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Research Trends in Behavioral Operations Management

DR. CHALAM NARAYANAN, Associate Professor, Department of Decision and Information Sciences at University of Houston
D3 W122

We are in the middle of a big data analytics revolution, still humans make decisions in supply chains at strategic, tactical and sometimes at operational level. Therefore, it is essential to understand how individuals make these decisions. Behavioral Operations Management (BOM) addresses this quest using insights from psychology and behavioral economics. In this talk, I will show examples of studies that looked into the newsvendor problem, forecasting, bullwhip effect and supplier risk management. There are several ways to conduct these studies, but the most common ones are laboratory and field experiments. I will discuss the pros and cons of each approach. During the talk, I will also provide a list of resources that are available for interested students to get a head-start in this field. Remember, we may be able to derive an optimal solution for a problem, but that is based on a “risk-neutral”, “rational” point of view. It may not be the obvious choice for the decision maker. The goal of BOM research is to provide a better understanding of behavioral regularities in supply chain context and to offer guidance to firms and managers on how to design mechanisms that will lead to better decisions and improved performance.


Arunachalam Narayanan is an Assistant Professor of supply chain management in the C.T. Bauer College of Business at University of Houston. He received his PhD degree in operations management from Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and was a faculty member in the Industrial Distribution Program before joining Houston. His research works have appeared published in scholarly journals including POMS, Decision Sciences, EJOR, Omega, IJPR, IJPE and others. Chalam has also consulted with several firms including Schlumberger, Gulf States Toyota, Lyondell Basell, Lufkin, Brenntag, Wilson (now NOV) and non-profits like Salvation Army and Capital Area Food Bank. His dissertation was recognized by CSCMP with the Annual Doctoral Dissertation Award in 2007.