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Operations Management and Strategy

The PhD major in the Department of Operations Management & Strategy offers two tracks:

The objective of this PhD program, in both tracks, is to develop high-quality researchers, educators and consultants, enabling them to emerge as influential scholars in their chosen fields. Working closely with our faculty members, our doctoral candidates receive individual training in state-of-the-art research methods and teaching skills. All our doctoral scholars publish articles in leading journals of the field, and several of our doctoral candidates have won prestigious national awards for their dissertation research. 

Our faculty members are leading researchers and award-winning teachers who are recognized internationally for their academic and industry expertise in global supply chain and operations management, and in strategy & entrepreneurship. Our faculty members are globally connected, conducting research programs in North America, Europe and Asia. They are committed scholars and, as a doctoral candidate, you will work with them in collaborative fashion. You will also have the opportunity to interact with renowned visiting scholars, gaining exposure to a wide range of research paradigms. You will be steered towards dissertation topics that are of high academic and social impact.

Supply Chain and Operations Management Track

This track covers the areas of supply chain management, and manufacturing and service operations management. In the past, manufacturing and service industries were concerned with within-firm management topics and improvement strategies, such as manufacturing resource planning (MRP II), just-in-time (JIT) or lean manufacturing systems, business process reengineering (BPR), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. However, in recent years, management of the entire supply chain, based on inter-firm communication and coordination has come to be realized as the new frontier. Challenges arising from increasing customer demands on price, quality, lead time, variety, mass customization, avoiding disruptions in increasingly volatile business contexts, and the need to ensure sustainability in all segments of global supply chains have all become increasingly important. 

Our faculty members in supply chain and operations management have a wide range of research interests, aimed at theory building, empirical validation and influencing business practices. Specific topic areas include E-commerce applications in supply chains, capacity planning, demand forecasting, production and inventory management, quality management (TQM, Six Sigma adoption), project management,  supply chain risk and disruption mitigation, supply chain agility, management of global supply networks, emergency response systems, healthcare supply chains, humanitarian logistics, econometric analysis of the business value of information technologies, logistics and global distribution networks, etc. Our faculty members are also affiliated to UB’s new Institute for Sustainable Transportation & Logistics (ISTL) in their research and educational efforts.

Strategic Management Track

This track encompasses research in the areas of business policy and strategy, entrepreneurship and international business. This corresponds to research aimed at theory building and empirical validation of findings in strategic management, addressing important research questions relating to competitive advantage and performance of organizations in a global context. The areas of investigation include competitive strategy and competitive positioning, innovation, diversification strategies, vertical integration, corporate governance, acquisitions and joint ventures, technology strategy, strategic groups, inter-firm rivalry, firm capabilities and resources, strategic decision-making processes, strategy implementation mechanisms, new venture creation and entrepreneurship, and venture capital.

Our strategic management faculty has strong ties to the Center for Entrepreneurial leadership (CEL). Dr. Yong Li, one of our faculty members serves as the Academic Director for UB’s Entrepreneurship Academy.  Our strategic management area is currently in the process of being developed and strengthened further.  Current faculty members in this area form a young team of outstanding scholars. Our first PhD candidate in the strategic management area will be finishing her dissertation this academic year, and three more will follow soon.

Some recently completed dissertations in the supply chain and operations track include:

Toward supplier portfolio management theory: An empirical study of buyer-supplier relationships in the U.S. Automotive components industry.  By Scott Ellis; Received the international 2008 Elwood S. Buffa Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Decision Sciences Institute (DSI).

Impact of strategic sourcing, E-procurement and integration on supply chain risk mitigation and performance; by Minkyun Kim.

An empirical investigation of cost efficiencies in the US Health Care industry; by Jeong Hoon Choi.

An econometric investigation of the bullwhip effect –The influence of demand and supply in the automobile industry; by Chung-Yean Chiang.

An econometric analysis of finished goods inventory in the US Automotive industry: Bayesian and Classical approaches; by Chia-Hung Chuang.

An empirical investigation of the antecedents and validity of five Strategy theory bases of logistics outsourcing decisions. By Lorena Mathien; Received the national Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Dissertation Award (this is the 3rd ISM award received by a PhD candidate in our department).

Some dissertations currently in progress:

Optimizing demand forecasting, inventory and blood supply management for New York city blood bank; by Sima Fortsch; winner of the University Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Award, 2012.

An empirical investigation of the impact of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems on firm and supply chain performance; by Dennis Jamrose.

Recent award-winning papers by our doctoral candidates include:

Managing brand equity in E-Banking: A simultaneous equation system approach, by PhD candidate Mr. Ta-Wei (Daniel) Kao, with Prof. Winston Lin & H.H. Chang; received the Best Interdisciplinary Paper Award, at Decision Sciences Institute (DSI) Annual National Meeting, Baltimore, MA, November 19, 2013.

Thus, our department provides a unique opportunity for innovation and distinctiveness by bringing together the areas of strategic management, and supply chain and operations management. While a few business schools have linked operations management with other functional areas such as marketing, our department aims to pursue innovative research and education that address important relationships among business strategy, entrepreneurship, and the management of global supply chains.

"Our PhD candidates have an opportunity to learn a diverse, and eclectic range of research and teaching methods, from our award-winning faculty members who excel in both research and pedagogy"
~ Nallan Suresh, UB Distinguished Professor, and Chair,  OMS Department.

For more information about specific research efforts of OMS faculty, please visit our Faculty Web pages.   Profiles of current PhD candidates can be seen at current PhD candidates website. If you wish to speak to a faculty member directly, you may do so by contacting Winston Lin, PhD or Nallan Suresh, PhD.
For degree requirements please consult the latest PhD handbook by following the Handbook link in the left navigation frame.

Contact Us

Graduate Programs Office
School of Management
University at Buffalo
203 Alfiero Center
Buffalo, NY 14260-4010

Tel:  716-645-3204
Fax: 716-645-2341

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