Mary Ann McGrath

Title/s:  Professor Emerita, Marketing

Email: mmcgrat@luc.edu


Professor McGrath’s research on consumer rituals, gift exchanges and shopping behavior is well-known and widely cited within the area of Consumer Behavior. In recent years she expanded her research into the international marketplace, publishing several papers related to shopping and consumer behavior in China, where she lived and taught for two years. 


  • PhD Marketing, Northwestern University, 1988
  • MBA Marketing, Northwestern University, 1973
  • BS Mathematics, Loyola University Chicago, 1968

Academic Positions

  • Loyola University Chicago, Department of Marketing, 1986 to present.
  • China Europe International Business School, Shanghai, China, 2009-2010.

Research Interests

  • Consumer behavior, with special emphasis on international aspects, consumer rituals, and gift exchanges and shopping behavior
  • Expertise related to the consumer behavior and the consumer experience in China
  • Qualitative research methodologies appropriate for studying consumer behaviors in context:
    • ethnography
    • projective techniques
    • observation techniques
    • shopping with consumers

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • Association for Consumer Research since 1985. Involved with planning several annual conferences. Reviewer of submissions, member of several Program Committees.
  • American Marketing Association. Member since 1991.
  • Beta Gamma Sigma National Business Honor Society. Member since 1993.
  • Member of Editorial Review Board of Journal of Business Research
  • Phi Beta Delta, Delta Psi Chapter.
  • Honor Society for International Scholars, Loyola University Chicago. Inducted in 2003.

Professional Activities

  • Mentor for the Qualitative Data Analysis Workshop, July, 2017
  • Member of Advisory Board of Catholic Charities of Chicago
  • Director of the Intercontinental MBA Program, 2012-2014
  • Associate Dean of the Quinlan School of Business, 2005-2008 and 2011-2012
  • Professor of Marketing, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), 2009-2010
  • Author of the Marketing Blog entitled “Market Share” for the Quinlan School of Business and the Marketing Department.  These are referenced on Facebook and Twitter for current and prospective students.
  • Faculty Mentor for aspiring qualitative researchers at the Consumer Culture Theory Workshop, Medill School of Communication, July 6 and 7, 2011.
  • Conference Chair for Eighth European Advances in Consumer Behavior Conference, Milan, Italy, July, 2007.


Loyola University Chicago, Quinlan School of Business: Quinlan Graduate School, Faculty Member of the Year, 2000, 2004 

Selected Publications

Refereed Articles 

Reilly, A. H., Mc Grath, M. P., Reilly, K. A. (2016). Beyond ‘Innocents Abroad’: Examining Sustainability Issues during International Study Trips. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 11(4), 29-37.

Mc Grath, M. P. (2016). Lessons Jesuit Business Programs Can Learn From Chinese MBA Programs. Journal of Technology Management and Innovation. http://www.jotmi.org/index.php/GT/issue/view/vol11-1/showToc

McGrath, M., J.F. Sherry, N. Diamond. “Discordant Brand Ideology in the House of Barbie Qualitative Marketing Research.16(1) (2013).

McGrath, M., M. Ren, T. Li. “An Alternative Conceptualization of IMC:  An Exploratory Study of Mobile Marketing in China.” International Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications. (2011). 53-64.

McGrath, M., N. Diamond, J. Sherry, S. Borghini, R. Kozinets, A. Muniz. "American Girl and the Brand Gestalt: Closing the Loop on Socio-cultural Branding Research." Journal of Marketing. (2009).  

McGrath, M., S. Borghini, J. Sherry, Nina Diamond, R. Kozinets, A. Muniz. "Why Are Themed Brandstores so Powerful? Retail Brand Ideology at American Girl Place." Journal of Retailing. (2009).  

McGrath, M., S. Borghini, C. Otnes. "European Advances in Consumer Research." Association for Consumer Research. 8 (2008).  

Conference Proceedings

McGrath, M., C. Otnes, S. Borghini. Proceedings of the European Association for Consumer Research Conference. Milan, Italy. July 2007. 

Teaching Case

Mc Grath, M. P., Neier, S. B. (2018). BowTie Cause: Tied to Social Enterprise. The IMC Handbook: Readings & Cases in Integrated Marketing Communications (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: RACOM Communications.

Book Chapters 

McGrath, M., N. Diamond, S. Broghini, J. Sherry, A. Muniz, R. Kozinets. "Allomother as Image and Essence: Animating the American Girl Brand." Exploring Consumer Culture Theory. New York: Routledge, 2009.  

Presentation of Refereed Papers

McGrath, M., S. Borghini, N. Diamond, R. Kozinets, A. Muniz, J. Sherry Jr. “Why Are Themed Brandstores so Powerful?  Retail Brand Ideology at American Girl Place.” American Marketing Association Winter Educator’s Conference. Austin, Texas. 18-20 February 2011.

McGrath, M., N. Diamond, S. Fogel, J. Xu. “Consumer Conceptualizations of Credit: A Comparison Across Four Cultures.” Chicago Consumer Culture Consortium. DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois. 6 May 2011.

McGrath, M. “The Development of IMC in China.” Macromarketing Conference. The College of William and Mary. Williamsburg, Virginia. 5-8 June 2011.

Mc.Grath, M., N. Diamond, S. Fogel, J. Xu. “Experiencing Industry Legitimation:  Consumer Constructions of Credit Card Meaning in Four Countries.” Consumer Culture Theory Conference. Kellogg Graduate School of Management Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. 6-10 July 2011.

McGrath, M. “Eight Lessons U.S. Business Schools Can Learn From China.” AACSB Part Time MBA Conference. Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 12-14 October 2011.

McGrath, M., W.J. McGrath. “Opportunities and Risks in the China Environment.” South Africa Conference of the Center for International Legal Studies. Durban, South Africa. 9-13 November 2011.

McGrath, M. “Can You Hear Me Now: Mobile Advertising in China.” Direct/Interactive Marketing Research Summit. San Francisco, California. 9-10 October 2010.

McGrath, M. “How Commercial and Cultural Hybridity Shape Retail Spectacle:  Flagship Architourism at the House of Barbie Shanghai.” Consumer Culture Theory Conference. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. June 2010.

McGrath, M. “Mobile Advertising in China,” Chicago Direct Marketing Association Academic Roundtable.  DePaul University, Chicago,  Illinois. 6 May 2010.

McGrath, M. “Living in the Matrix: A Consumer Behaving in China.” Chicago Consumer Culture Community. Loyola University Chicago. October 2008.

McGrath, M. "Allomother as Image and Essence: Animating the American Girl Brand." Consumer Culture Theory Conference. York University, Toronto, Canada. 2008.

McGrath, M. "Integrating the Collegiate ECHO in Direct and Interactive Marketing Courses." Direct/Interactive Marketing Research Summit. Las Vegas, Nevada. 2008.

McGrath, M. "Keeping It Fresh: Enhancements and Web-Play in an IMC Campaign." AACSB Part Time MBA Conference. Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, California. 2008.

McGrath, M. "Integrated Marketing Communication in Promoting Graduate Business Education." AACSB Part-Time MBA Conference.  Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. 2007.

McGrath, M. "American Girl: The Family Brand." Chicago Association of Direct Marketing Educational Foundation Academic Update. Chicago, Illinois. 2007.

McGrath, M.,  A. Reilly. "Innocents Abroad: Doing Student Research in a Cross-Cultural Setting." Marketing Management Spring Conference. Chicago, Illinois. 2005.

McGrath, Mary. "Creating and Enacting Family through Consumption." European Conference of the Association for Consumer Research. Gutenberg, Sweden. 2005.