PhD Dissertations

Sara REZAEE VESSAL, Information Systems and Operations Management, 2017

Collaboration Within and Between Firmsin a Supply Chain

Advisor(s): Svenja SOMMER


The quality of collaboration within and between firms in a supply chain is one of the main concerns which is studied in supply chain management and economics literature. There are many forces that affect the level of collaboration in different hierarchical settings: collaboration within firms (inteam (group) level) and between firms (in firm level) (Drago and Turnbull, 1988; Siemsen, Balasubramanian, and Roth, 2007). Collaboration and communication within firms and between firms is studied in previous literature from different aspects and through analytical (Gibbons, 2005) and non-analytical methods (Mortensen and Neeley, 2012). This dissertation focuses on collaboration and cooperation between different parties, either within a firm or among different firms in a supply chain, in different contexts.This thesis consists of three chapters. In the first chapter, I discuss incentive design specifically in the context of product development and how different types of collaboration affect optimal team composition in designing a product. In the second chapter, I focus on collaboration among a supplierand different retailers to improve sustainability in a supply chain in terms of improving social welfare by lowering waste in the supply chain. In the last chapter, I consider the collaboration among a supplier and different buyers. The main purpose of this chapter is to study buyers' outsourcingversus in-sourcing decision in a supply chain in the presence of learning-by-doing by players, considering the effect of competition in the market.

Shumail MAZAHIR, Information Systems and Operations Management, 2016

Three essays on the effects of environmental regulations on supply chain practices

Advisor(s): Laoucine KERBACHE


Climate change and global temperature rise has made environmentallegislations a focal point of discussion. This dissertation is devoted to the study ofenvironmental legislations and their effect on supply chain practices. More precisely, ourcenter of interest is the product recovery based legislation along with compliance basedregulations. We explore the reuse potential and the environmental and economical aspects of different product recovery based legislation schemes by modeling a stackelberg game between a social welfare maximizing policy maker and a profit maximizing monopolistic firm and find that a combination of existing recoverypolicies i.e., a recovery target in combination with incentive structure such as taxation/subsidy may lead to better outcomes not only from environmental perspective but also from economical aspects. In Chapter 2, we extend the discussion comparative performance of the recovery legislation based schemes in presence of innovation and product design issues and show how unintended environmental outcomes may appear if the policy framework is not adequately designed. In Chapter 3, we capture the effect of recovery legislations and compliance based legislations on productselection when a firm serves a number of markets. We incorporate the effects ofuncertainty associated with market demands and recovery cost parameters and present a robust optimization based method for product selection and allocation decisions.

Ni FANG, Information Systems and Operations Management, 2016

Operations Management Under Emission Regulation

Advisor(s): Andrea MASINI


In the light of the growing societal pressure to deal with the climate change and somerelevant environmental issues, there has been a trend to mitigate the negative environmentalimpacts, either through enforcing the environmental legislations or through advocating some greenbusiness models. Against this situation, it is widely acknowledged that when decision makers(either business executives or policy makers) are typically in a position to implement some actionsto deal with sustainability challenges, they are often lack the theoretical underpinning to appreciatewhether these actions are optimal or not. Thus, besides its academic relevance, advancing thefrontier of theoretical research is the necessary condition to help decision makers achievesustainability goals. The hi-tech industry and the transportation sector are both responsible forgenerating serious environmental concerns: the former as a result of electronic waste generated byrapid obsolescence of many electronic products; the latter because of its massive reliance on fossilfuels. In response to the environmental challenges, this Ph.D. thesis studies these two sectors withan aim to provide decision makers with guidance in the two specific areas: waste reduction andpromotion of low carbon transportation means. The results have implications for firms and policymakers alike.

Shadi GOODARZI, Information Systems and Operations Management, 2016

Operational Strategies and Optimal Policies for the Diffusion of Environmental Technology Systems

Advisor(s): Andrea MASINI, Sam AFLAKI


The main goal of this dissertation is to study the potential factors that may hamper or accelerate the diffusion of environmental energy systems (e.g: renewable energies). To this end, using different methods such as game theory, survey data analysis, and time series data analysis we observe the diffusion of these technologies from different perspectives such as policy makers, manufacturers, and customers. This dissertation consists of five chapters. The first chapter provides introduction and background of the research.Second chapter investigates the role of policy makers and technology manufacturers on the diffusion of the environmental energy systems. Chapter three is dedicated to studying the impact of different information dimensions on the different stages of environmental technology adoption process. Chapter four examines effect of the penetration of the environmental energy systems into the electricity market by studying theelectricity spot price and electricity supply-demand imbalance. Lastly, chapter five concludes the results of this study and provides directions for future researches. The results reported in this dissertation offer valuable managerial insights to policy makers, technology manufacturers and to firms operating in the energy sector.

Timofey SHALPEGIN, Information Systems and Operations Management, 2015

Collaborative New Product Development Under Information Asymmetry

Advisor(s): Svenja SOMMER, Laoucine KERBACHE


Product design stage is utterly important for successful product development, as up to 90% of the product costs are locked in during the concept and design engineering phases. At these phases, manufacturers of new products actively involve their suppliers to participate in product development. However, academic literature has not given sufficient attention to the link between the early supplier involvement stage and the subsequent mass production stage. The goals of the product developing manufacturer and its suppliers are not necessarily aligned, which can result in serious inefficiencies. Therefore, the objective of this thesis is to resolve the conflict of incentives at the product design stage when a manufacturer of a new product involves a supplier of a key component. This thesis considers three important facets of collaborative product development: (1) multiple alternativedesigns of the key component, (2) parallel component development by several suppliers, and (3) testing of the key component by the supplier in order to learn itsquality. Relying on the methodology of non-cooperative game theory, the thesis provides practical prescriptions on how to mitigate the incentive misalignment in each of the three cases.

Mahyar EFTEKHAR, Information Systems and Operations Management, 2013

Fleet management in the humanitarian sector

Advisor(s): Laoucine KERBACHE, Andrea MASINI


Fleet management is a major concern for international humanitarian organizations because of (1) themagnitude of transportation-related costs in humanitarian operations, second only to personnel cost and, (2)the pivotal role that transportation plays in the order-fulfillment process. Humanitarian organizations faceunusual operating constraints, which include working in areas with poor infrastructure, extreme environmentalconditions as well as budget limitations. Most of the existing models derived from commercial supply chainsare inapplicable in such a context. Therefore, a new set of tools and theories is required. This dissertationcontributes to the development of such a new set of tools. It is composed of two parts that address two relatedquestions in humanitarian fleet management: (1) how to determine the optimal fleet size and the optimalprocurement strategy at an aggregate level and, (2) how to optimally manage an existing fleet the field level.Lack of data is the main challenge that prevents humanitarian organizations from adopting data-intensivemodels developed for commercial supply chains. Accordingly, the first part of this thesis studies how todetermine optimal fleet capacity over time and how to minimize procurement costs for different demandprofiles in the absence of detailed data. Contrary to conventional wisdom in humanitarian organizations, itsfindings show that a mixed policy of level and chase procurement strategies minimizes procurement costs andthat a level strategy is the optimal approach to procurement in most humanitarian missions. The second partof the dissertation concentrates on fleet management policies at the field level. To optimize fleet performanceand maximize demand coverage, humanitarian organizations implement policies to enhance the utilization ofvehicles and minimize their physical depreciation. Through the analysis of a large humanitarian organization’sfleet in four representative countries (Sudan, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Georgia) the results of thisdissertation suggest that: (1) it is not necessary to assign different vehicles to specific mission types (2) allvehicles should be used following the same usage policy regardless of their mission type and, (3) the vehiclereplacement policy implemented by most humanitarian organizations is not effective and needs to bereconsidered. Results also demonstrate that, on average, a utilization-depreciation trade-off does not existand that a well-conceived fleet management policy can allow for both higher vehicle utilization and lowerdepreciation.Keywords: Fleet management, humanitarian operations.

Hiba EL KHOURY, Information Systems and Operations Management, 2012

Introduction of New Products in the Supply Chain: Optimization and Management of Risks

Advisor(s): Christian VAN DELFT, Laoucine KERBACHE


Shorter product life cycles and rapid product obsolescence provide increasing incentives to introduce new products to markets more quickly. As a consequence of rapidly changing market conditions, firms focus on improving their new product development processes to reap the benefits of early market entry. Researchers have analyzed market entry, but have seldom provided quantitative approaches for the product rollover problem. This research builds upon the literature by using established optimization methods to examine how firms can minimize their net loss during the rollover process. Specifically, our work explicitly optimizes the timing of removal of old products and introduction of new products, the optimal strategy, and the magnitude of net losses when the market entry approval date of a new product is unknown. In the first paper, we use the conditional value at risk to optimize the net loss and investigate the effect of risk perception of the manager on the rollover process. We compare it to the minimization of the classical expected net loss. We derive conditions for optimality and unique closed-form solutions for single and dual rollover cases. In the second paper, we investigate the rollover problem, but for a time-dependent demand rate for the second product trying to approximate the Bass Model. Finally, in the third paper, we apply the data-driven optimization approach to the product rollover problem where the probability distribution of the approval date is unknown. We rather have historical observations of approval dates. We develop the optimal times of rollover and show the superiority of the data-driven method over the conditional value at risk in case where it is difficult to guess the real probability distribution.

Kai LUO, Information Systems and Operations Management, 2011

Analysis and optimization of single and dual sourcing decisions in supply chain

Advisor(s): Laoucine KERBACHE


The objective of this research is to develop conceptual, analytical, and managerial models and insights by analyzing a portion of the supply chain made up of a retailer dealing with two suppliers in an uncertain environment. In the first part of this thesis, we consider a single high-end (or perishable) product, single period, variable unit price, variable unit production cost, variable unit shortage cost, variable unit salvage value, stochastic demand problem. In a second part of the thesis, we consider settings inspired by the case of large international companies sourcing some of their products from low cost countries. This structure is as follows: two products (one sourced locally and the other sourced abroad), a three-period, two-stages, two capacitated suppliers, and a single capacitated retailer. Both analytical and numerical results are provided. Important theoretical results and insights are developed for these types of settings. These models can be used as decision-making aid tools in such environments.