IE-OPIM Joint Seminar
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IE-OPIM Joint Seminar: René B.M. de Koster, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

“The impact of behavior on operational performance”


Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Time: 13:40 - 14:45
Location: School of Management, Room: 1073

Abstract: As every manager knows, people are important to achieve operational excellence. The decisions and behavior of leaders impact the behaviors of employees which are instrumental in obtaining high performance. Still, in operations management research, we largely rely on models that help to optimize managerial decision making and in which people do not really play a role. Behavioral operations management is still at its infancy. It tries to include manager or employee behavior as an explanatory variable in performance. In my presentation I will give examples of some recent research projects, focusing on performance in warehouses. Depending on time, I will look into (1) behavioral factors that can bring down the number of work-related accidents in warehouses, (2) the direct and interaction effects of incentives and worker characteristics on performance in a warehouse, and (3) the impact, and managerial use, of worker skills on order pick performance.

Bio:  Dr. René B.M. de Koster ( is professor of Logistics and Operations Management at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University since 1995. Before that, he worked as a consultant. His research interests are warehousing, container terminal, retail, and behavioural operations. He is author/editor of 8 books and over 150 papers in books and journals like POM, JOM, TS, IIE T, EJOR.


He is guest lecturer at several other universities in the Netherlands, Belgium, China, and South Africa. He is in the editorial boards of journals like Operations Research, Journal of Operations Management, Transportation Science (SI editor), international Journal of Operations and Production Management (SI editor), flexible Services and Manufacturing (SI editor), and

other academic journals, member of several international research advisory boards (ELA: European Logistics Association, BVL: Germany (, AIRL: France, University of Pisa), chairman of Stichting Logistica (, Smartport (, and founder of the Material Handling Forum (


His research has won several awards, like the IIE T best paper award (2009), JOM best paper finalist (2007), AoM best paper finalist (2013), ERIM impact award (2013).