Faculty & Research

Our supply chain management faculty members stay at the leading edge of the industry by pursuing rigorous applied research.

Natalie Scala

Natalie M. Scala, Ph.D.

University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Scala's areas of expertise include decision modeling, energy utilities, elections security, military applications, spare-parts management and cybersecurity. She has published numerous papers in leading journals and actively consults industry clients. Dr. Scala is the graduate program director and can be reached at .

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Chaodong Han

Chaodong Han, Ph.D.

University of Maryland, College Park

With academic interests that include data and decision analysis, logistics and distribution, project management and international supply chain management, Professor Han teaches EBTM 710 Logistics and Distribution. His research interests include humanitarian logistics, outsourcing strategies and the effects of inventory strategies and information technology investment on firm performance. He has received multiple awards for his outstanding research and teaching.

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Xiaolin Li

Xiaolin Li, Ph.D.

Kent State University

Professor Li's teaching interests include e-Business, customer relationship management, and applied ERP systems. His research interests include team dynamics, search engine optimization, and the use of business IT solutions. He teaches the Customer Relationship Management course and is a 2011 recipient of the College of Business and Economics Outstanding Scholarship Award.

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Stella Tomasi

Stella Tomasi, Ph.D.

Temple University

Dr. Tomasi’s teaching interests include business process management, ERP systems and data analytics. Her research interests include data visualization, sports analytics, and STEM education. She teaches the Business Process Management course.

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Dong Yao

Dong Qing Yao, Ph.D.

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Professor Yao's teaching interests include project management, operations management and supply chain management. His primary research interests include supply chain management for technology-intensive industries as well as innovative supply chain technology integration. Professor Yao teaches EBTM 602 Intro to Supply Chain Management and EBTM 720 Supply Chain Analytics.

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Selected Research

The Effect of Content Depth and Deviation on Online Review Helpfulness: Evidence from Double-Hurdle Model (2021)
Information and Management
Authors: Chaojing Wu, Feng Mai, & Xiaolin Li

This research examines the effect of content depth and deviation of online product reviews on the likelihood of being voted and helpfulness. Our analyses on reviews of three product categories show that reviews with more depth and less content deviation are rated more helpful. Further, the relationships are moderated by a number of factors, including the deviation of numerical rating, recency of the review, and the reputation of the reviewer. The research contributes to the literature by showing how the content of a review and the interaction of content and numerical ratings jointly create value for consumers.

A Survey Comparing Critical Path Method, Last Planner System, and Location-Based Techniques (2019)
Journal of Construction Engineering and Management
Authors: Hylton Olivieri, Olli Seppanen, Thais Alves, Natalie M. Scala, Vincent Schiavone, Min Liu, & Ariovaldo Denis Granja

This article compares and contrasts the use of Critical Path Method (CPM), Last Planner System (LPS), and Location-Based Techniques (LB) in the planning and control phases of project management (PM), and project production management (PPM). We analyze a survey of construction professionals in Brazil, China, Finland, and the United States to clarify industry benefits of each method and eliminate potential misunderstandings regarding method use. We find benefits related to critical path analysis and managing contracts using CPM and improved production control with LB and LPS. We conclude that the construction industry can benefit from aligning project scheduling methods with project needs. 

The Effect of Online Reviews on Product Sales: A Joint Sentiment-Topic Analysis (2019)
Information and Management
Authors: Xiaolin Li, Chaojing Wu, & Feng Mai

This research examines the business impact of online reviews. It empirically investigates the influence of numerical and textual reviews on product sales performance. We use a Joint Sentiment-Topic model to extract the topics and associated sentiments in review texts. We further propose that numerical rating mediates the effects of textual sentiments. Findings not only contribute to the knowledge of how eWOM impacts product sales, but also illustrate how numerical rating and textual reviews interplay while shaping product sales. In practice, the findings help online vendors strategize business analytics operations by focusing on more relevant aspects that ultimately drive sales.

Eliminating the Weakest Link Approach in Army Unit Readiness (2018)
Decision Analysis 
Authors: Natalie M. Scala & Paul L. Goethals

This study examines the United States Army’s readiness metrics, as outlined in AR-220-1, and proposes an improvement in the composite metric, in order to evaluate units with greater precision, flexibility, and robustness. Our desirability function approach measures readiness based upon a set of priorities, adapting for type of mission and unit. Accurate assessments of readiness are crucial, as the level of Army readiness drives federal funding, defense policy, and deployment decisions. AAM via INFORMS Green Option

A Value Model for Asset Tracking Technology to Support Naval Sea-based Resupply (2018)
Engineering Management Journal
Authors: Natalie M. Scala & Jennifer Pazour 

Naval seabasing is a dense storage environment and requires specialized logistics to fulfill emergent requests for tailored resupply packages while at sea. We develop a value model to identify the preferred technology to track inventory assets while stored in this dense environment. Evaluated technologies include radio frequency identification, barcoding, internal positioning systems (IPS), and camera-aided technology. We conclude that IPS is the preferred asset tracking technology in the seabasing environment.

Exploring the Role of Task Complexity and Rapport on Work Satisfaction and Learning in Outsourced System Development (2017)
IT Project Management
Authors: Parolia, N., Li, Y., & Tomasi, S.

This paper explores the use of offshore teams for IS development projects. The results address how complexity and team rapport affect team cohesion, team member learning, and team member satisfaction.

Relationship Conflict, Conflict Management, and Performance of Information Technology Teams (2016)
Journal of Computer Information Systems
Authors: Nesterkin, D. A., Porterfield, T. E., & Li, X. 

This study examines how teams use collaboration, conflict management, and goal setting to mediate the negative effects of conflict on team performance. The study finds that collaboration and conflict management positively affect team performance and mediate the conflict and conflict management on team performance.