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Welcome to the Operations Department of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Our Operations' faculty has strong analytic expertise pertaining to empirical research,modeling, applied statistics, computer applications and data analysis. Many of our faculty have extensive international teaching and research experience. These are unifying forces within our Area.


Today the faculty's applied research interests span not only classic manufacturing topics but service operations, supply chain management, quality, and sustainability as well. The methodologies encompass survey research, empirical-based strategy, mathematical modeling, and simulation.


We have strong ties with many companies and research institutions including the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. The Operations Department conducts research with faculty, both at Kenan-Flagler and elsewhere, from strategy, finance and marketing.



Adelman, D. and Mersereau, A. J. 2013. Dynamic Capacity Allocation to Customers Who Remember Past Service. Management Science 59 (3) 592-612.
Aksin, Z., Ata, B., Emadi, S. and Su, C. (2013). "Structural Estimation of Callers' Delay Sensitivity in Call Centers". Management Science, Vol. 59, No. 12, December 2013, pp. 2727-2746.
Besanko, D., Doraszelki, U. Lu, L. X. & Satterthwaite, M. (2010). "Lumpy Capacity Investment and Disinvestment Dynamics." Operations Research 58(4) 1178-1193.
Cable, D. M., Gino, F. & Staats, B. R. (2013). "Breaking them in or revealing their best? Reframing socialization around newcomer self expression." Administrative Science Quarterly.
Clark, J., Huckman, R. S. & Staats, B. R. (2013). "Customer Specificity and Learning: Individual and Organizational Effects in Outsourced Radiological Services." Organization Science.
Day, J.M., Melnyk, S.A., Larson, P.D., Davis, E.W. & Whybark, D.C.  (2012). "Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Supply Chains: A Matter of Life and Death." Journal of Supply Chain Management.
Duenyas, I., Hu, B. & Beil, D. (2012). "Simple Auctions for Supply Contracts." Management Science.
Esenduran, G. Kemahlioglu-Ziya, E. & Swaminathan, J. M. (Forthcoming 2015). Take-Back Legislation: Consequences for Remanufacturing and Environment.”  Decision Sciences.
Feng, Q., Lai, G. & Lu, L.X. (Forthcoming 2014). "Dynamic Bargaining in a Supply Chain with Asymmetric Demand Information." Management Science.
Gallien, J., Mersereau, A. J., Garro, A. Mora, A.D and  Vidal, M.N.. 2014. Initial Shipment Decisions for New Products at Zara. Forthcoming in Operations Research.
Gaur, V. & Kesavan, S. (2008).  "The Effects of Firm Size and Sales Growth Rate on Inventory Turnover Performance in the U.S. Retail Sector." Book chapter for N. Agrawal and S. Smith (editors). Retail Supply Chain Management, Kluwer Publishers.
Gaur, V., Kesavan, S. & Raman, A. (2014). "Retail Inventory: Managing the canary in the coal mine." California Management Review (Winter 2014)
Gaur, V., Kesavan, S., Raman, A. & Fisher, M.L. (2007).  "Estimating Demand Uncertainty Using Judgmental Forecasts." Manufacturing & Service Operations Management.
Gardner, H. K., Gino, F. & Staats, B. R. (2012). Dynamically Integrating Knowledge In Teams: Transforming Resources Into Performance. Academy of Management Journal.
Gilland, W. & Warsing, D. P. (2008). "The Impact of Revenue-Maximizing Priority Pricing on Customer Delay Costs."  Decision Sciences.
Gino, F. & Staats, B. R. (2012). "The Microwork Solution." Harvard Business Review 90 (12).
Hu, B., Beil, D. R. & Duenyas, I. (2013). "Price-Quoting Strategies of an Upstream Supplier." Management Science.
Hu, B. & Duenyas, I. & Beil D. (2013). "Does pooling purchases lead to higher profits?" Management Science.
Hu, B. & Benjaafar, S. (2009). "Partitioning of servers in queueing systems during rush hour." Manufacturing & Service Operations Management 11(3) 416-428.
Huckman, R. S. & Staats, B. R. (2011). "Fluid Tasks and Fluid Teams: The Impact of Diversity in Experience and Team Familiarity." Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 13(3): 310-328
Jayaraman, V., Narayanan, S., Lau, Y. & Swaminathan, J. (January 2011).   Antecedents of Process Integration in Business Process Outsourcing and its effect on Firm Performance.”  Journal of Operations Management, 29(1), 3-16. 
Jayaraman, V., Narayanan, S., Lau, Y. & Swaminathan, J. (March-April 2013). Offshoring Business Process Services and Governance Control Mechanisms: An Examination of BPO Service Providers from India.”  Production and Operations Management, 22(2), 314-334.
Kesavan, S., Gaur, V. & Raman, A. (2010).  "Do inventory and gross margin data improve sales forecasts for US public retailers?". Management Science
Kesavan, S. & Kushwaha, T. (Forthcoming 2014).  "Can inventory holding costs and stock-out costs explain inventory investment behavior of U.S. public retailers during economic shocks?" Production & Operations Management.
Kesavan, S., Staats, B.R. & Gilland, W. (2013).  "Volume Flexibility in Services: The Costs and Benefits of Flexible Labor Resources."  Management Science.
Kesavan, S., Staats, B. & Gilland, W. (Forthcoming 2014). "Labor-Mix and Flexible Response to Demand Spikes: Evidence from a retailer." Management Science.
KC, Diwas, Staats, B. R., & Gino, Francesca. (2013). "Learning from My Successes and Others’ Failure: Evidence from Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery." Management Science
Komrska, J., Kopczak, L. & Swaminathan, J. (January-February 2013).  When Supply Chains Save Lives.” Supply Chain Management Review.
Kostamis, D. (2013). "A Note on Optimal Selling to Asymmetric Retailers." Production and Operations Management.
Lee, J.J., Gino, F. & Staats, B.R. (2014).  "Rainmakers: Why Bad Weather Means Good Productivity." Journal of Applied Psychology.
Lin, Y., Parlaktürk, A. K. & Swaminathan, J. (Forthcoming 2013). "Vertical Integration Under Competition: Forward, Backward, or No Integration?" Production and Operations Management.
Lu, L. X., Besanko, D., Doraszelki, U. & Satterthwaite, M. (2010). "On the Role of Demand and Strategic Uncertainty in Capacity Investment and Disinvestment Dynamics." International Journal of Industrial Organization 28(4) 383-389.
Lu, L. X. & Lariviere, M. A. (2012). "Capacity Allocation Over A Long Horizon: The Return On Turn-And-Earn." M&SOM
Lu, L.X. & Van Mieghem, J.A.  (2009).  "Multimarket Facility Network Design with Offshoring Applications." Manufacturing & Service Operations Management 11(1) 90-108, 2009.
Mani, V., Kesavan, S. & Swaminathan, J. (2014).  "Estimating the impact of understaffing on lost sales and profitability in retail stores." Production & Operations Management.
Mazzola, J. B. & Neebe, A.. (2012). "A Generalized Assignment Model for Dynamic Supply Chain Capacity Planning." Naval Research Logistics.
Mersereau, A. J. (2014). Demand Estimation from Censored Observations with Inventory Record Inaccuracy [electronic companion]. Forthcoming in Manufacturing & Service Operations Management.
Mersereau, A. J. 2013. Information-Sensitive Replenishment when Records Are Inaccurate. Production and Operations Management 22 (4) 792-810.
Narayanan, S., Balasubramanian, S. & Swaminathan, J. (July-August 2011). Managing Outsourced Offshore Projects: An Analysis of Project Performance and Customer Satisfaction.” Production and Operations Management, 20(4), 508-521. 
Narayanan, S., Swaminathan, J. & Talluri, S. (August 2014).  Knowledge Diversity, Turnover and Organizational Unit Productivity: An Empirical Analysis in a Knowledge Intensive Context.” Production and Operations Management, 23(8), 1332-1351.
Natarajan, K. & Swaminathan, J. (Fall 2014). “Inventory Management in Humanitarian Operations: Impact of Amount, Schedule, and Uncertainty in Funding.”  Manufacturing and Service Operations Management,16(4), 595-603. 
Örsdemir, A., Kemahlioğlu-Ziya, E. & Parlaktürk, A. K. (2014). "Competitive Quality Choice and Remanufacturing." Production and Operations Management.
Perdikaki, O. & Swaminathan, J. (July-August 2013). Improving Valuation under Consumer Search: Implications for Pricing and Profits." Production and Operations Management, 22(4), 857-874.
Perdikaki, O., Kesavan, S. & Swaminathan, J. (2012). "Effect Of Retail Store Traffic on Conversion Rate and Sales." M&SOM.
Qi, Feng & Lu, L. X. (2012). "Supply Chain Contracting under Competition: Bilateral Bargaining vs. Stackelberg." Production and Operations Management.
Qi, Feng & Lu, L. X. (2012). "The Strategic Perils of Low Cost Outsourcing." Management Science.
Qi, Feng & Lu, L. X. (2013). "The Role of Contract Negotiation and Industry Structure in Production Outsourcing." Production and Operations Management.
Staats, B. R., Brunner, D. J. & Upton, D. M. (2011). "Lean Principles, Learning, and Knowledge Work: Evidence from a Software Services Provider." Journal of Operations Management, 29(5): 376-390.
Staats, B. R. & Gino, F. (2011). "Specialization and Variety in Repetitive Tasks: Evidence from a Japanese Bank." Management Science
Staats, B. R. & Upton, D. M. (2011). "Lean knowledge work." Harvard Business Review 89(10): 100-110.
Staats, B. R. (2011). Unpacking Team Familiarity: The Effect of Geographic Location and Hierarchical Role. Production and Operations Management.
Staats, B. R., Milkman, K. L. & Fox, C. R. (2012). The Team Scaling Fallacy: Underestimating The Declining Efficiency of Larger Teams." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Whybark, C. (July 2010). "Convergenomics: Strategic Innovation In The Convergence Era." Service Business 4(3), P 305.
Whybark, C., Boin, A. & Kelle, P. (July 2010). "Resilient Supply Chains for Extreme Situations: Outlining a New Field of Study.” Special Issue of International Journal of Production Economics, p.1-6 Vol 126 No. 1.
Whybark, C., Day, J.M., Melnyk, S.A. & Davis, E.W. (Mau 2010). "Disaster Relief Supply Chain Management: New Realities, Management Challenges, Emerging Opportunities." Decision Line v 41(3).
Whybark, C., Jacobs, R.F., Berry, W.L. & Vollmann, T.E. (2010). "Manufacturing Planning and Control for Supply Chain Management," 6th ed., Dow Jones-Irwin, Homewood, IL. 
Yayla-Küllü, H. M., Parlaktürk, A. K. & Swaminathan, J.M. (2012). "Multiproduct Quality Competition: Impact of Resource Constraints." POMS.
Yayla-Küllü, H. M., Parlaktürk, A. K. & Swaminathan, J. M. (2011). "Segmentation Opportunities for a Social Planner: Impact of Limited Resources." Decision Sciences 42 (1) 275-296.
Wang, Y. Gilland, W. & Tomlin. B. (2012) "Regulatory Trade Risk and Supply Chain Strategy." POM, 20,4, July-August 2011, 522-540.  


Dr. Jay Swaminathan will be inducted as a lifetime Fellow of the Production and Operations Management Society.
Kenan-Flagler won the 2015 Undergraduate National Supply Chain Management Case Competition held at the Carlson School of Business in  Minneapolis, MN on April 18. Please click here.  

The inaugural issue of the Undergradate Operations Club newsletter, The Bullwhip, is available.  Please click on the title to read the newsletter.

Dr. Saravana Kesavan teaches an MBA Class and CNN is there.  Article on business schools.  Click link

According to the University of Texas at Dallas website the Kenan-Flagler Operations Area is ranked #1 in the world in terms of publications in Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, a top OM journal, for the last five years - 2008-2012.

Dr. David S. Rubin, Professor of Operations, has been appointed to a 2.5 year term on the new Board of Trustees for the NC State Health Plan for Teachers and Employees. The new Board, which has fiduciary authority for the Plan, was established when NCSHP was moved into the office of the State Treasurer.



Dr. Vinayak Deshpande received the 2014 Core Faculty Champion in Sustainability Award.
Dr. Adam Mersereau received the Teaching Excellence Award from the Weekend Executive MBA Class of 2014
Dr. Ann Marucheck received the Outstanding Mentoring in Teaching Award.
Dr. Wendell Gilland and Brian Tomlin received The Skinner Best Paper Award in POM 2012 for their paper titled Regulatory Trade Risk and Supply Chain Strategy, POM, 20,4, July-August 2011, 522-540.
Dr. Vinayak Deshpande's co-authored paper with Milind Sohoni and Mazhar Arikan, “Building reliable air-travel infrastructure using empirical data and stochastic models of airline networks” has been selected as one of the two finalists for the Anna Valicek Medal awarded by AGIFORS (
Dr. Bin Hu received the Distinguished Dissertation Award.
Dr. Lauren Lu wreceived The Weatherspoon Award for Excellence in BSBA Teaching and theManagement Science Meritorious Service Award.
Dr. Saravanan Kesavan won Second Prize in the JFIG Competition.
Dr. Brad Staats' article "Lean principles, learning, and knowledge work: Evidence from a software services provider" was awarded The Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award. The Shingo Prize is an award for work studying operational excellence.
Dr. Lauren Lu received the Management Science Meritorious Service Award; Honorable Mention, OCSAMSE Annual Conference Best Paper Award.
Dr. Adam Mersereau received The Weatherspoonh Award for Excellence in MBA Teaching.
Dr. Lauren Lu received the M&SOM Meritorious Service Award.
Dr. Ann Marucheck received The Weatherspoon Award for Excellence in BSBA Teaching. 
Dr. Alan Neebe received The Gerald Barrett Faculty Award for greatest contribution to the MBA Program.
Dr. Jay Swaminathan - Fellow, Academic Leadership Program, University of North Carolina.
Dr. Harvey Wagner received The Weatherspoon Award for Distinguished Research.
Dr. Lauren Lu received first prize INFORMS JFIG paper competition.
Dr. Adam Mersereau won the MSOM best paper award.
Dr. Jay Swaminathan received The Weatherspoon Award for Excellence in Research.
Dr. Jay Swaminathan received The Weatherspoon Award for Excellence in PhD teaching.
Dr. Wendell Gilland received The Weatherspoon Award for Excellence in MBA teaching.
Dr. Douglas Elvers received 2000 Tanner Faculty Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, which recognizes excellence in inspirational teaching of undergraduate students.
Dr. Ann Marucheck received The Weatherspoon Award for Excellence in Ph.D. teaching.
Dr. Harvey Wagner - In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the journal Management Science the membership of INFORMS selected Dr. Wagner's 1958 article Dynamic Version of the Economic Lot Size Model, coauthored with Thomas Whitin, as one of its ten most influential published papers.


Karthik Natarajan - Best Graduating PhD Student Award, Kenan-Flagler Business School
Karthik Natarajan - Graduate Dissertation Completion Fellowship
Yimin Wang - The Skinner Best Paper Award in POM 2012 was presented to UNC Kenan-Flagler PhD graduate 
Gokce Esenduran (Joint First Prize) - Elwood S. Buffa Doctoral Dissertation Prize, Decision Sciences Institute
Gokce Esenduran - Best Graduating PhD Student Award, Kenan-Flagler Business School 
Vidya Mani -  Future Faculty Fellowship
Olga Perdikaki and Gokce Esenduran win PhD Awards - Olga Perdikaki was the recipient of two awards. Ms Perdikaki won the Outstanding Teaching Award and shared (with one other student) the Outstanding Graduating Student Award. Ms Esenduran has been awarded a University Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the coming year.
Olga Perdikaki - Graduate Dissertation Completion Fellowship
Sebastian Hans Heese - Best Graduating PhD Student Award, Kenan-Flagler Business School




Vinayak Deshpande
Associate Professor of Operations
Chair, Operations Area
Phone: (919) 962-1489
Office: McColl 4705



Erin Leach
Phone: (919) 962-3217
Fax: (919) 962-6949
Holly Guthrie
Phone: (919) 962-7220
Fax: (919) 962-5539


Mailing Address:
Kenan-Flagler Business School
Campus Box 3490, McColl Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490