Interim Dean Leads with Global & Social Focus

Since Lerzan Aksoy’s New York Times best seller The Wallet Allocation Rule hit the stands seven years ago, many of the world’s largest companies have adopted its revolutionary yet simple formula, which links customer satisfaction to market share, in order to gauge their competitive edge.
Lerzan Aksoy
Photo courtesy of Todd France
“There is this big disconnect between making customers happy and corporate growth,” said Aksoy, co-author of the book and two other award-winners on customer loyalty. “The two are not necessarily related. We need to think through and measure our satisfaction, or any customer-based metric, in a way that’s relative to the competition.”

Challenging conventional wisdom is a common thread throughout the extensive body of research Aksoy has published over the past two decades. Her recent research, published in the Journal of Service Management, investigates the disconnect between companies’ environmental, social, and governance metrics and customer perceptions of social innovation. The 2022 paper has already been downloaded more than 1,600 times — a testament to the keen interest in corporate social responsibility, a theme in Aksoy’s work since she joined Fordham in 2008.

In addition to teaching, the marketing professor has served the Gabelli School in leadership roles, including as associate dean for undergraduate studies and associate dean for strategic initiatives. As a faculty member on the undergraduate business core curriculum revision committee, Aksoy was a key contributor to its revision and launch. She is also deeply connected to industry: as managing director of the Responsible Business Coalition, she works with executives and thought leaders from around the globe to raise the bar for social consciousness across industries and to forge partnerships that benefit both students and faculty.

Asked about being appointed interim dean of the Gabelli School, Aksoy said it’s a role she was honored to accept. “My primary focus is to make significant progress in four areas,” she explained. “These include: supporting faculty research and development; building industry partnerships; focusing on the graduate enrollment strategy; and elevating the school’s visibility.”

Aksoy earned her doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after pursuing an MBA as a Fulbright Scholar at George Mason University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Hacettepe University in Turkey, her native country, where she also taught marketing at Koç University earlier in her career.

A self-described “global nomad,” Aksoy was born in Chile, and lived in Turkey, Mexico, Jordan, Pakistan, Cyprus, and the U.S. “I grew up all over the world, and it has defined me,” she said. “It’s led to my interest in traveling and experiencing different cultures.”

Aksoy met her husband at an industry conference in France. “We started writing papers and books together,” she said, noting that he is also a professor. The two continue to collaborate on their work and family, which includes three children: Hana, FCLC ’17, MSMI ’18; Sage, FCLC ’22; and Max, a middle-school student.

Aksoy is active in several organizations, including the American Marketing Association (AMA), where she is president elect of the academic council. Her contributions to her field have earned her numerous accolades, most recently the Christopher Lovelock Award, the AMA’s international lifetime achievement award.

—Claire Curry