights on how Amazon’s biggest acquisition will benefit consumers. He says, “Whole Foods’ brand perception will be hard to beat.”
Dean Rao Unnava, dean of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, shares his Big 3 stories of the month: Our academic year is winding down, but at UC Davis we end with a Big Bang!—the culmination of our annual business competition to mentor, network and fund entrepreneurs’ ventures. Meanwhile, we’re enrolling the first class for our M.S. in Business Analytics, and happy to see one of our MBAs recognized nationally.
What brand loyalty opportunities are higher education institutions still missing? In a recent interview in Inside Higher Ed, Dean Unnava shares his advice.
Rao Unnava’s experience in education and helping students goes back to the fifth grade. As a fifth grader growing up in India, Unnava helped his mom, who was a teacher, by tutoring third graders in math and science.
An interview with Rao Unnava, Dean of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management with Tom Hinds, UC Davis Director of Marketing and Branding
“Students coming here want to make a difference,” Unnava said. “I’ve never seen such a thing.”
He agreed that many might think of getting an MBA as primarily a financial pursuit, but students here say “it’s more important to make a difference through their careers” than to make money.
New Dean Rao Unnava wants to raise the Davis business school’s profile by forging stronger ties with Sacramento’s business community and supplementing the school’s curriculum to focus on food, agriculture, biotech and other core strengths of the university at large.