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Eric H. Shaw: reflections on an improbable academic career

Eric H. Shaw (Department of Marketing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 29 May 2019

Issue publication date: 11 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to describe the author’s serendipitous career and provide some lessons that might be of value to those pursuing the academic mission: teaching, research and service.


The method involves primary sources; mainly the author’s CV to jog recall of events and dates, some of his articles and the teachings and writings of many others that influenced or inspired various aspects of the author’s career.


The author’s experiences affirm that to achieve any degree of success in the professoriate, in addition to having some talent it is also helpful to be lucky. There is a lot to navigate at a university. Opportunities exist at every turn, some noticed some missed. When recognized, be prepared. Being a professor is not what you do, it is who you are. Preparation for an academic career involves becoming a self-improvement project (essentially, a life-long student learning lessons). It requires developing expertise (preferably excellence) in some field of study, as well as resourcefulness, resilience and perseverance.


Each individual’s story is unique. The author’s path seems to have included more twists and turns than most. Consequently, he tried to highlight the experiences with lessons learned in most sections, some obvious some less so, which he expects (at least hopes) will prove valuable to future educators.



Shaw, E.H. (2019), "Eric H. Shaw: reflections on an improbable academic career", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 12-34.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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