Academic journal article The Journal of Consumer Affairs

Robert O. Herrmann: 1932-2006

Academic journal article The Journal of Consumer Affairs

Robert O. Herrmann: 1932-2006

Article excerpt

With Bob Herrmann's untimely and unexpected death on April 3, 2006, American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI) lost an early and influential leader and a career-long good citizen of the association. The field of consumer affairs lost a pioneer in the field, an influential scholar, and a mentor to many over his 40-year career.

Trained as an agricultural economist specializing in food consumption behavior, Bob joined the faculty of the University of California, Davis, in 1962 and moved to Pennsylvania State University three years later where he remained for the rest of his career. Prior to leaving University of California, Davis, he joined ACCI, then a fledgling association, and was very influential in the direction of its growth and development. Over time, he served the association in every possible capacity, most importantly as president and as editor of the JCA. In recognition of his contributions to the association and as a scholar of the consumer, he was made a Distinguished Fellow of ACCI in 1986. As the third editor of the JCA, Bob was influential in establishing editorial policies with respect to manuscript reviews, reviewers, and overall journal quality standards. In this capacity, he mentored many authors, helping them to improve their research, their scholarly writing, and, thereby, their chances for tenure. But his mentoring extended throughout his career: a word here, a suggestion there helped many with their careers and their scholarship. Over and above his scholarly career in consumer economics, he played an active role in the consumer movement. In the 1970s, he served on the Board of Consumers Union. He also served in 1978 as a consumer representative advising the U.S. delegation in Geneva negotiating an agreement to replace the 1971 International Wheat Agreement.

Seeking to understand the development and future of the consumer movement, Bob brought to bear both economics and resource mobilization theory from sociology to provide an explanation of the rise of the consumer movement and the conditions for its perpetuation. His framework remains unchallenged 36 years after it was first published. As a student of the consumer movement, he along with Steve Brobeck and Rob Mayer, edited the Encyclopedia of the Consumer Movement.

The quintessential student of consumer behavior, Bob focused most of his research on food, food safety, and nutrition. He also conducted some of the earliest studies on consumer dissatisfaction and complaining. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.