Weekend MBA

Operations Management

A great product and a lot of cash are not enough for success. Along with having strong finance and marketing plans, a business idea needs to be "operationalized." Look at some of the most admired companies: Amazon, Southwest Airlines, Ritz-Carlton, Toyota, FedEx. These operational giants stand out because of how they create value.

We approach operations by examining the impact of management decisions on the day-to-day running of a company, as well as the reverse: how the daily workings affect management decisions. Through this two-way lens, you will learn to successfully manage an organization's resources - its human capital, plants and facilities, processes, machinery and technology, raw materials, and other "inputs" - in order to maximize the four value creators: time, price, quality, and variety. In learning to combine concepts, models, and data to develop better systems, you will be equipped to make better operations decisions.


You'll have the option of taking courses that address your individual career choices. Samples include:

  • Operations Management: Business Process Fundamentals - This core course focuses on understanding levers for structuring, managing, and improving a firm's recurring business processes to achieve competitive advantage in customer responsiveness, price, quality, and variety of products and services.
  • Healthcare Management Analytics Lab - This lab course will focus on applying data-driven analytics and insights to identify and create healthcare delivery efficiencies. Student teams will work on improvement projects with real-world healthcare institutions. Thus, the course will teach students how to bring operations theory into practice, under the guidance of a faculty member.
  • Supply Chain Strategy and Practice - Special emphasis is given to understanding how the business context shapes managerial decisions regarding the strategic design and management of the supply chain, as you examine how to improve the flow of materials and information through this network of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
  • Managerial Decision Modeling - Successful decision making requires the ability to structure complex problems, to analyze available options in an uncertain world, and to finally make the best decision given the information available. You'll learn how to apply analytical tools including optimization, simulation, and decision trees to examine managerial decision models. Business applications include resource allocation, risk analysis and sequential decision-making through time.
  • Revenue Management - You will learn to identify, formulate, solve, and implement systems for pricing and revenue optimization. You will develop a fundamental understanding of the use of pricing and capacity concepts combined with optimization tools to achieve revenue improvement within the practical context of limited resources and information.
  • Managing Service Operations - You will learn how to design and improve the service offering for sustained excellence as well as how to identify and overcome key challenges in the service delivery. This course draws ideas not only from operations management, but also from consumer behavior, marketing, and strategy. You will learn to develop a service model encompassing the service offering, the funding mechanism, the employee management system, and the customer management system to analyze both existing and new services.

You’ll study with professors who conduct groundbreaking research, consult with businesses, and share their experiences examining how managerial decisions affect the day-to-day running of a company.

Dan Adelman

Dan Adelman, professor of operations management, publishes regularly in leading academic journals such as Manufacturing and Service Operations Management and Operations Research, both of which he also serves as an associate editor.

Baris Ata

Baris Ata, professor of operations management, takes a problem-driven approach to bridge the theory and practice of operations management. Ata uses stochastic models to study delivery of health care services, sustainable operations, management of manufacturing and service operations, queueing theory, and revenue management.

Elena Belavina

Elena Belavina, assistant professor of operations management, studies supply chain management, global sourcing, intermediaries, retailing, applied microeconomic theory, game theory, and econometrics. Her forthcoming article titled “The Relational Advantages of Intermediation” was coauthored with Karan Girotra and will be published in Management Science.

John R. Birge

John R. Birge, Jerry W. and Carol Lee Levin Professor of Operations Management, studies mathematical modeling of systems under uncertainty, especially for maximizing operational and financial goals using the methodologies of stochastic programming and large-scale optimization. He has published widely and is the recipient of the Best Paper Award from the Japan Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellows Award, and the Institute of Industrial Engineers Medallion Award.

Laurens G. Debo

Laurens G. Debo, associate professor of operations management, studies operations management with a special interest in the economics-operations interface, queuing games, and global supply chain management. Debo's published works include "Queuing for Expert Services" in Management Science and "Life Cycle Dynamics for Portfolios with Remanufactured Products" in Production and Operations Management.

Donald D. Eisenstein

Donald D. Eisenstein, professor of operations management, studies the analysis of logistical systems including production, material handling, scheduling, routing, and distribution. His most recent project surveyed CEOs of mid-size and larger companies about their views on the role of supply chains and their organization's strategy and success.

Varun Gupta

Varun Gupta, assistant professor of operations management, studies stochastic modeling and optimization, applied probability, algorithm design and analysis, and mechanism design. He is particularly interested in modeling and optimization of resource allocation policies for multi-server and distributed systems (e.g., cloud infrastructure, health care, smart grids) from a queueing theoretic perspective.

N. Bora Keskin

N. Bora Keskin, assistant professor of operations management, studies operations management problems that involve decision making under uncertainty. He has developed an interest on such business problems during his consulting experience at McKinsey & Company, research experience at Nomis Solutions, and PhD education at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Sunil Kumar

Sunil Kumar, Dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Operations Management, joined the Chicago Booth faculty on January 1, 2011. Since then, Kumar has concentrated on broadening and strengthening the intellectual footprint of the school by expanding the faculty, supporting increasingly diverse student aspirations, and extending the reach of the school’s programs in part by formulating and executing a careful global strategy. He has also focused on strengthening the school’s ties with its alumni and disseminating the school’s intellectual capital more effectively.

R. Kipp Martin

R. Kipp Martin, professor of operations research and computing technology, conducts research on incorporating web technologies and web services into mathematical modeling process, symbolic optimization, polyhedral combinatorics, methods for large scale optimization, and bundle pricing models. He has published in Management Science, Operations Research, Mathematical Programming, and The INFORMS Journal of Computing.

Rodney P. Parker

Rodney P. Parker, associate professor of operations management, studies dynamic, stochastic operational systems under centralized and competitive control, frequently with production capacity limits; inventory theory under stochastic demand in single-installations and multiechelon supply chains; market entry and deterrence strategies; and pricing decisions in conjunction with operational considerations. Parker also has held positions on the IBM research staff and General Motors Corporation's advanced engineering staff, and practiced as an engineer with BHP Steel.

Christopher Thomas Ryan

Christopher Thomas Ryan, assistant professor of operations management, studies infinite dimensional optimization, algorithmic game theory,and bilevel and discrete optimization. His most recent coauthored paper, “Rational Generating Functions and Integer Programming Games,” appeared in Operations Research.

Burhaneddin Sandikçi

Burhaneddin Sandikçi, associate professor of operations management, studies decision-making problems under uncertainty with special interest in problems in medical decision making and health care operations. He has given several invited talks at INFORMS Annual Meetings as well as at institutions including Bogazici University in Istanbul, Stanford University, University of Michigan, University of Western Ontario, and University of Waterloo.

Che-Lin Su

Che-Lin Su, associate professor of operations management and Neubauer Family Faculty Fellow, is interested in developing and applying computational methods to study applications that arise in operations, economics, accounting, and quantitative marketing. His current research topics include empirical estimation of economics models, incentive problems with applications to executive compensation design and nonlinear pricing, and dynamic competition between firms.

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