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Bonnie Knutson - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Bonnie Knutson Bonnie Knutson

Professor of Hospitality Business | Michigan State University


Expert on consumer trends and creative marketing in the hospitality and tourism industries.



Bonnie Knutson Publication Bonnie Knutson Publication Bonnie Knutson Publication




2012 Michigan State University Distinguished Alumna Bonnie Knutson Bonnie Knutson -- Part 1 Bonnie Knutson -- Part 2 Bonnie Knutson -- Part 3



Bonnie J. Knutson is a professor in The School of Hospitality Business in the Broad College of Business. Widely known as an authority on emerging lifestyle trends and creative brand strategies, she often consults with business leaders who want to understand and take advantage of changing consumer demands. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and on CNN. She has also had articles appear in numerous academic and business publications and is editor-emeritus of The Journal of Hospitality and Leisure Marketing.

With her wit and entertaining style, Bonnie is a frequent speaker at business and association meetings. She has been a featured presenter for the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Motel Association, Meeting Professionals International, Club Managers Association of America, National Automated Merchandising Association, as well as financial, health care, automotive, and education organizations throughout the United States and abroad.

Knutson has been named a MSU Distinguished Faculty. She has also been honored with the MSU Distinguished Alumni Award and the Hospitality Business Alumni Association Lifetime Academic Achievement Award. She was given the esteemed Withrow Award for teaching and research in the Broad College of Business and has won the prestigious Golden Key Teaching Excellence Award for outstanding instruction and dedication to students. The Advertising Education Foundation named Dr. Knutson a National Scholar.

Dr. Knutson is a past-president of the Advisory Council for the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts and the Michigan State University Alumni Association National Board; she continues to serve on both. She also serves as treasurer on the Board of the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors’ Bureau Foundation. Knutson has twice served as Interim Director of The School of Hospitality Business and is currently serving as the university’s Faculty Athletic Representative to the Big Ten and NCAA as well as on the Presidential Search Committee.

Industry Expertise (4)

Market Research

Consumer Services

Business Services


Areas of Expertise (5)

Marketing Research

Human Decision-Making

Consumer Lifestyle

Buying Trends

Strategic Brand Marketing

Accomplishments (3)

Distinguished Alumni Award (professional)

Michigan State University Alumni Association

Lifetime Academic Achievement Award (professional)

The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association

Distinguished Faculty Award (professional)

Michigan State University

Education (3)

Michigan State University: PhD 1982

Michigan State University: MA 1979

Michigan State University: BA 1978

News (5)

Recapping MSU sports moments from this semester

The State News  online


On April 19, MSU announced it hired two new faculty athletic representatives: School of Hospitality Business professor Bonnie Knutson and Michael Kaplowitz, a professor of environmental policy and international development.

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MSU Appoints Two New Faculty Athletic Representatives

MSU Today  online


Long-time Michigan State University faculty members Bonnie Knutson and Michael Kaplowitz have been named MSU's new faculty athletic representatives.

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MSU Gurus Inspire Operators To Put Customer Innovation Into Action

Vending Times  online


NASHVILLE -- The National Automatic Merchandising Association presented a half-day session through its Michigan State University executive leadership program during BLAST, titled "Your CIA: Customer Innovation in Action." MSU professor of communication Bonnie Knutson and MSU associate professor of marketing Clay Voorhees teamed up to inspire blind vending operators with new ways to improve communication, customer service, creativity and the bottom line in a complex consumer landscape with diverse demands.

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Broad College Names New Director of the School of Hospitality Business

MSU Today  online


Bonnie Knutson, professor of hospitality business, will serve as acting director of The School effective Aug. 16.

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Dr. Bonnie Knutson Named Acting Director of The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University

Hospitalitynet  online


It has been quite a week for Dr. Bonnie Knutson. Last Wednesday, July 30, she was named the Acting Director of The School of Hospitality Business, effective August 16 after Dr. Ron Cichy leaves that position after serving for 26 years. And on Thursday, July 31, TheSchool's Alumni Association presented her with its Lifetime Academic Achievement Award in San Diego, CA during the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (ICHRIE) annual conference.

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Journal Articles (5)

Understanding Employee Delight and Voice From the Internal Marketing Perspective

Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management

Kim, M.R., Knutson, B.J., and Han, J. B

2014 This study examines the relationship between internal marketing (employee delight and voice) and employee behavior from a marketing perspective. The response rate of the completed 335 surveys was 45%. Structural equation modeling was used in order to examine the proposed model. Results indicate that internal marketing practices are positively related to employee job satisfaction, employee job satisfaction was negatively related to employee turnover intention, and employee job satisfaction was positively related to employee commitment to customer service. Implications for the industry and future research are offered.

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Posttrip Behavioral Differences Between First-Time and Repeat Guests: A Two-Phase Study in a Hospitality Setting

Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management

Kim, M.R., Knutson, B.J., and Vogt, C.A.

2014 This study was designed to investigate posttrip behavioral differences between first-time and repeat hotel guests by examining causal relationships among delight, satisfaction, attitudinal loyalty, and behavioral loyalty. A two-phase study was conducted to validate actual future behavioral loyalty. The online surveys to measure satisfaction, delight, and attitudinal loyalty were completed by 1,573 hotel guests as Time 1. A follow-up study was used to identify those who rebooked and stayed in the same hotel within the year; behavioral loyalty as Time 2. A proposed model was tested in the hotel setting using structural equation analysis. The impact of delight on attitudinal loyalty was found to be greater for first-time guests than for repeat guests. Implications for management and future research are presented. Customer satisfaction was found to have a greater influence on attitudinal loyalty for repeat guests than for first-time guests.

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Measuring Proactive Behavior of the Lodging Revenue manager

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

Beck, J., Kim, S., Cha, J., Knutson, B.

2014 The objective of this study was to confirm the dimensions of revenue managers’ proactive work behavior in the lodging setting and to examine the effect of organizational structure on the degree of proactivity in their work behavior.

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A longitudinal investigation to test the validity of the American customer Satisfaction Model in the US hotel industry

Journal of Hospitality Management

Kim, SH, Cha, J, Singh, AJ, and Knutson, BJ

2013 This study was designed to test the validity of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) model specifically for the hotel industry. The main objective of this study was to determine consistency of the ACSI hotel model over three periods: 1994, 2001, and 2009. The model was tested using the Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) technique using a two stage data analysis procedure. The findings from multi-group structural equation modeling showed that the model fit of ACSI lodging is consistent, regardless of economic conditions, demonstrating the validity of that model. Several plausible interpretations are presented in explaining meaningful patterns of path coefficients, for each of the study test periods. Furthermore, as the model tests validate the model fit of the hotel ACSI, academicians studying customer satisfaction may use the theoretical underpinnings and conceptual foundation of the model as a basis for their research.

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Relationships Among Customer Satisfaction, Delight, and Loyalty in the Hospitality Industry

Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research

Kim, M.R., Vogt, C.A., Knutson, B.J.

2013 Customer satisfaction has been a focus of researchers and marketers as an important antecedent of customer loyalty. Some recent studies propose that customer delight possibly produces greater customer loyalty than satisfaction. Loyalty has also become of greater interest to researchers and marketers as a multiphase concept as well as a useful segmentation of customers with accompanying targeted strategies. As one of few empirical studies on customer satisfaction, delight, and loyalty, the primary objectives of this research is to understand how customer satisfaction and delight influence loyalty and to understand the multiphase framework of loyalty, including cognitive, affective, and cognative loyalties. This study contributes to the body of knowledge on customer satisfaction, delight, and loyalty and provides theoretical and applied suggestions for the hospitality industry.

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