First Ranked First To Serve: Strategic Agents in a Service Contest

Information Systems and Operations Management

Speaker: Konstantinos I. Stouras
PhD Candidate , INSEAD

13 May 2016 - HEC Paris - Jouy en Josas - Building V - Room Bernard Ramanantsoa - From 10:30 am to 2:30 pm

Motivated by two-sided marketplaces and work-from-home call centers which crowdsource demand to a pool of freelance agents, we model a service provider whose agents endogenously determine their participation and effort level. To motivate agents, the marketplace ranks agents in a prespecified number of priority classes based on their relative performance. Agents' idle time is not compensated and higher performers are utilized (and hence are paid) more. We study which priority class structure creates the best incentives for agents' participation and effort, and we show that the optimal design of such a “service contest” is often coarse, namely, it contains only a few priority classes. Discarding available information on agents' relative rankings, or, deploying coarser priority classes, can paradoxically provide higher incentives for agents' participation and for marketplace performance.

Product cannibalization in green distribution channels and the effect of advertising

Information Systems and Operations Management

Speaker: Vinay Ramani
Assistant Professor , Economics Group, Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur

22 April 2016 - HEC Paris - Jouy en Josas Campus - Building V - Room Bernard ramanantsoa - From 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Product cannibalization can push some consumers to shift their purchasing preferences from new to used products. This is a costly issue for manufacturers, who have to adjust their pricing strategies accordingly to mitigate the negative effect of cannibalization. This paper investigates an atypical green distribution channel that takes the form of a closed loop supply chain and examines the effect of product cannibalization on firms' profits. In particular, we investigate how the presence of a Goodwill agency in a green market impacts the business of a manufacturer in a new market through cannibalization, and how the manufacturer reacts to mitigate its effects. We show that even if the manufacturer adjusts its price to decrease the negative effects of cannibalization, this effect is so severe that he always loses some profits. Nevertheless, when the manufacturer undertakes an additional marketing lever such as promotions or adhoc advertising, the chain achieves a profit-Pareto-improving outcome. Surprisingly, we find that in contrast to the marketing literature, the manufacturer is never able to fully overcome the negative effect of cannibalization even with advertising.

Model Use in Sustainability Negotiations and Decisions

Information Systems and Operations Management

Speaker: Ellen Czaika
Post Doctoral Researcher , Institute for Data, Systems and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

1 December 2015 - HEC Paris - Jouy en Josas Campus - Bulding V - Room Bernard Ramanantsoa - From 11:30 am to 12:30 pm

Sustainability negotiations and decisions require the integration of scientific information with stakeholder interests. Mathematical models help elucidate the physical world and therefore may orient the negotiators in a shared understanding of the physical world. Many researchers suggest collaborative modeling to facilitate integrating scientific information and stakeholder interests. In this thesis, I use methods that enable repeated instances of the same decision; the exploration of alternatives to model use (e.g. learning of a model’s logic, relevant information, or irrelevant information); and the exploration of alternatives to collaborative modeling (e.g. using an expert model or not using a model). This thesis comprises two studies that use serious game role-play simulations. The first study is a computer-driven role-play simulation of governmental policy creation and the second is a five-party role-play simulation to negotiate a more sustainable end-of-life for used paper coffee cups. In the first study, model users reached the Pareto Frontier—the set of non-dominated points—more readily (13%) than non-model-users (2.5%) and model users discovered the win-win nature of electricity access with higher frequency (63%) than non-model users (9%). Participants who learned of the model’s logic through presentation performed nearly as well as model users. In the second study, model use shortened the (mean) duration of the negotiation from 55 minutes to 45 minutes. Negotiating tables that co-created a model had a higher likelihood of reaching favorable agreements (44% compared to 25%). Model use did not significantly alter the value distribution among parties. Tables of negotiators used the model in two predominant manners: to test alternatives as they generated potential agreements and to verify a tentative agreement. The former resulted in higher mean table values than the latter. Together, these studies demonstrate: that mathematical models can be used in sustainability negotiations and decisions with good effect; that learning about the insights of a model is beneficial in decision making—but using a model is more beneficial; and that collaborative model building can provide better negotiation outcomes than using an expert model and can be faster than not using a model.

Pricing and Capacity Allocation for Shared Services

Information Systems and Operations Management

Speaker: Vasiliki Kostami
Assistant Professor , London Business School

12 November 2015 - HEC Paris - Jouy en Josas Campus - Bulding V - Room Bernard Ramanantsoa - From 11:30 am to 12:30 pm

We study the pricing and capacity allocation problem of a service provider who serves two distinct customer classes. Customers within each class are inherently heterogeneous in their willingness to pay for service, but their utilities are also affected by the presence of other customers in the system. Specifically, customer utilities depend on how many customers are in the system at the time of service as well as who these other customers are. If the service provider can price discriminate between customer classes, pricing out a class, i.e., operating an exclusive system, can sometimes be optimal and that depends only on classes’ perceptions about each other. If the provider must charge a single price, an exclusive system is even more likely. We extend our analysis to a service provider who can prevent class interaction by allocating separate capacity segments to the two customer classes. Under price discrimination, allocating capacity is optimal if our measure of net appreciation between classes is negative. However, under a single–price policy, allocating capacity can be optimal even if this measure is positive. In fact, we show that the nature of asymmetry eventually determines the optimal strategy.

Joint work with Dimitris Kostamis and Serhan Ziya

Short Bio:

Vasiliki Kostami joined the faculty of LBS as an Assistant Professor at the Management Science and Operations Department in 2010 after completing her PhD in Operations Management at Marshall School of Business, USC. Her research interests mainly focus on the management of service operations. She works on the modelling of service systems, such as entertainment facilities, call centers and health care facilities under uncertainty. Specifically, she has looked at queue management problems for amusement parks such as Disneyland, quality management problems for healthcare and optimal inventory management in manufacturing sector. Her research articles have appeared in leading academic journals like M&SOM. She teaches on the full time and executive MBA programmes as well as the PhD programme.

Readmission analytics - Care transformation through information technology

Information Systems and Operations Management

Speaker: Mohan Tanniru, Ph.D
Professor , Oakland University

16 June 2015 - HEC Jouy-en-Josas Campus - Building V Council room - From 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

Health care providers are facing multiple challenges such as improving patient satisfaction, operating with reduced reimbursements, and reducing frequent readmissions. Care providers who address these challenges independently often miss out on opportunities that surface when patient care is viewed within a system, influenced by two environments: clinical environment within the hospital and social environment of patients post-discharge. While hospitals strive for greater efficiencies within the clinical environment, they often find coordination post-discharge to reduce readmissions a major challenge. By viewing the system of patient care through the readmission lens and applying some of the templates discussed under Systematic Inventive Thinking: SIT2 (Inside the Box), this presentation looks at several innovative approaches that can help address patient care both inside and outside the hospital walls by leveraging advances in information technology. Several on-going research projects of care transformation through IT will be highlighted including on-going work of patient care at St Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac, MI and peri-operative care in Stanford Medical School (inside the hospitals), and patient empowerment studies at dialysis centers (DaVita) and medication reconciliation/patient follow-up at nursing homes (outside the hospital).