Vincent Barabba

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Vincent Barabba is an author in the field of market research and opinion polling, a former head of the US Census Bureau, and the Chairman and Co-founder of Market Insight Corporation.


Vincent Barabba was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 6, 1934. He was awarded a bachelor's degree in marketing from California State University at Northridge, CA and, in 1964, an M.B.A. in marketing from the University of California at Los Angeles.[1] Honorary Doctor of Laws 2012 California State University Northridge [2]


Vincent Barabba is a noted figure in the field of industrial/commercial market research and political opinion research. Beginning as political campaign survey researcher in the 1964 California Republican primary between Nelson Rockefeller and Barry Goldwater, he moved on to become a business market researcher (eventually Director of Market Intelligence) for Xerox Corp. and Eastman Kodak. Co-founder and chairman of Market Insight Corporation,[3] Vince Barabba was, until 2003, General Manager of Corporate Strategy and Knowledge Development at General Motors, where he conceived and devised OnStar and MyProductAdvisor.

He twice served as head of the US Census Bureau[4] and currently serves as a Commissioner of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.[5] He is chairman of The State of the USA, a nonprofit corporation providing quality information to the American public on key changing societal, economic, and environmental conditions. He is a Past President[6] of the American Statistical Association. Awards: In recognition of his private and public sector performance, Vince Barabba was awarded:

  • Induction into the Market Research Council's Hall of Fame [7]
  • The American Marketing Association’s Parlin Award for leadership (1996) in the application of science to marketing research [8]
  • The MIT/General Motors Buck Weaver Award for individuals who have contributed significantly to the advancement of theory and practice in marketing science [9]
  • The System Dynamics Society’s Applications Award for the best “real world” application of system dynamics [10]
  • The American Marketing Association’s Explor Award granted to organizations that have demonstrated the most innovative uses of technology in applications that advance research [11]
  • The Certificate of Distinguished Service for Contribution to the Federal Statistical System from the US Office of Management and Budget


Barabba has authored or co-authored numerous books and articles, including:

  • 1968 “Political Campaign Management: Myth and Reality” The Ethics of Controversy: Politics and Protest. Proceedings of the First Annual Symposium on Issues in Public Communication, held at the University of Kansas June 27–28
  • 1983 (With Mason, R.O. and Mitroff, I.I.) “Federal Statistics in a Complex Environment: The Case of the 1980 Federal Census,” The American Statistician, Volume 37, No. 3, Washington, DC: The American Statistical Association
  • 1985 “Steel Axes for Stone Age Men” in: Buzzell, R., Marketing in an Electronic Age, 75th Anniversary Harvard Business School Research Colloquium, Boston: Harvard Business School Press
  • 1991 (With Zaltman, G.) Hearing the Voice of the Market: Competitive Advantage through Creative Use of Market Information, Boston: Harvard Business School Press
  • 1994 “Never Say the Model Says. The Role of Models in Managerial Decision Making” in Wallace, W. Ethics in Modeling, New York: Pergamon Press
  • 1998 “Revisiting Plato’s Cave: Business Design in an Age of Uncertainty,” in Tapscott, D. et al., eds., Blue Print for the Digital Economy, New York: McGraw-Hill
  • 2002 (With Huber, C., Cooke, F., Pudar, N., Smith, J., and Paich, M.) “A Multi-Method Approach for Creating New Business Models: The General Motors OnStar Project”, Interfaces, 32 (1), pp. 20–34
  • 2002 (With Pourdehnad J. and Ackoff, R.) “Above and Beyond Knowledge Management” in Chun, W. C. and Bontis, N. (eds) The Strategic Management of Intellectual Capital and Organization Knowledge, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 359–369
  • 2004, Surviving Transformation, New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 170–171
  • 2011, The Decision Loom: a design for interactive decision-making in organizations